DHST oday062606 by 2rZL2o


									                                       June 26, 2006– Vol. 4, Issue No. 23

1. DHS Completes TOPOFF 4 Command Post Exercise
2. DHS Starts Construction for National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center
3. Basham Visits with Employees on Arizona Border Tour
4. S&T Teams with TSA, National Labs for Air Cargo Explosive Pilot

5. DHS Employees Among 2006 Service to America Medal Finalists
6. Secretary Highlights USCIS Achievements on World Refugee Day
7. Coast Guard Auxiliary Celebrates 67th Year of Service
8. CRCL Officer Receives American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Award


DHS Today is a weekly e-newsletter produced by the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Public
  Affairs. Send questions, comments, and feedback to the editorial staff at: dhstoday@hq.dhs.gov.

1. DHS Completes TOPOFF 4 Command Post Exercise
DHS on Thursday announced the completion of the TOPOFF 4 Command Post Exercise (T4
CPX), a congressionally mandated counterterrorism exercise for top officials. The exercise,
which took place from June 19-22, is a multifaceted effort to prevent and respond to a simulated
terrorist attack using weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).
                                                More than 4,000 federal, state, local, and tribal
                                                senior officials and managers from 85
                                                organizations participated in the T4 CPX.
                                                Command post exercises like the T4 CPX are
                                                real-time, functional assessments of
                                                communications, planning, and decision-making
                                                capabilities in a time of crisis. Although
                                                emergency response centers were activated as
                                                part of the T4 CPX, limited numbers of
                                                emergency response personnel were deployed
                                                into the field.
Activity at the Master Control Cell in Fairfax,
Virginia during the TOPOFF 4 CPX Exercise last       “The T4 CPX provided an excellent opportunity
week. Photo by Barry Bahler, DHS                     to strengthen the nation’s capacity for effective,
                                                     coordinated action to address terrorist threats
and major disasters,” said Under Secretary for Preparedness George Foresman. “Although the
scenario is simulated, the risk is real. Every TOPOFF exercise builds on real-world and exercise
experiences and lessons learned to further enhance our national preparedness.”

More information about the exercise is available at:

2. DHS Starts Construction for National Biodefense Analysis and
Countermeasures Center

Deputy Secretary Michael Jackson today participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for the
National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC) at Fort Detrick in
Frederick, Md. NBACC is part of President Bush’s vision for Biodefense in the 21st Century and
it fulfills requirements in the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

“Scientific research is fundamental to reducing the high consequences of a biological attack,”
said Deputy Secretary Jackson. “Our threat picture is ever-changing, and this facility will provide
an enduring biodefense capability against these types of emerging threats.”

The department’s Science and Technology Directorate will manage the NBACC, and the facility
will be located at the new National Interagency Biodefense Campus (NIBC) at Fort Detrick,
Frederick, Maryland. The NIBC campus, including laboratory facilities belonging to the
Department of Defense, the Department of Agriculture and the National Institutes of Health and
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the Department of Health and Human Services,
enhances scientific collaboration and leverages available resources, including proximity to other
federal agencies and policy makers.

3. Basham Visits with Employees on Arizona
Border Tour

                                                                    Commissioner W. Ralph
                                                                    Basham tours Nogales, Arizona
Commissioner W. Ralph Basham last week conducted a fast-           port of entry and speaks with a
paced tour of the Arizona border to observe CBP operations in      CBP Officer. Photo by Gerald
this critical area. On Monday, the commissioner arrived in         Nino, CBP
Tucson and met with CBP officers and employees at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International
Airport, before meeting with Arizona Gov Janet Napolitano to discuss border control efforts.
Basham’s tour is taking place as National Guard troops, in various stages of deployment, move
into Arizona to assist CBP Border Patrol agents to accelerate planned border control initiatives.

The commissioner’s tour included fly-overs of areas that present the greatest challenges for
border control, including the west desert, an area known for the dangers it presents for illegal
border crossers. At Davis Mountain, the CBP Tucson Air Branch headquarters, the
commissioner reviewed CBP aviation assets, including the Black Hawk and light scout
helicopters, and the Citation Interceptor aircraft. “A layered approach that mixes technology and
air operations for observation and responding to illegal crossings will be necessary to control the
border,” Basham said. "There is not a silver bullet out there, there's not one answer."

The weeklong tour is one of several scheduled for Basham to see firsthand the diverse
environments within which CBP operates, and the multi-faceted tools and strategies the agency
uses to control the border. At each of the locations Commissioner Basham visited, he spoke
with employees and about the day–to-day challenges they face in securing our nation’s borders.

4. S&T Teams with TSA, National Labs for Air Cargo Explosive Pilot
A pilot program to screen passenger aircraft cargo for explosives will be launched later this
summer at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) by DHS. Known as the Air Cargo
Explosives Detection Pilot Program, the effort will be conducted at SFO air cargo facilities under
collaboration between the Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate and TSA.

The $30 million cargo explosives screening pilot program will later be expanded to two other –
as yet unannounced – U.S. airports. The objective of the program is to better understand the
technological and operational issues associated with explosives detection for air cargo. This
work will provide critical knowledge in making future decisions on the national air cargo security
infrastructure as well as assisting in the research and development planning to support air cargo

Other agencies involved in the SFO pilot program will be the airport, air carriers, Lawrence
Livermore National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National
Laboratory and the New Jersey-based Transportation Security Laboratory.

A transcript and video of the news conference at which this announcement was made are
available at: http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/video/sfo.html


5. DHS Employees Among 2006 Service to America Medal Finalists
Several DHS employees were among 30 federal employees who were honored last week as
finalists for the 2006 Service to America Medals. The awards cover homeland security,
international affairs, law enforcement, and other areas and were established by the Partnership
for Public Service, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, and the Atlantic Media Co.

Receiving medals in the Homeland Security category were Robert Schoch, ICE Special Agent in
Charge, Los Angeles, for establishing a Compliance Enforcement Unit to disrupt, target and
investigate illegitimate travelers and better enforce U.S. immigration laws; and ICE Senior
Special Leigh Senzatimore and her team in New York City, for leading an investigation that
resulted in the dismantling of the largest human trafficking ring ever uncovered in the United
States. Receiving a medal in the Justice and Law Enforcement area was ICE Special Agent
Brian Bucaro, for leading an investigation out of San Diego, Calif., that resulted in the arrest of
an international arms dealer and the dismantling of an illicit Iranian arms procurement network.
Also, in this category, the ICE Cyber Crime CenterTeam led by Special Agent Gene Driggers
received medals for providing forensic support that contributed to the successful investigation
and prosecution of corrupt contracting practices in Iraq.

Suzanne Petrie, Director, Latin American Affairs, received the National Security Medal, which
recognizes a federal employee for a significant contribution to the nation in activities related to
national security (including defense, military affairs, and intelligence). She received recognition
for her work as the principal U.S. liaison to Mexico on multiple initiatives dealing with national
and border security.

6. Secretary Highlights USCIS Achievements on World Refugee Day
Secretary Chertoff on Tuesday released a statement observing World Refugee Day and called
attention to the work being done by DHS employees on refugee issues.

In his statement the secretary said, “I take this opportunity to commend DHS employees, at
home and around the world, for their service in protecting and assisting refugees and asylees. I
also mark this occasion by highlighting some of the significant achievements of the U.S.
Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Refugee and Asylum Divisions.”

The secretary noted that as part of its transformational change, USCIS has created the Refugee
Corps, a cadre of highly trained, professional officers dedicated full-time to interviewing
refugees and adjudicating their requests for protection, often in austere conditions. “The
Refugee Corps is already 30 officers strong, supported by a new and expanded management
team, and it is expected to increase in size this year by 50 percent,” the secretary said.

The secretary’s complete statement is available at:

7. Coast Guard Auxiliary Celebrates 67th Year of Service

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary celebrated the 67th anniversary of its founding on Friday.
Originally founded on June 23, 1939, as the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve and later renamed in
1941 as the Coast Guard Auxiliary, this all volunteer force has donated millions of hours to both
the public and the Coast Guard over these years.

Gene Seibert, the Auxiliary’s National Commodore, said, “Much has changed in the years since
the Auxiliary came into being; new Auxiliary uniforms, more modern and sophisticated training
programs, and greater professionalism. Terrorism has replaced world war as a threat to our
nation’s survival. But much has remained the same. Then as now, the Coast Guard faced
budget and personnel shortfalls, and the Auxiliary provided a key force multiplier. Then as now,
men and women volunteered their services in support of the Coast Guard.”

Looking back over the last year, the 32,000 members of the Auxiliary can be proud of their
distinguished service to their country and their community. For example, auxiliarists responded
to the demands of Hurricane Katrina, Rita, and the other hurricanes that hit the United States.

A summary of the Coast Guard Auxiliary’s mission statistics for 2005 is available at:

8. CRCL Officer Receives American Arab Anti-Discrimination
Committee Award
Daniel Sutherland, Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL), was recently honored with
the “Friend in Government” award at the Arab American Anti Discrimination Committee’s (ADC)
26th Annual Convention held earlier this month. ADC has given this award to various
government leaders over the past four years. The award highlights the recipient’s outstanding
dedication and public service to the Arab American community.

During his acceptance speech Sutherland said, “The department is committed to building
strategic partnerships with Arab Americans and Muslim Americans, who are a key component to
building a truly secure country. I accept this award on behalf of all of my colleagues at the Office
for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and view it as evidence that we are working effectively to
build mutual trust and confidence with leaders from these communities.”

ADC is a non-sectarian and non-partisan civil rights organization committed to defending the
rights of people of Arab descent and promoting their rich cultural heritage and is the largest
Arab-American grassroots organization in the United States. CRCL regularly meets with a
coalition of non-profit organizations and community groups that includes ADC to listen to their
concerns and to discuss department initiatives that are in place to address these concerns.


June 27 – U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Paul Higgins testifies before the House Government
Reform National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations Subcommittee on
violence against women in the military, Washington, D.C.

USCIS Acting Deputy Director Robert Devine testifies before the House Small Business
Workforce, Empowerment, and Government Programs Subcommittee, Washington, D.C.

Acting Director of the National Cyber Security Division Andy Purdy delivers keynote remarks at
the 18th Annual InfoSec Conference and Exhibit, New York, N.Y.

June 28 – Deputy Secretary Michael Jackson and U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral
Thad Allen participate in the Coast Guard Innovation Expo, Tampa, Fla.
June 29 – TSA Chief Information Officer for Operational Process and Technology Randal Null
testifies before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Aviation Subcommittee on
passenger baggage screening, Washington, D.C.

TSA Assistant Secretary Kip Hawley participates in a media roundtable for local outlets and
publications, Dallas, Texas.

June 30 – Secretary Michael Chertoff delivers remarks at the Emergency Management and
Disability and Aging Populations Conference, Washington, D.C.


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