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November 2, 2009
4:15 pm
Secretary Napolitano departed Washington, D.C. this morning en route to Copenhagen, Denmark - the first stop on a multi-city trip to Europe and the Middle East. The Secretary will travel to Belgium, Denmark, Spain, the United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom over the next six days to meet with her international counterparts to discuss information sharing and privacy protection; collaborative efforts to secure cyber networks worldwide; and coordination to combat transnational criminal activity and the global threat of terrorism.

In Copenhagen, the Secretary will meet with her counterparts on transportation security, bilateral criminal information sharing partnerships, and ongoing multinational efforts to address transnational crime—particularly human trafficking.

In Belgium – where I'm told they sell waffles on the street – Secretary Napolitano will meet with members of the European Parliament and Belgian officials to discuss methods for combating crime and terrorism while protecting civil liberties. She will also meet with World Customs Organization (WCO) Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya to discuss multilateral efforts to crack down on smuggling and strengthen risk-based cargo screening.

In Spain, Secretary Napolitano will deliver remarks to the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners. She will also join Spanish officials to discuss customs cooperation as well as privacy issues related to bilateral criminal information sharing partnerships between the United States, Spain and the European Union.

In the United Arab Emirates, Secretary Napolitano will meet with her counterparts to highlight transportation and maritime security and the benefits of information sharing initiatives to deter the threats of crime and terrorism.

In the United Kingdom, Secretary Napolitano will join students, faculty and staff at the London School of Economics to encourage a new generation of security professionals to confront a continually evolving array of threats through collaboration and innovation. She will also meet with her UK counterparts to stress the importance of collaborating on cybersecurity efforts and talk with the Metropolitan Police of London about recent multinational criminal investigations. This blogger hopes she comes home with a bobby's helmet for the office.

We'll be following the trip pretty closely on the blog. Check back for frequent updates and pictures.
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
November 2, 2009
9:30 am
From the Louisville Courier Journal, on 172 new U.S. citizens:

"Let it never be said that people like you have done nothing in the past for this country," he said. "This country is grateful for the service you provided before you were citizens."

Participants also heard from retired Army Maj. Gen. Robert S. Silverthorn Jr., who told them he was proud of the courage they showed by leaving their homes behind and coming to America to begin a new life. Stephen A. Leishman, registrar general with The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, also welcomed the new citizens, and encouraged them to get involved in their communities.

The society has hosted a naturalization ceremony for each of the past three years. Prior to Friday's ceremony, Leishman said he thought the event fit nicely with the society's mission.

"All our patriotic ancestors came to this country," he said. "They were immigrants 250 years ago."


From Homeland Security Today, on an interview with Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad Allen:

Q: What changes if any there have been under the new administration and under Secretary Napolitano for the Coast Guard. How has it affected the mission, has it changed it at all?

A: If I were to give you a general observation, having a governor as a secretary has brought a focus on what I would call integrated concepts of homeland security related to all the different levels of government and what federalism really means, if you will. She has a very good understanding of the responsibilities of being a governor, the governor of a state on the southwest border. While they don't have hurricanes they certainly have wildfires and other things that require them to interact with FEMA.

Q: You're from that area.

A: I'm from Tucson, yes. She was my governor.

So what I think that you see is a pretty comprehensive view of the roles of government and the responsibilities of different levels of government clear down to what citizens ought to be doing in terms of preparedness and things like that. And I think that a hallmark of her tenure so far has been a sense of collaboration with governors in trying to understand the local implications of federal decisions. If I were to give you an overarching theme it is probably that.

Q. When you came in, you had this vision of independent commands; innovating, taking initiative, and carrying out the mission. Has it changed your vision, the vision you had of the Coast Guard, under this new administration?

A. No, in fact, some of the roles and missions of the Coast Guard are going to be more finely described or described with greater accuracy.


Public Events
8:30 AM EST
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate will deliver remarks at the 57th Annual International Association of Emergency Managers Annual Conference
Rosen Centre Hotel & Orange County Convention Center
9840 International Drive
Orlando, Fla.

9 AM EST
National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) Deputy Under Secretary Philip Reitinger will deliver remarks about the importance of integrity, security, and reliability in software and the DHS’ perspective on software security progress at the 11th Annual Software Assurance Forum
Crystal Gateway Marriott
1700 Jefferson Davis Highway
Arlington, Va.

11 AM EST
DHS Office of Health Affairs Assistant Secretary and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Alexander Garza will deliver remarks about the 2009 H1N1 Influenza during the International Association of Emergency Managers Annual Conference
Orange County Convention Center
9860 Universal Boulevard
Orlando, Fla.

2 PM EST
NPPD Deputy Under Secretary Philip Reitinger will deliver remarks on cybersecurity at the Homeland Security Policy Institute/Intelligence and National Security Alliance Cyber Deterrence Symposium
The George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs
Seventh Floor, State Room
1957 E Street NW
Washington, D.C.

3 PM EST
TSA Public Affairs Manager Sari Koshetz will participate in a media availability about Operation Transit Shield
Tri-Rail station
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
October 30, 2009
4:45 pm

The Secretary issued the following statement this afternoon on the tragic aircraft collision last night:

"My thoughts and prayers, along with those of the entire Department of Homeland Security, are with the men, women and families of the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Marine Corps today. We are providing every available resource to fully support the multi-agency search effort underway to locate survivors of this devastating accident. As we hope for the best, we are reminded of the danger and personal risk that the courageous men and women of the Department of Homeland Security and our Armed Forces confront everyday in order to ensure the safety, security and resilience of our great nation."

Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
October 30, 2009
3:10 pm
cross-posted from the Coast Guard's iCommandant Blog

I sent the following e-mail to all Coast Guard personnel:

To the Men and Women of the United States Coast Guard:

I am deeply saddened to report that one of our C-130 aircraft, CG-1705 out of AIRSTA Sacramento, crashed last night about 15 miles east of San Clemente Island off the coast of San Diego. CG-1705, with seven Guardians onboard, was searching for an overdue 12-foot pleasure craft when there was a collision with a Marine Corps AH-1 Cobra helicopter at 1915 Pacific local time. There were two personnel on the Marine Corps helicopter which was conducting a separate training exercise.

The Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy have been working collaboratively overnight and throughout today in response to this tragedy. I want to ensure our workforce is kept fully apprised as well.We have been and continue to actively search for survivors. Two Navy surface vessels were on scene almost immediately after the accident. Several Navy and Coast Guard aircraft, along with a Customs and Border Protection helicopter, are flying sorties in the area while multiple cutters including the BLACKFIN, BLACKTIP, EDISTO, PETREL, GEORGE COBB, and JARVIS are conducting surface searches. One of the Navy ships is remaining on-scene as well. No personnel have been found at this time but we will continue to work with our Marine Corps and Navy partners in this massive effort.

While we continue the search, we will fully support the men and women of AIRSTA Sacramento and their families. We are actively assisting the local field units to respond to this tragic event so they can focus on the ongoing search. This includes flowing resources and critical incident stress management teams where they are needed, supporting our fellow families and Service members, coordinating a joint military investigation, and working with our Department, the interagency, the Congress, and the media to keep people informed.

I know many of you want to know the names of the people who are missing. We are following the appropriate notification procedures and working closely with our sister Services and the impacted families to ensure the proper steps are followed. We will release that information as soon as possible.

I will provide further updates as they become available. I encourage all Coast Guard members to keep these missing Guardians and Marines in your thoughts during this difficult time and to continue looking after your shipmates.

Admiral Thad Allen
Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard

(File Photo) A Coast Guard C-130 Hercules aircraft, similar to the one involved in a collision with a Marine AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter, Oct. 30, 2009, is pictured in this Coast Guard file photo. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Cindy Beckert.
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
Category: coast guard
October 30, 2009
1:52 pm
The lines between communications technology and information technology (IT) are getting blurrier every day. Chances are that the cell phone you carry around can do a lot more than just make a phone call. It almost certainly has the capability to send a text message; it probably surfs the web; and it can likely pinpoint your location via GPS to get you to the nearest Starbucks.

So as various communications and information technologies become more interdependent, so too does the infrastructure that supports those technologies. Telecommunications networks, cell phone towers, and control centers are just some of the cyber assets that are becoming more and more interwoven everyday.

It’s DHS’ responsibility to coordinate with the private sector, which in large part owns and operates these increasingly seamless networks and systems. We took a big step today toward making sure that we can fulfill our role of being a good partner in the event of a disaster – be it natural or manmade.

This morning, Secretary Napolitano cut the ribbon on the National Cybersecurity & Communications Integration Center (NCCIC). The NCCIC (which we say N-Kick) is a new 24-hour watch and warning center that consolidates many of the Department’s cyber and communications operations centers that respond to emergency incidents.

The NCCIC co-locates the missions and functions of several of the Department’s most important cybersecurity facilities, such as the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), the National Coordinating Center (NCC) and the National Cybersecurity Center (NCSC) – and ultimately our private sector partners. This groundbreaking center is the result of collaboration of a Joint Industry-Government Tiger Team, the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee, and the Government Accountability Office.

The result is one solution: a unified operations center. The NCCIC will help the department detect, prevent, respond, and mitigate disruptions of voice and cyber communications technologies.

That cell phone relies on more technology and networking than ever before. We’re working every day to keep it safe.

To learn more about the DHS’s cybersecurity efforts, visit www.dhs.gov/cyber.
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
October 30, 2009
9:15 am

From the New Orleans Times-Picayune, on the new disaster recovery web site:

Got a few thoughts on how to create a better national strategy for
long-term disaster recovery? The Obama administration's new Long-Term Disaster Recovery Working Group wants to hear them, and on Wednesday, the working group's leaders, Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, launched a new Web site to solicit suggestions from state and local partners and the public.


The site, DisasterRecoveryWorkingGroup.gov, adorned with photos of President Obama's Oct. 15 town hall at the University of New Orleans, provides a 16-part online questionnaire that begins: "How would you define a successful disaster recovery?"


It also includes such questions as: "What unmet needs are common to most disasters that do not seem to be adequately addressed under the current systems and programs?" and "What are best practices for integrating mitigation and resilience into recovery?"


The purpose of the questionnaire, according to a statement from Donovan's office, is to make it easy for people to "submit ideas for disaster recovery; articulate objectives for recovery assistance going forward; identify examples of best practices; raise challenges and obstacles to success; and share thoughts, experiences and lessons learned."



From AFP, on Secretary Napolitano's trip to Europe and the Middle East:

US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will travel next week to Europe and the Middle East for talks with her counterparts on fighting terrorism and other global security concerns.


Napolitano, the top US official tasked with keeping America safe from terrorism and other domestic threats, will travel to Belgium, Denmark, Spain, the United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom from November 2-8, on her third visit to Europe, according to a press release.


Napolitano will meet in Belgium with members of the European Parliament and with Belgian officials on combating crime and terrorism while protecting civil liberties. She also planned to meet with World Customs Organization Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya on international efforts to crack down on smuggling and strengthen cargo screening.



From the Detroit News, on the creation of a new task force to combat cross-border crime:

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement unveiled today a 50-member task force comprised of federal, state, local and Canadian agencies designed to combat cross-border crimes.


The Border Enforcement Security Task Force, or BEST, will focus on national security and terrorist threats, human smuggling and trafficking, contraband smuggling, money laundering, bulk cash smuggling, transnational gang activities and other criminal acts. The team, which is the third along the northern border, covers 721 miles. The initiative will be housed in the federal building downtown.

"For those who are involved in drug trafficking, human trafficking or selling firearms, the international border really doesn't exist," said Terrence Berg, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan."They operate across the border bringing in drugs to the U.S. and importing firearms, and this is a continuing problem. It's very rare to have this kind of cooperation, especially at the international level to have all of these agencies working together."



Leadership Events:
10 AM EDT
Secretary Janet Napolitano will deliver remarks and participate in a ribbon cutting ceremony at the grand opening of the NCCIC
1110 N Glebe Road
Arlington, Va.

Public Events:
8:30 AM EDT
NPPD Deputy Under Secretary Philip Reitinger will deliver remarks about National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and the importance of cybersecurity as a shared responsibility at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce meetingU.S. Chamber of CommerceHerman Lay Room
1615 H Street, NW
Washington, D.C.

8:35 AM EDT
Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Alexander Garza will deliver remarks about national health security at the Institute of Medicine workshop entitled, “Preparedness Response Capabilities in the National Health Security Strategy”
National Academy of Sciences Main Building, Lecture Room
2101 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, D.C.

Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
October 28, 2009
4:37 pm
 GreenGov Challenge
President Obama signed an executive order earlier this month instructing all federal agencies to develop plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by year 2020. The Department of Homeland Security is already a leader in this area, thanks in part to our Efficiency Review that Secretary Napolitano launched in March to make the Department a leaner, smarter agency better equipped to protect the nation.

As part of the Efficiency Review, the Department is already taking important steps to build a green culture. For example, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is configuring its computers to automatically shut down or stand by when they are not being used. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will use solar power to reduce energy usage at its new border patrol station in El Paso. And the new Coast Guard headquarters will be LEED-certified and incorporate a number of innovative, environmentally friendly design features.

There's no doubt there are many more ideas out there.

The President's GreenGov Challenge is a great way to help us find and implement them - at the Department of Homeland Security and across the federal government. Please visit www.WhiteHouse.gov/GreenGov to submit your ideas or vote on the most promising submissions by this Saturday, October 31st. Your voice will make a major difference in creating a more efficient and sustainable federal government.

Chris Cummiskey
Chief of Staff, Management Directorate
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
October 28, 2009
4:05 pm
Last week, the Secretary delivered remarks via webcast to talk with the American public about cybersecurity, and to answer the public’s questions on the topic. We received many more questions than the Secretary had time for that morning, but she wanted to make sure we answered as many possible.

So today, Secretary Napolitano sat down to do just that. Check out the Secretary's video below.






var so = new SWFObject("/flash/player-gray.swf", "cybersecuritypt2", "400", "280", "9", "#ffffff");so.addVariable("movie", "/xlibrary/videos/s1_answering_cybersecurity_questions_102809.flv");so.addVariable("captions", "/xlibrary/videos/s1_answering_cybersecurity_questions_captions_102809.xml");so.addParam("menu", "false");so.write("cybersecuritypt2");
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
October 28, 2009
11:09 am
From Homeland Security Today, on the construction of the new DHS headquarters:

Upwards of 1,000 people descended on the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center Monday to get a first glimpse of the government‘s plans to transform the 157-year old St. Elizabeth‘s mental institution into the new Department of Homeland Security headquarters.

Officials hope the vast new complex will infuse the neighboring Congress Heights area with much-needed economic vitality, while finally consolidating DHS‘s 22 member agencies and departments (about 14,000 employees), which are now flung across 48 locations and in some 100 different buildings.

"We‘re scattered to the four winds. We are trying to harness this, trying to make it a single focus," said Donald Bathurst, DHS‘s Chief Administrative Officer. "It‘s a tremendous opportunity for us to have a campus that will help us focus on our mission."

From the Associated Press, on checkmate for Customs and Border Protection at the Philadelphia airport:

A calculated move to inspect a heavy chessboard paid off for customs officers at Philadelphia International Airport. Federal officials seized more than two pounds of hashish and more than half an ounce of marijuana hidden inside the wooden game board.

Agency spokesman Steve Sapp says the hash was shipped from Tanzania but he declined to say where it was headed. Officials estimated the drugs' street value at about $30,000.

From Federal Computer Week, on the construction of a new cybersecurity center outside Salt Lake City:

The federal government will spend an estimated $1.5 billion to build a new data center in Utah to support intelligence and defense agencies' cybersecurity programs, according to state and federal officials.The National Security Agency will run the center that Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said would cost $1.5 billion to build and employ 4,000 to 5,000 people statewide.

The facility will be built at the Utah National Guard's Camp Williams, near Salt Lake City. Glenn Gaffney, deputy director of national intelligence for collection, announced the project Oct. 23 in Utah and he was joined by elected officials from the state.

"The new data center we are announcing today will support the intelligence community's mission in providing foreign intelligence about cybersecurity threats," Gaffney said.



Leadership Events:
2:30 PM EDT
Secretary Napolitano will deliver remarks about cybersecurity at the Meridian Conference.
The Fairfax Hotel
2100 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C.

Public Events:
9:45 AM EDT
NPPD Under Secretary Rand Beers will deliver opening remarks about collaborative global government cybersecurity efforts at the Meridian Conference.
The Fairfax Hotel
2100 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, D.C.

11:30 AM EDT
CBP Chief Patrol Agent Randy Hill will speak about interagency collaboration on the Southwest border at the IDGA Fifth Annual Border Management Summit.
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C.

11 AM CDT
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Alejandro Mayorkas will participate in a media availability about his vision for the agency and current initiatives.
USCIS District Office
101 West Congress Parkway
Chicago, Ill.

12 PM EDT
CBP Chief Patrol Agent Mike Fisher will speak about U.S. Border Patrol challenges and requirements at the IDGA Fifth Annual Border Management Summit.
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C.

1 PM EDT
NPPD National Cybersecurity Division Acting Director Dr. Peter Fonash will deliver remarks about the shared responsibility of secure cyber practices at the Washtenaw County Internet Safety Awareness Month Event.
1300 Campus Parkway
Saline, Mich.

1:45 PM EDT
CBP Chief Patrol Agents Joseph Mellia and Randy Gallegos will participate in a panel discussion about U.S. Border Patrol challenges and requirements at the Northern border at the IDGA Fifth Annual Border Management Summit.
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C.

2 PM EDT
NPPD Regional Communications Coordinator Joanne Sechrest will deliver remarks at the New Jersey Health Care Association Conference.
Trump Taj Mahal Casino Hotel.
Atlantic City, N.J.
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
October 28, 2009
10:07 am
From Homeland Security Today, on the construction of the new DHS headquarters:


Upwards of 1,000 people descended on the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center Monday to get a first glimpse of the government‘s plans to transform the 157-year old St. Elizabeth‘s mental institution into the new Department of Homeland Security headquarters.


Officials hope the vast new complex will infuse the neighboring Congress Heights area with much-needed economic vitality, while finally consolidating DHS‘s 22 member agencies and departments (about 14,000 employees), which are now flung across 48 locations and in some 100 different buildings.


"We‘re scattered to the four winds. We are trying to harness this, trying to make it a single focus," said Donald Bathurst, DHS‘s Chief Administrative Officer. "It‘s a tremendous opportunity for us to have a campus that will help us focus on our mission."




From the Associated Press, on a drug-filled chessboard discovered at the Philadelphia airport:


A calculated move to inspect a heavy chessboard paid off for customs officers at Philadelphia International Airport. Federal officials seized more than two pounds of hashish and more than half an ounce of marijuana hidden inside the wooden game board.


Agency spokesman Steve Sapp says the hash was shipped from Tanzania but he declined to say where it was headed. Officials estimated the drugs' street value at about $30,000.



From Federal Computer Week, on the construction of a new cybersecurity center outside Salt Lake City:



The federal government will spend an estimated $1.5 billion to build a new data center in Utah to support intelligence and defense agencies' cybersecurity programs, according to state and federal officials. The National Security Agency will run the center that Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said would cost $1.5 billion to build and employ 4,000 to 5,000 people statewide.


The facility will be built at the Utah National Guard's Camp Williams, near Salt Lake City. Glenn Gaffney, deputy director of national intelligence for collection, announced the project Oct. 23 in Utah and he was joined by elected officials from the state.


"The new data center we are announcing today will support the intelligence community's mission in providing foreign intelligence about cybersecurity threats," Gaffney said.

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