The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) oversees test and evaluation (T&E) for DHS major acquisitions, ensuring homeland security technologies are reliable, interoperable and effective. S&T provides T&E oversight for 135 major acquisition programs housed by the DHS components (a $150 billion acquisition enterprise).
Test and Evaluation Role
As an independent T&E organization within DHS, the objective is to help every program plan and execute robust T&E throughout the acquisition lifecycle, bringing credible assessments to all acquisition decisions.
One of the most recent test and evaluation projects completed was with the U. S. Coast Guard (USCG) on the Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutter. The Fast Response Cutter is a new USCG patrol boat capable of deploying independently to conduct missions including port, waterways and coastal security, fishery patrols, search and rescue, and national defense. Named after USCG enlisted heroes, the Fast Response Cutters are replacing the aging Island-class 110-foot patrol boats.
The USCG Fast Response Cutter successfully completed a four-year T&E effort to ensure it met USCG operational needs and performed as desired under operational conditions. Working in concert with the USCG and the U.S. Navy Test and Evaluation Command, S&T developed an innovative test strategy that used robust modeling and simulation and at sea testing to facilitate corrections to the ship design that enhanced the service life of the vessel and reduced long term life cycle costs. The Fast Response Cutter acquisition was a model T&E effort for DHS. The information gained from T&E aids DHS acquisition authorities in making informed acquisition decisions in the future.