SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 10730]
NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT
FOR FISCAL YEAR 2003
OVERSIGHT OF PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED PROGRAMS
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SEVENTH CONGRESS
Page 2 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCMILITARY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SUBCOMMITTEE HEARINGS
RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT, TEST, AND EVALUATION
FEBRUARY 20, 21, 27, AND MARCH 12, 2002
MILITARY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SUBCOMMITTEE
DUNCAN HUNTER, California, Chairman
VAN HILLEARY, Tennessee
W. TODD AKIN, Missouri
CURT WELDON, Pennsylvania
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey
ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
JOHN N. HOSTETTLER, Indiana
SAXBY CHAMBLISS, Georgia
JOE SCARBOROUGH, Florida
WALTER B. JONES, North Carolina
BOB RILEY, Alabama
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCKEN CALVERT, California
ANDER CRENSHAW, Florida
RANDY J. FORBES, Virginia
MARTY MEEHAN, Massachusetts
JOHN SPRATT, South Carolina
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
ROD R. BLAGOJEVICH, Illinois
SILVESTRE REYES, Texas
THOMAS H. ALLEN, Maine
JIM TURNER, Texas
ADAM SMITH, Washington
LORETTA SANCHEZ, California
ROBERT E. ANDREWS, New Jersey
MIKE THOMPSON, California
JOHN B. LARSON, Connecticut
JAMES R. LANGEVIN, Rhode Island
Stephen Ansley, Professional Staff Member
Jean D. Reed, Professional Staff Member
Robert Lautrup, Professional Staff Member
Harry Cartland, Professional Staff Member
Katherine Gordon, Staff Assistant
C O N T E N T S
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CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
Thursday, February 21, 2002, Fiscal Year 2003 National Defense Authorization ActResearch and Development in Support of the War on Terrorism. ''A Regional Perspective Homeland Defense''
Thursday, February 21, 2002
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2002
NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTRESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT IN SUPPORT OF THE WAR ON TERRORISM: ''A REGIONAL PERSPECTIVE HOMELAND DEFENSE''
STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Hunter, Hon. Duncan, a Representative from California, Chairman, Military Procurement Subcommittee
Marburger, Hon. John, Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy and Science Advisor to the President
Sega, Hon. Ronald, Director, Defense Research and Engineering; Accompanied by Dr. Jane (Zan) Alexander, Deputy Director of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, DARPA
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Eberle, Daniel, Director, San Diego County Office of Disaster Preparedness
Wear, Byron, San Diego City Council District 2
Fennessy, Brian, Air Operations Coordinator, San Diego Fire Department
Blocker, Paul, Deputy Chief, Border Patrol, San Diego Sector
Adele, Fasano, San Diego District, Immigration and Naturalization Service
Ahern, Jayson, Director of Field Operations, Southern California Customs Management Center
Johnson, Rear Adm. James, Commander, Naval Medical Center
Wood, Steven C., San Diego Metropolitan Medical Response Systems
Thiemens, Mark, Dean of Physical Sciences Department, University of California at San Diego
Ehrlich, Sanford, the Qualcomm Executive Director of Entrepreneurship, San Diego State University
Suarez, Omero, President, San Diego-Imperial Counties Community Colleges Association
Siel, Carl, Director of Homeland Security, SPAWAR
Rao, Ramesh R., Director, San Diego Division, California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology, University of California, San Diego
Rockwood, Stephen PhD, Director and Executive Vice President, Science Applications International Corporation
Sridhar, Kathy, President, San Diego Chapter, National Defense Industrial Association, and President, Indus Technologies
Weeks, Deanna, President and Chief Executive Officer, East County Economic Development Consortium
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Burnett, Lowell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Quantum Magnetics, Inc.
Sheffer, Thomas J., President and Chief Executive Officer, San Diego Defense and Technology Consortium
White, Randy, Chief Executive Officer, Nanogen, Inc.
Fasano, Adele J.
Johnson, Rear Adm. James
Rao, Ramesh R.
Rockwood, Stephen PhD
Sega, Hon. Ronald
Sheffer, Thomas J.
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCWhite, Randy
Wood, Steven C.
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[There were no Documents submitted for the Record.]
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[There were no Questions and Answers submitted for Record.]
HEARING ON RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT IN SUPPORT OF THE WAR ON TERRORISM: ''A REGIONAL PERSPECTIVE ON HOMELAND DEFENSE''
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Military Research and Development Subcommittee,
Washington, DC, Thursday, February 21, 2002.
The Subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 9:10 a.m., in El Cajon City Council Building, San Diego, California, Hon. Duncan Hunter (Chairman of the Subcommittee) presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. DUNCAN HUNTER, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM CALIFORNIA, CHAIRMAN, MILITARY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SUBCOMMITTEE
Page 8 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. The Subcommittee will come to order.
Today the Military Research and Development Subcommittee meets to receive testimony from administration officials and representatives from the local disaster preparedness/emergency response, medical and research and development communities from the San Diego area on requirements for homeland defense and research and development support to the war on terrorism.
We are going to hear from three panels of witnesses. In the first we are pleased to have the science advisor to President Bush, Dr. John Marburger, Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Dr. Ron Sega, Director of Defense Research and Engineering, who will address the issues of research and development support to homeland defense and the war on terrorism.
Our second panel, representing local disaster/emergency preparedness, medical and law enforcement communities, will provide a regional perspective on their capabilities to respond to natural disaster or terrorist incident. They will be followed by a panel representing the San Diego area research and development communityacademia, information technology, biological technology, defense industry, defense associations and small businesswho will discuss the contributions that can and are being made by their sectors of the research and development community to the improvements and capabilities to respond to natural disaster homeland defense and the war on terrorism.
Even before the catastrophic events of the coordinated terrorist attacks of September 11 against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the threat posed by terrorism, particularly that involving the potential for terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction, was a growing national security and law enforcement concern. The attacks of September 11 brought renewed urgency to counter the terrorist threat, both abroad and in the United States.
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Our Nation, led by the President and supported by Congress and the American people, is engaged in a war on terrorism, both abroad and at home. The attacks in New York and Washington and the anthrax sent through the mail have brought home to all Americans the reality of the threat and the need for defense of our homeland with the vividness that we have not seen since the early days of World War II. To address this threat the President has established an Office of Homeland Defense under Governor Tom Ridge to coordinate at the interagency level overall Federal activities for defense of the American homeland. We wish him well in this difficult task.
Just as it was a key element of the success of U.S. Forces in the Cold War and the Gulf War and everywhere in the world that U.S. Forces are deployed and fight today, research and development is a key element in ensuring home defense and our capabilities on the war on terrorism. Dr. John Marburger and Dr. Ron Sega will address the measures that are being taken in the administration to focus Federal research and development programs to rapidly identify and deploy advanced technologies for our Armed Forces and for the Nation as a whole.
Gentlemen, welcome, we look forward to your testimony, and before we begin I want to turn to my distinguished colleague, who is also a member of the Armed Services Committee and has given a great deal of effort in this area and who is helping to make these hearings in San Diego a reality, Susan Davis.
Mrs. DAVIS. Thank you very much, Chairman Hunter, and I appreciate your time and the time of the committee staff in bringing this all together. I just want to join with you as well in welcoming our distinguished witnesses today and thank you for holding the hearing, very important in our area, about our Nation's research and development effort to combat terrorism.
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Although our Nation's respective military and law enforcement communities have performed magnificently during the past several months, the unforgettable events of September 11 still weigh heavily on the collective national conscience. Despite much success here at home and abroad, in many respects a dark cloud still hangs over our heads. To remove this cloud our present task, and indeed our challenge, now is to more efficiently marshal our Nation's resources and bring to bear a more effective approach not only in support of the present day effort, not only in support of this present day effort, but also in deterring another catastrophic event from occurring in the future.
Dr. Sega, Dr. Marburger, your collective work since the September attacks has been admirable, particularly with regard to the success of the Defense Department's Combating Terrorism Task Force, and it is my hope that today's hearing will build on your success and lay a solid foundation for evaluating and integrating future antiterrorism and homeland security proposals.
At a recent Chamber of Commerce seminar on homeland security I learned about the proposal to create here in San Diego a regionwide laboratory for evaluating and integrating new homeland security recommendations. The location of such a center in San Diego makes sense, as the area is home to the Nation's Navy Space and Naval War Systems Command, SPAWAR, numerous industry technology centers, renowned academic resources and a host of other government activities brought here because of the region's unique position alongside an international border and commercial seaport. Most important, such a regionwide laboratory can serve as a model national test for improving our understanding, our cooperation and multi-disciplinary approach to combating terrorism. A comprehensive national homeland strategy is necessary, and I believe San Diego's resources and capabilities can help lead the way.
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Fortunately, in our audience today is Mr. Carl Siel, SPAWAR's Director of Homeland Security. Mr. Chairman, if I may, I would like to recognize him at this time and ask unanimous consent that his counsel be allowed and in fact encouraged during the question and answer period following the official submission of testimony, and I believe that would be in the second panel. It is my hope that we can all benefit from the extensive and thorough dialog on this issue.
Mr. Chairman, I stand with you in your effort to improve our Nation's ability to combat any threat to America's interests. I recognize that the threat of terrorism and the challenge of enhancing homeland security require a unique and highly cooperative Federal/non-Federal response. It is my hope that we may continue to work together in this endeavor and bring to the attention of the proper authorities the unique attributes and capabilities of the San Diego area.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I look forward to today's presentations.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you very much, Susan. And I wanted to mention also, Dr. Sega is accompanied by Dr. Zan Alexander, Deputy Director of DARPA, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and Dr. Tom Hopkins, Director of Technology Development, Defense Threat Reduction Agency. I thank you also for being with us.
Gentlemen, the floor is yours.
Page 12 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSTATEMENT OF THE HON. JOHN MARBURGER, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY POLICY AND SCIENCE ADVISOR TO THE PRESIDENT
Mr. MARBURGER. Thank you. I will begin. Good morning, Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee. I am very pleased to have this opportunity to testify today on the role of research and development in support of the war on terrorism.
President Bush is determined to win this war on terrorism, and he is mobilizing the considerable resources of this Nation to that end. He is doing this through established mechanisms of American government and he is drawing upon much previous work that prepared us for this struggle. Many of the means required for a war against terrorism were already available to us and only needed to be enlisted in a systematic way to support the effort. This readiness is most visible in the technologies now in play in the war now beyond our borders. But significant readiness of homeland technology is also apparent, though not yet fully implemented and mobilized. We are not starting from scratch in the technology of homeland defense. We have much relevant technology and the challenge is to deploy it effectively.
Science does indeed have much to offer in this war, and for 5 months in my new capacity as Presidential Science Advisor I have been urging America's science organizations and higher education institutions to respond to the President's call, and they are doing so with gratifying enthusiasm.
Let me say a word about the President's R&D budget. The terrorist attacks on September 11 dramatically changed the context for the President's budget. This budget addresses three primary goals, winning the war on terrorism, protecting the homeland and reviving our economy. Recognizing that science must play a role in these priorities, the President provides for an unprecedented level of investment in Federal R&D.
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This is the first time in history that a President has requested an R&D budget greater than $100 billion. The precise figure is 111.8 billion, up 8 percent overall from fiscal year 2002. This is the largest requested increase in research and development in a Federal budget for over a decade. The war against terrorism at home and abroad figures prominently in the R&D budget this year. R&D budget funding for homeland security in combating terrorism, including protecting critical infrastructure, increases from nearly 1 billion in fiscal year 2002 to an estimated 3 billion in the budget proposal for fiscal year 2003. Of this, about 2.4 billion is associated with bioterrorism.
Let me give some more details. Approximately 1.7 billion is being requested for NIH to perform fundamental research leading to the development of rapid identification and monitoring technologies, diagnostic tests, new vaccines and therapeutics, including an improved anthrax vaccine.
Mr. HUNTER. What was that figure again?
Mr. MARBURGER. 1.7 billion of the funds. The NIH budget in fiscal year 2003 is being increased by $3.9 billion, fulfilling the President's commitment to double that budget from 1998 levels by fiscal year 2003. So 1.7 billion of that is being requested for NIH to perform this bioterrorism-oriented research.
An additional 49 million would be provided to FDA for expedited research and drug approval. The Department of Defense will dedicate 420 million to ensure rapid detection of biological agents, devise countermeasures to their use and to study and model the technology and tactics of bioterrorists.
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The Environmental Protection Agency will receive 75 million to develop improved techniques and procedures for coping with biological and chemical incidents.
Apart from bioterrorism, approximately 300 million is being spent on cyber security R&D at the Department of Defense. Research and development efforts at the Department of Energy and DOD are developing improved techniques for detecting radiological materials, for example, in the area of radiological warfare, prevention and response.
Approximately 14 million is being requested for R&D for medical countermeasures, training and advisory capability, and another 120 million is requested for DOD research in biowarfare countermeasures.
Well, these are big budget figures. There are a lot of agencies involved, Mr. Chairman, and it is necessary to have coordinating mechanisms to make sure these funds are expended wisely. My office, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, has executive and legislative mandates to coordinate Federal science and technology activities. We are consequently in a position to call on organizations, internal and external to the Federal Government, as we provide support to the Office of Homeland Security and other offices responsible for aspects of this war against terrorism.
My office has been asked to fill the research and development component for the Office of Homeland Security for the time being as it starts up. OSTP has a history of coordinating research and development in this area, primarily through our efforts in preparedness against weapons of mass destruction and critical infrastructure protection. We have been focusing our attention on near term issues, such as mail security, baggage screening, border security technology, data mining and microbial pathogen sequencing. But we are also taking steps to identify long-term R&D opportunities that will help the United States win the war against terrorism.
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Under the structure of the National Science Technology Council, I have established an interagency anti-terrorism task force with several working groups to address broad categories of issues. These are coordinating groups, as I will explain in a moment.
There are four working groups that focus on biological and chemical agents, on radiological, nuclear and conventional detection and response, on the protection of vulnerable systems and social, behavioral and education issues. We established also a rapid response team coordinated by my office as a fifth working group to serve as an action-oriented team to grapple with emergency needs for technical expertise that may arise. These groups are working to create R&D guidance for the next fiscal year budget, the fiscal year 2004 President's budget, and beyond. They and their predecessor organizations under the Preparedness Against Weapons of Mass Destruction Presidential Coordinating Council were actively involved in the guidance that went into the fiscal year 2003 budget preparation.
Congress has mandated that the Office of Science and Technology Policy establish partnerships across Federal, State and local levels and foster public-private partnerships in general. In this role its very broad coordinating role may be of special value in meeting the diverse challenges of homeland security. OSTP does not play an operational role that would compete with other agencies, and we do not duplicate agency expertise. Rather, we act as coordinators and recruiters of technical expertise in the service of governmental policymakers and line managers. Because of our historical cross-cutting role we can do this very rapidly and efficiently.
During my brief tenure as Director of OSTP, I have endeavored to grasp the scope of this volunteered assistance and to shape the Federal interface, to mobilize it effectively in support of the Nation's war against terrorism. To this end, I have been meeting with industry associations, nonprofit groups, umbrella organizations for universities and scientific societies and the national academies, National Academy of Science, Engineering and the Institute of Medicine. Our office has established well-defined relationships with these entities to receive and provide guidance to their own antiterrorism projects and initiatives. One of the functions we perform is to direct Office of Assistance to appropriate agencies and particularly to the various components of the Department of Defense.
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Mr. Chairman, science and engineering have critical roles to play on the war against terrorism. Additionally we will need new and improved tools to recover facilities from those same threats. Many cases call for a systems approach rather than simply perfection of a single device.
I have been impressed by the importance that the President and his senior staff place on science and technology in this war effort. I see this in the questions they ask and the receptivity to the advice offered. The President himself has undertaken to learn technical details on important issues. This is not to say that science dominates decision making, but at the highest levels of the U.S. Government there is an acknowledged need for good science and an appreciation for the needs of research and development and especially in this kind of fight against terrorism.
So, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I hope that this very brief, very high level overview conveys to you the flavor of the extent of this administration's commitment to advancing research and development in support of the war on terrorism. I personally appreciate the longstanding bipartisan support of this committee for the Office of Science and Technology Policy and for the science and technology research enterprise, and I will be glad to respond to questions.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you very much, and we will have Dr. Sega give his testimony and then we will go to questions.
STATEMENT OF THE HON. RONALD SEGA, DIRECTOR, DEFENSE RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING; ACCOMPANIED BY DR. JANE (ZAN) ALEXANDER, DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF DEFENSE ADVANCED RESEARCH PROJECTS AGENCY, DARPA
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Mr. SEGA. I thank you, Chairman Hunter and Congresswoman Davis. I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today to address the topic of research and development and support on the war on terrorism. I have prepared a formal statement that I would like submitted for the record.
[The information referred to can be found in the appendix.]
Mr. HUNTER. Without objection, and in fact all written statements will be taken into the record.
Mr. SEGA. I also would like to present some brief remarks and also introduce one additional member of my team, Admiral Jay Cohen.
Mr. HUNTER. He has been introduced here before. Let me tell you we are very happy to have Jay with us, and I think this is a decision that is especially good because we had great interchange yesterday when we talked about the Navy and Marine Corps of the future with Jay and the rest of the Navy leadership on R&D and with the domestic sector. And I think having him in both the hearings lends a common thread to these two somewhat related subjects.
So thanks a lot. To a large degree the security of the U.S. Navy in San Diego is a very important part of homeland defense. A lot of the things we talked about yesterday is relevant to this panel. So thanks for dragging Jay along.
Page 18 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SEGA. And, Mr. Chairman, he is also asking to expand his role to represent all services, including of course the United States Navy.
Mr. HUNTER. We called the Army and Marine Corps and Air Force, took a vote, and I think it is 3 to 1. They said it was okay. We are not going to tell you who the dissenter was.
Mr. SEGA. Before discussing the combating terrorism efforts I would like to briefly give an overview of what we are doing in the research and development area in the Department of Defense. Mainly the capabilities that we are able to bring to bear quickly were the result of a strong science and technology base established over many years. We believe it is important to maintain that base and to look at its alignment in our investments in S&T with the goals of the Department, and in particular we are looking at the Quadrennial Defense Review and a capabilities-based approach for our future.
If you look at the increased investment, we are looking at transformation, joint work and a particular focus on combating terrorism for our future direction, our challenge, along with development of the technologies and technology transitionand we will speak to that briefly as we go throughas well as in the future a strong workforce and an infrastructure of our DOD laboratories and partnerships that are necessary with industry and other government agencies and universities.
Combating terrorism and technologies were a key component of our program prior to the attack on September 11. And many programs were in place but we took a closer look at those by way of establishing a task force, a DOD Combating Terrorism Technology Task Force, on September 19. It was chaired by Dr. Tom Hopkins and included the leadership and technology of the services and agencies. By September 21, 2 days later, they identified 150 technologies that were candidates for further development and potentially fielding them in the very near term. We looked at those technologies in three time frames, roughly 1 month, roughly a year and then 5 years, then further scrubbed that list of 150 down to approximately 60 the next week and, with collaboration of the joint staff, brought that list still further down to roughly 2 dozen that were needed in the eyes of the combatant commanders and those that work in homeland security.
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It is a very rapid response. That group met twice a week throughout the end of calendar year fiscal year 2001. Three areas were accelerated on the night of the second day. Those include the nuclear quadrupole resonance work developed and initiated by the Naval Research Laboratory, and a second I would like to highlight is thermobaric weapons. In the case of thermobaric weapons, we were at the chemistry state.
Mr. HUNTER. Why don't you talk about thermobaric weapons a little bit and tell us what they do?
Mr. SEGA. It is an energetic explosive that has the properties in enclosed structures in providing enhanced pressure and temperature at greater length of distance, for example, in a tunnel structure. Some work had been done earlier outside the United States, in Russia for example. The work was being done in the United States in the chemistry at Indian Head with facilities for the U.S. Navy. With the collaboration with the scientists and engineers at the Defense Department's Threat Reduction Agency and the U.S. Air Force, they brought together a program to consolidate the development of this chemistry in October and doing the modeling, the simulation work in the chemistry of the thermobaric explosive on the bench to an identification of five potential candidates. One was selected at the end of October. The series of tests in a bomb body called a BLU109 was done in Nevada in the month of November, including the static tests on November 17. This compared to this explosive option versus the standard Tritinol mix that was currently used in the BLU109s. Following that static test a full outflight test program was built and successfully completed on December 14 from an F15 Eagle with a laser guided package on the front of it, a fully integrated system with suggested fusing based on relative insensitivity of the explosive mix, and the test was 100 percent successful on December 14.
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That was a program that went from basic chemistry to weapon system in less than 90 days, and the certification followed just a few days later. So it is an example of we can work together and we can do things quickly. And some of these projects that add tremendous value are not anticipated in the beginning of a budget cycle. So we would ask as we look at what things we can do to take advantage of technology we have available to meet the needs of a current situation, whether it be the war on terror or technology that has developed so rapidly that we didn't anticipate at the beginning of a budget cycle. I believe that the Thermobaric Weapons Development Program is an example of how we can and should do those technology transitions in the future.
Additional work by the Combating Terrorism and Technology Task Force involved four working groups in deterrence, in indications in warning, survivability and denial, consequence management and recovery, and attribution and retaliation. These four groups identified near-term, mid-term and longer term technologies, those that would be again applicable with inside of 1 year, those that would influence our fiscal year 2002 and 2003 budget decisions, the mid-term, and those that would be wise to engage in a 5-year period.
They also serve as a board of directors, if you will, for a Broad Area Announcement that was sent out in October with a due date of December 23. The BAA sought ideas in areas of combating terrorism, location and defeat of hard to difficult targets, protracted operations in remote areas and countermeasures to weapons of mass destruction. It solicited proposals and good ideas from individuals through large corporations. All were encouraged to apply. We received approximately 12,500 submitted proposals during this period of time. We are in the process of evaluating those proposals and we are looking at a follow-on Broad Area Announcement. It is important for us to reach out and get the best ideas from all sectors. So that I believe is an avenue that we will continue to pursue.
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Mr. HUNTER. Pretty remarkable response.
Mr. SEGA. It sure is. And we believe it is an important one. We have ongoing programs in those areas, but innovation is absolutely welcome and needed in the Department of Defense.
Around October, the request came from Dr. Jack Marburger and the Office of Science Technology Policy to bring together the various organizations in government to look at combating terrorism and at an early meeting a particular problem with anthrax and the postal service. We have been a good partner to that interagency working group from day one and following that meeting volunteered to look at anthrax and the ability of radiation to provide sanitizing of mail. And at our AFRRI facility, which is the Armed Forces Radiobiological Research Institute, we undertook the project of developing kill curves for anthrax with electrons, x-rays and gamma sources, an area that is a common interest to the Department of Defense, in this case, the United States Postal Service, and that is one example that we can and should collaborate.
The additional work groups that were described by Dr. Marburger also has representation from the Department of Defense and particularly for those members of the Combating Terrorism and Technology Task Force that have had considerable discussion and understanding of issues surrounding those areas. So we were proud to be able to work on the national effort and appreciate the leadership of Dr. Marburger.
The next month found us at a breakfast meeting under your leadership, Chairman Hunter, when 18 Members of the House of Representatives and I think members from the professional staff of the House attended a meeting to look at the work being done by the Combating Terrorism and Technology Task Force. I think that is an important venue to keep each other informed of what we can and should be doing together, and we look forward I believe to the next scheduled breakfast meeting.
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Mr. HUNTER. We will be serving bagels again.
Mr. SEGA. Appreciate that.
Mr. HUNTER. Let me highlight, that was a good meeting. We started to do a few of these informal meetings, the 8 in the morning meetings like thatyours was one of the first onesrather than formal hearings, and we found that that brings a lot of Members and they are able to ask a lot of questions in less than a formal way and I think they liked that. We got a pretty good turnout. We had 10 or 15 Members.
Mr. SEGA. Sure did. And the one request was next time we should have it longer. So it was a very good, important meeting.
Let me also highlight one technology that has its origin I believe here in the San Diego area, and this was an effort to look at closed containers and image these and go beyond x-rays to gamma rays where the resolution could be higher using either Cobalt 60 sources or CZ 137 sources, and this is the SCIC that had some funding from the Technical Support Working Group that is also leading this Broad Area Announcement review. The system, the Vehicle and Cargo Inspection System, and there is a variant called the Military Mobile Vehicle and Cargo Inspection System, and one of those has been deployed late last year in the Kosovo area. And we are looking at additional use of that kind of technology for examination of having closed structures.
I believe I will conclude so we have time to discuss many of these issues. I believe it is very important we work with Congress to ensure a strong and stable and balanced DOD research and development program. The program must also provide the flexibility to respond quickly to unanticipated events such as those of September 11 and to take advantage of the rapid changes in technology.
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I look forward to your active support as we continue with the war on terrorism, the transformation of the Department of Defense, and your participation as we work together to secure American freedom and prosperity. Thank you very much for your support.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Sega can be found in the Appendix on page ?.]
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you very much, Dr. Sega. And there are other witnesses who are going to testify or are you folks here in supportive rolesproactive roles? And how about the representative for all the military services?
Admiral COHEN. I am just honored to be here.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you, Jay. Let me just start out with a practical question here. We have the major land border here just a few miles to the south of us, which starts out at the coast and goes into rolling hills here in the area between San Diego, Tijuana and ultimately breaks into some pretty steep back country canyons as you go to the east, easy areas to infiltrate.
We had at one time massive smuggling in this area, which was considered the primary smugglers corridor for cocaine and illegal aliens coming into this country, and we have had major border battles in parts of the area that were known as No Man's Land, where literally gunfire bursts out on any given night of the week. Very uncontrolled area. We ultimately built a fence and while we had people conferencing furiously about the border problems we ended up doing something practical, and that was building a fence. We built a steel fence right on the border and then pulling back about 50 yards or so we built a major fence with an overhang to it that is very difficult to climb. And we totally eliminated the drug drive-throughs and we eliminated the 10 or so murders that occurred annually in that No Man's Land between San Diego and Tijuana. So reviewing that, and we are still trying to get some of the fence finished and if we can convince some of the tree huggers that it is kind of nice not to have cocaine coming through our borders, we will get the last of the fence finished within a couple of years. But the lesson there is sometimes you have to do practical things and you have doneobviously you have a number of very creative people in the homeland defense area here working on a number of aspects of this problem. And lots of bright folks, good organization.
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But you know last time I was down at the border and watching the cargo containers come throughI believe at Otay Mesa some 2400 or so containers come through a day from all over the worldcome through the land border. We inspect about 2 percent of those or 3 percent of those. They are pulled out on an exceptions basis and they go throughthe last timewe may have another x-ray machine down there, Susan, but the last time I was there they have the big x-ray machine that looks like a car wash the cargo container drives through, and matter of fact it takes about the same time as a car wash, 3 or 4 minutes, and it goes through. Except for those 2 or 3 percent that are inspected, we have the same inspection type or same inspection technology that cavemen had. We have a dog. And you line up these trucks by the hundreds and we trot a dog along the line of trucks and if the dog doesn't stop and bark we wave all the trucks through.
So we have all the king's horses and king's men working on homeland securitylots of conferences, lots of work and I know we are doing good researchbut my question is first with respect to the border and the ability to know what is coming across the border, I think that is a primary goal. It is almost a military objective, know what is coming in. The commission'sthe last commission there on terrorism, the scenario they depicted was a cargo container coming into this country with a nuclear system aboard. And I believe in their scenario it came in through Long Beach in one of the seaborne cargo lifts and was transported intermodally to Chicago or another eastern city and detonated there. So I think it is very important to know what is coming across the border and have at least that primary inspection; i.e., the x-ray machine.
What do you think? I would like to ask Dr. Marburger and Dr. Sega, what do you think? Do you think that is an important and critical goal? And if we have the ability to buy these machines, should we buy them and shouldn't we dedicate enough people to it so that we can know with respect to cargo what is coming in the country in the same way that when we have carry-on baggage in the airport we don't say we are going to inspect one out of 100 bags coming through. We inspect them all. You think that is an important goal? Do you think that is one we should work to over a long period of time or do you think we should try to work to it as an exigency, as an emergency and try to get it accomplished as soon as possible?
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Mr. MARBURGER. Mr. Chairman, I believe it is important to solve that problem as soon as possible. Possible may take more than a few weeks. Technology that is available is expensive. It doesn't work in all cases for all types of containers and all the sorts of things that you would like to look at, and this is an area where technology is needed and where people need to do some more studying.
Mr. HUNTER. With respect to these trucks coming through at the ports of entry, it does handle all the trucks. I think you have two types. You have the big car wash type that it drives through and then you got the one that has the long rod apparatus that is scanned over the body of the container. But we have those. A couple of companies make them. And we now have them in some of our military operations because we have cargo coming into bases. So we did an estimate. We think it is going to cost 250 million bucks if you wanted to have enough machines to do 100 percent at all the borders, probably 250 million, maybe more.
Do you think we should have that as a near term goal? And I think, Dr. Sega, you mentioned when you divided up the deliverables that you wanted to get from various sectors of the scientific community you had the near-term, mid-term and long-term. You have got those thousands of containers coming into this country every day. So while we have great conferences and great hearings, that problem is not being addressed at a rapid pace.
Mr. MARBURGER. The technology that is available, x-ray technology, doesn't see everything that you would like to find.
Mr. HUNTER. It sees more than the German shepherd that is down there.
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Mr. MARBURGER. Quite possible. One of the keys to the border issue is going to be to try to take the pressure off of the point of crossing itself and to implement technologies that can certify that latent vehicles have been inspected and are clean and make sure that those are the vehicles that are coming across the border. There are a number of opportunities for taking the pressure off and reducing the flow of vehicles that are suspect or that need to be screened. And I think this is an example of a system that needs a lot more attention. There is no question that innovation in scanning and detection capabilities will help, but the throughput of these systems is still quite low, as you point out. It is going to take a long time to have enough of these devices to be available to scan all the trucks.
Mr. SEGA. The technologies that are being developed in the near-term, mid-term and long-term, part of our work is advancing our ability to monitor and detect perimeters, whether they be perimeters of bases or, as you suggest, perimeters of our Nation. And we haveI would like to have Dr. Tom Hopkins follow up with the rationale of how we looked at the technology that will be available mid-term, the near-term, mid-term and long-term. It involves a maturation of the technology as well as a look at the threat reduction and the prioritization of reducing that threat based on the maturation of the technology, and also have it followed by Dr. Zan Alexander in terms of some of the programs that DARPA is currently working through, not only in detection but also looking at some of the models that may help us characterize potential terrorists and their behavior as we go across borders.
I believe that we can and should work toward this. And the question is the risk. As Dr. Marburger pointed out, if we are looking at explosives in metal types of containers, x-ray types of systems work quite well. There are other types of agents that is difficult to detect in the type of system that would be using x-rays or gamma rays, for example. But we need to look at a plan of integrating various sensor systems to different potential threats across the boundaries.
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Mr. HUNTER. Let me go briefly back to that point you just made, because we had a great hearing yesterday and one of the points that I think was made by both industry and the Navy was that you don't want to live under the old adage that you don't do anything until you can do everything so you do nothing. And the idea was the new thing in this that is I think coming in vogue with a lot of military systems is to get stuff into the field. We had a great example. We had the company who builds the Predator here yesterday and Jay Cohen mentioned that the Predator had failed one of its tests but they had to have it in Bosnia, so we got it over there and then the warfighter said this machine is great, send us more. And we then continued to make improvements. But the point is we got something out there. Now I don't care what machines are used or what company they use or where they are made, but it makes sense to me that whatever we put out there with a machineand the machines we have gotthere are pretty good machines. They are considered to beat least the Customs folks thought they were very effective in what they do, and they have some limitations because you are able to shield various substances. But it is a lot more effective than that German shepherd that they trot along that line of 250 trucks and wave them all through.
Don't you agree that this idea of get something in the field, spiral development; that is, get something out there and then improve it or replace it with something else or maybe have, as we are trying to fieldlet us say we are trying to field enough machines to be able to inspect every piece of every major container that comes in, just drive it by and scan it, maybe that would pick up the last of the acquisition tranches, so maybe the last 20 percent or 30 percent or 40 percent of the machines going in would be perhaps a different type or better. But nonetheless I think it is important to get something out there. Don't you thinkand there are so many areas, not just border protection, but that is why I related this to the practicality of what we finally did with defense. We had tons of conferences and we decided to build something. We discovered that cars can't climb over a 10-foot fence. They shocked us but they can't. And so we stopped all the drive-through drug stuff.
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So by the same token it is nice to get something out there. And one thing I am worried about is we are going to build a response bureaucracy to terrorism that is just that. It is a lot of good talking. It is a lot of bright minds and lots of paper and good concepts which end up with stuff getting fielded down the line. I am impressed with the fact that you guys came up with the deliverables list. So I want to let you know I think that is an excellent thing. I think having something to inspect stuff at the border is critical right now.
Mr. SEGA. I believe the approach you have outlined and the approach that we are engaged in at the Department of Defense are nearly identical. As we look at a capabilities-based approach, that is a path, a journey toward a capability. You don't achieve, for example, information security on a certain day. Why? Because the next day you have to be there as well. So you continue to push forward. In the case of thermobaric explosive mix that we tested, it is not the optimum but it is one that is the best at this time and we are continuing to work in this laboratory to continue to optimize that situation.
Mr. HUNTER. Exactly. That example, that thermobaric example is like the examples we talked about yesterday in the military sector where we built things quickly because we had an emergency and we had to. And yet if you didn't have the emergency, those things would still be going through phase 2 in development. So we learned that emergencies move us to do better in terms of getting things in the field than standard operating procedure. And so my point is I think this is an emergency. There are not an awful lot of guns going off right now, but if we are 3, 4, 5 years down the line from 9/11 and we pick up a paper and see how many cargo containers are we scanning now coming into this country, what we were scanning on 9/11, well, it was 2 percent. Where are we at now? 2 1/2 percent. That is going to be a tragedy.
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So I would hope that at the same time that you are moving ahead with technologies and you do have deliverables that you are working on here that you take some of these major goals and try to press forward and maybe some of the technology also to be sure to get these things in these places, because in talking to the port directors around the country space is a problem. It is easier to have the German shepherd trot by them on the road and just wave them through than it is to pull them over and have enough stations where you can scan them. But I think we are going to have to do that and I think we are going to have to pull personnel from other areas to do it.
Mr. MARBURGER. Let me just add I am glad you brought up that question of implementation because that is exactly the kind of thing I had in mind in the beginning where just having the technology isn't enough. You have to have the implementation system and a lot of cleverness is going to have to go into how to deploy these things. So at a border crossing, for example, if you want to add a number of these scanners in parallel then you have to build new buildings and new roads and have to acquire land and so forth.
So there is a complexity here that does need to be addressed, and I think that is why interagency efforts and just a lot of cooperation is going to be required to get these things done.
Mr. SEGA. If we can have some comments from the folks on the team.
Ms. ALEXANDER. There were some lessons that DARPA learned when the Secretary of Defense asked us to look at airport security, not something that you would normally ask a defense agency to do. But when we went through that, we looked at all kinds of technologies that could be applied to screening and looking for the weapons of mass destruction that we are all worried about. The key lesson we learned was that no technology is perfect and is not likely to be in the near term. So you needed to have a strategy embedded in it. And one of the things was the time element. It turns out right now we are treating everything as a point of screening, so I have only a few minutes that I can interact with the cargo crossing the border or with the passenger going through the airline screening booth. The thing is that those people have been in progress for a long time and so we probably should use the information technologies that we have and the knowledge we have about standard shipments and things like that so that we can concentrate the resources we have on the ones that are suspect. So if there is a routine shipment, for example, the Windsor, Canada bridge, where a lot of the parts come across from Canada into the manufacturing in Detroit, you know what that standard is and know what it looks like. And you can probably if you have a bonded relationshiphere technology comes in, how do I seal a container, how do I track that shipment so I know that it didn't get diverted. But then I don't need to spend my precious resources of the few screeners that we have, both trained people and equipment, against the things that are sort of normal. So I can do a combination of the technology as well as applying information technologies to bring the problem into something that we can deal with today as we build up the additional capabilities.
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That may also address part of your problem of how do I have the space, because I now don't need to screen 100 percent of the cargo, maybe I need to screen 40 percent or, if we keep working that problem, maybe we can get down to that 10 percent that is the most suspect. So I think it is a combination.
Mr. HUNTER. I would accept the combination if you could tell me that we had 100 percent of the containers had some guarantee; that is, they either came from a very secure place that had in-house inspectionsand we talked to the Canadian legislators, for example, about their suppliers to the American auto industry and how they think this could be packaged. So if you add a combination of that plus the screeners for the wildcards at the border, I would be happy.
What I'm afraid of is that we really don't have a commitment to do that. What we have done is we have had a lot of great talks about how we are going to put this system in place and have some surety of what you might call the more secure origins. But we talked about that at least when the Canadian delegation was in to see us last week and I don't think anything was fixed at that point.
But my point is this is like a military system. If you are going to buy this equipment, that is a big work order. Right. We figured several hundred million dollars, about 250 million. It may be more. I think these things cost between a million and a million five for the screeners, but we are going to have to get started. So I would hope along with your development, because you folks got the most creative folks in the world working these problems, one thing you do is you push the administration to deploy and to have commitments and goals and to follow those commitments and goals.
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So thank you very much. And, Susan, do you have some questions?
Mrs. DAVIS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate you all being here. You underscored and I think particularly, Dr. Marburger, you underscored the importance of coordination and the role that your office has been playing vis-a-vis homeland security and defense. And I know a lot of folks here today have been interested in getting some attention for their technologies. We are going to be discussing, I think, the regional question with the next panel.
Could you help us understand that coordination better? What is required from a policy point of view? Is there something that Congress should be doing in that realm? Are we dealing often with cultural issues and jurisdictional issues? What makes it crazy in trying to get at that problem and how can we not coordinate it to death and yet at the same time get something moving so people have somewhere to go?
Mr. MARBURGER. Well, first of all, most of the agencies that have a role to play in technologies associated with homeland security, let's say, already have begun to frame programs. There are program officers that are available to talk with people who want to do something. And if they don't know where to go they often come to my office or Governor Ridge's office and he sends them over to me and I send them to Ron or Zan. So my office plays a very high level clearinghouse role. We evaluate these proposals very quickly and send them out to the right agency that tends to own that issue. And very often it is Department of Defense or someplace like this because they have well-defined programs.
Page 32 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Another agency that has its act together pretty well and this is the Department of Energy, which has tremendous capabilities, as I am sure you are aware. There are a number of important Department of Energy laboratories, for example, in this area. And we try to get those proposals out to the agencies that own the issues.
In many cases, there are contractors, vendors, researchers and investigators that have ideas that are working on those ideas today, because they have contacted the program officers and the people that they ordinarily work with and the agencies that support their work and said, I have this idea, what should I do with it, and they get the information. There is already a lot of coordination because the agencies who have been working together on similar issues for years, not necessarily many years. But certainly in the recent past there has been an acknowledgment of common problem areas and who owns what part of them within the Federal Government. So the mechanisms of coordination from my perspective, interagency, start with the National Science and Technology Council, which is a set of Cabinet level officers that bless interagency working groups that my office staffs and we work together, and we have been meeting together certainly since 9/11 very intensively. And working groups are meeting as we speak to work through these issues, establish ownership and try to get the suggestions out to the right place as fast as possible.
So there are coordinating mechanisms. They have been working for a long time. The agencies generally know what to do and I think they are moving along.
You asked me what gives me a headache. Well, there are so many people that want to help and it is really hard to find the right things for every one of them to do. But with time I think there will be something for everyone.
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Mr. SEGA. I think Dr. Hopkins can shed some light on a specific set of experiences he has had chairing the Combating Terrorism and Technology Task Force.
Mr. HOPKINS. I think the task force rapidly became a microcosm of what you are looking for. We started out as the Department of Defense Combating Terrorism and Technology Task Force. Certainly a noble goal. A very strong sense of urgency as to what the Nation needed and particularly what the Department needed. It was obvious very early on that we really couldn't achieve the national means in combating terrorism without very close cooperation and collaboration with other organizations who have either an interest in or who can benefit from the technologies that we are interested in.
In particular, the Department of Energy, the Office of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, several different government agenciesseveral participating government agencies advised us on a number of our recommendations for investment. And I think that is especially the case because the charter of the task force is especially broad. We are looking at what is essentially the full spectrum of attempting to combat terrorism all the way from trying to understand and predict what kind of technologies would be useful for deterring terrorism in the first place from getting indications and warning that it is about to happen. And by the way, border protection falls in that category. The highest leverage of any technologies we can put out are the ones that give us warning that it is about to happen because then we don't have to venture in the other various Survivability and denial technologies to help our systems and our people. Achieve survivability and deny the enemy access to them. Consequence management, if something does happen, and recovery in that case. And then finally the military aspect, which is attribution and retaliation. Technology is to cover the full spectrum. No one agency and no one single bullet was to go do that. It takes a very strong, broad tech base and it did require very agile communications among all the affected organizations.
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Mrs. DAVIS. It may be that Congress, Members could be more helpful if that kind of information is disseminated and it may be out there. I think initially we certainly struggled with that as people came to us. I don't know whether that is something on a web site where people can locate the appropriate jurisdiction or the appropriate people, but they are certainly out there and it would certainly be helpful to us and I think to others as well, and we would love to be able to work with you on that. I think the question of the capacity to deal with it, and you mentioned 12,500, how do you just go through those proposals, people want to know I think to some extent whether it is the standards or the criteria, how they can best deal with it out in the community.
Mr. SEGA. The 12,500 proposals was a response to this Broad Area Announcement. As Tom and his task force set about the criteria which these would be evaluated against, then the Technical Support Working Group began parsing them out in different categories. And to give you an idea of the areas in say the combating terrorism category, it included subcategories of automated speaker recognition systems, computer and information operations, tagging, tracking, locating remote sensors, locating faces in video images, identifying faces in video images, video human tracking, voice printing, terrorist behavior, physical security, ports of entry, passenger screening aides, and so forth, in there.
Some of these proposals were best located, if you will, for actual tying to programs outside the Department of Defense, and so we are forwarding them to where we think is the appropriate place. So it entered in one agency or department, in this case the Department of Defense, but because of this integrated approach that we are taking some of those proposals were forwarded to what we believed after consulting with the person that proposed it that it would perhaps would be a better match with the area that the other agency was engaged in.
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Mr. MARBURGER. Dr. Sega is referring to a process that works better than I ever would have expected it to. No matter where the proposals go, the people who are responsible for these programs are in such good communication with each other that they eventually end up in the right place. Ultimately, I would say that Governor Ridge's office is a primary point of coordination for the whole effort and his office also sends these proposals either to me or directly to the program officers and the agencies that are responsible. So I would encourage anyone that has a proposal to send it to the person or to the agency that he or she is most familiar with and they will almost certainly know what to do with it.
Mrs. DAVIS. Anybody else want to respond in terms of any interaction?
Mr. HUNTER. Jay is having it pretty easy today representing all the services. It is easier to represent all of them, Jay. Let me ask about knowing what is coming in terms of cargo, if you took the three basics in terms of our border, because we are here at the border and the borders are now receiving real focus in this war against terrorism. The other aspect would bewell, there are two aspectsI presume would be knowing who is coming in and, last, what is coming in with respect to chem-bio agents, and maybe take the last one first. A big concern and that is obviously a military concern as well as now a domestic response concern is knowing what is in the air now. And Zan, we talked about this earlier in our breakfast meetings we had, but being able to immediately detect anthrax and other agents would be of enormous value to us.
How close are we to being able to do that? Can we do that? Are there any detection machines that are real-time right now and inexpensive enough that we can have them on a fairly widely disbursed basis?
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Mr. SEGA. Let me just start that and hand it off to Zan and Tom. This goes to your philosophy of fielding something that you have. On September 12, we had a mature system, a portal shield system, and one of the recommendations that came out on the 21st of September was purchase more of these systems. It is a wet chemistry base systems for biological agents, taking roughly 25 to 45 minutes for the processing to take place. It worked. And we could distribute it around perimeters. The next system that was very close, and the prototype had been successfully tested, was a point biological detection system, and that reduces the time to more in the area of 15 minutes, where it is an almost instantaneous detection that something is present. So we went forward with that as well. And there are a series of technologies which I will pass off at this point where we want to get to the point that we get it nearly real-time and as little human interaction as possible in that system and then network them to go so we bring the information to a place we can correlate it and see if something is building a pattern so that we know what to do.
Ms. ALEXANDER. What separates chem and bio, in the chemical area there is already a lot of monitoring that is going on in the United States. EPA looks at air pollution. So there are a lot of those instruments people are looking at now and can turn them so that not only they are doing their primary function they were put out there for, but they can act as a part of our overall security. In addition, in the bio area right now there are some detectors. We don't have as many out there as we would like.
One of the issues is can we right now, what can we do. Part of it is to start doing bio surveillance, doing better at using the medical data we have, doing better, for instance, at pharmacy data. One of the first symptoms of bio agent release is you start to have flu like symptoms. So if all the headache pills and all of the flu remedies disappear from our pharmacies, either we have an outbreak of flu or we have got a bio agent. In the bio area we have a little more time to react because if we can detect it soon enough, we can treat it. But it means that we have to be quick enough, within 24 hours, of understanding what it is and being ready to react. So it is a little bit different situation.
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Chem, I need to know it right now. I have to predict what direction the wind is moving and try to help people get out of the way of the poison. In the bio as long as I know it happened, it is okay that it took me maybe an hour to even realize this occurred as long as I have a plan to respond.
Now one of the things that the Office of Homeland Security has put in place is money to start putting together a plan for how we bring together all of the agencies throughout the Government, not just DOD, and pull together some of these elements, both medical surveillances as well as all the other data that we have available to tell us that we have a problem going on.
Mr. HUNTER. Are we close to being able to having this detection capability, however incomplete, but have that capability distributed to the communities in the country?
Ms. ALEXANDER. I think real progress has been going on. The hospitals, a lot more people are being trained at understanding the data.
Mr. HUNTER. I mean, I am talking about the machines. You have got some detection machines and we have got them at some strategic points in the country. How close are we having to having bio detection machines available for most of our communities?
Ms. ALEXANDER. That is part of what the project is to look at, is what is the most effective way to get something out there now and keep increasing the availability over time.
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Mr. HOPKINS. I think we are closer than we give ourselves credit for actually from the standpoint that we do have systems that will collect air and tell whether there is something biological in it, and that will be a collector. And we have systems that are sensors, with sensors in them and detectors that will say not only is it biological, but it is something that is pretty nasty and it is different from the background and therefore it could be a biological agent. We don't have the magic chip that automatically deposits whatever is in the air and tell us, yes, it is anthrax.
Mr. HUNTER. You have some machines that will give you some indication. Can we get thoseare there enough of those? Are they inexpensive enough that it is practical to distribute those to communities in this country?
Mr. HOPKINS. I am not sure that the production capability for them today is economically attractive. However, I think as more communities order them and as they get more mature, the economics will come into line and they can evolve to that. The project that we are about to undertake next year for the Office of Homeland Security is a multi-agency demonstration of a collection of different ways to determine whether the Nation or an area is under biological attack. It involves collecting air samples, and we will go with the state of the art.
We will go with the spiral development, as you called it. And we will also collect systematic data and health reporting from local hospitals, and so forth, and put it all together, synthesize it to get a picture of whether or not something is happening. That we are able to do on a scale of about 2 years, and that is a scale about the size of a military base and with state of the art. The idea is mature it with next-generation sensors, detectors, information systems and synthesis ability.
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Mr. MARBURGER. Let me add to that, this emphasizes the need to integrate these detectors into a system. It doesn't help to give everyone a black box to determine whether there is a chemical agent. They have to be coupled to a model that says something about how the wind blows and the weight that these agents can be dispersed in the environment so that you can direct the responders to the appropriate place with the appropriate tools to protect themselves.
So once again there is a systems component here, and that really explains the 2-year time frame here to understand what kind of training the local responders need, and this is all part of the approach that is being taken.
Mr. HUNTER. It makes sense. This idea of using your airthe in-place air monitoring capability that we have at a local level and regional level. Using that, that seems like a practical idea. Once again at some point you need to get something in the field.
Admiral COHEN. If I may follow up on Dr. Marburger's comments and in response to Congresswoman Davis' question what can the Congress do. Yesterday afternoon I had an opportunity to spend several hours up at UCSD. And Scripps, I know on the third panel you are going to hear from the regional research and development community response to the homeland defense. Many of the individuals were meeting yesterday as part of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, which I think is a wonderful initiative by the State of California.
Page 40 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC For those who are not familiar, they take all the various sensors, obviously focused on earthquakes but other sensors, and then by equipping these with wireless technology have near real-time data collection which then goes in a supercomputer. Those people who haven't had the opportunity to see this visualization laboratory they have at Scripps, it is on par with what we are trying to do in the fleet for battle centers, and they present this information 3D.
But even more important than that, as this data flows you start to see patterns. And so we have talked about the sensors that the EPA already has in place. We have so many diverse sensor systems that, as Dr. Marburger indicated, without the connecting of those and without the ongoing baseline analysis, we don't know what is happening in a chem-bio-- and I salute all of the efforts we are talking about and checking the Wal-Mart shelves, et cetera. And I think there are many pieces that go into the bigger picture. But I think this is an area where Congress can help enormously in bringing this integration to bear.
What you heard from Dr. Sega earlier is an example of leadership where he took the bull by the horns immediately after September 11. We don't normally associate leadership and scientists in the same sentence, so I am so pleased, and that is meant to be a compliment. I am just representing all the services.
Mr. HUNTER. That was the Army position, I want you to know.
Admiral COHEN. Noted. But you have an example here that both Dr. Marburger and Dr. Sega have given, the Team Tango which Dr. Hopkins led so ably, DARPA, who is known for Internet and stealth, and the next generation was bringing capabilities literally the next day to our warfighters. Governor Ridge has a daunting task and he has said this. He is ably helped by Admiral Steve Abbott, four star retired admiral. I have met with him. I think you all have it right. He is looking at coordination and policy using, as Dr. Marburger has indicated, brokering to the agencies that are here.
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But the model that Californiaand I think it is called I2/T2, but I may have that not exactly rightfor the sensing that you want to now expand, at least in the southwest California region as a model for defense of the homeland because of the threats that this area could be under. It is a major port and fleet and force concentration for the Navy and the Marine Corps. I know the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) will be working with the California initiative. And I look at enabling a SPAWAR that has this IT capability to make this area a demo for how we can do this integration across Federal, local and government agencies and using the incredible power we enjoy in this country of IT to make some of these things happen in the near term.
Mrs. DAVIS. Thank you for acknowledging that because I think one of the first steps is always talking together, and they have gone way beyond that and there is so much integration being done here in the region and we are actually very proud of that. While you still have the mike, Admiral, just ask about the military force protection research initiatives and what is happening in that effort. And I am sure that everyone is interested in knowing whether we are likely to prevent another USS Cole.
Admiral COHEN. The USS Cole was a real wakeup call for us. I am so pleased that Dr. Sega already mentioned two of the things that the Navy has been involved with. One, of course, the best defense is a good offense, and that is the thermobaric weapons which were done in conjunction with DTRA, the Air Force, et cetera. Chairman Hunter talked yesterday about the bunker buster that wasn't ready during Desert Storm until after the hostilities had ended. Dr. Sega has indicated the very rapid turnaround on the thermobarics and in fact were used in the caves.
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You know, I am reminded that Desert Storm, we had months to get ready, possibly we had weeks to get ready, and for Enduring Freedom we literally had days to get ready. So today, today, warfare is a ''come as you are'' event with different kinds of enemies and battlefields dispersed all around the world. And I would tell you, and I salute the Congress for this, the kinds of achievements that you have heard mentioned here in 30 days, these were deliverables, these were products, these were not proposals. The fact there were proposals available not only in defense of the homeland but also to enable warfighters as brave young men and women who are fighting this conflict were available because of the sustained investment that our country and our Congress has made in S&T. And that is absolutely critical.
And Congresswoman, you asked what we are doing in the military. You also heard about the nuclear quadrupole resonance detector, and you are going to hear later in the third panel from Quantum Magnetics. This was an initiative started in the military to find plastic explosives in land mines because the sophisticated land mines have no metal in them. So how do you find them? And what our scientists found was you can excite the nitrogen molecule, and that of course plays such an important role in so many of these explosives, and then by looking at the field collapsing you can go ahead and see exactly what component you have. The Quantum Magnetics commercialized this into threewe have three scanners, very similar to what you see in airports that we have built. And now Naval Research Laboratoryand we are ready to deploy those. I think one of those is in use right nowthe research lab is looking at what the quantifiers are now, not just for these plastic explosives but also TNT, other kinds of nitrogen base. And we think we are 6 to 9 months in quantifying those, at which point Quantum Magnetics will be able to makethis is the spiral development that we talked about in the area of our personnel about prevention and detection, et cetera.
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I am so proud of Navy medicine, and you are going to hear from Admiral Johnson in the next group. But Navy Bureau of Medicine BUMED came to Team Tango literally at the first meeting. We always complain about Navy medicine and the long waiting lines, but they have been working their laboratories for a long period of time. Some of this was in Nature magazine, Smithsonian, but they were working on DNA vaccines. We now have changed that under OSD leadership to agile vaccines. But because of the genome project this is the basic science and technology that then leads to the ability to analyze what the DNA structure is of these chemicalexactly biological weapons that are being used against us when you know the structure. Instead of taking years of clinical trials to get one vaccine, we can tailor and design using the DNA structure. The vaccines test them in weeks. And when the bad person goes ahead and changes the makeup of that agent, we can counter in days.
This is really exciting. It has been embraced by everybody. Those Navy doctors who are doing this work, who are going into the clinical trials now, they will be eligible to compete for Nobel prizes, think about that, in 10 years. But it is going to give tremendous security to the people in this country and our warfighters to know that we are using technology to protect them.
You asked about the Cole at other hearings, and I won't bore people here. We are looking at new materials. We are looking at high power microwaves. We are looking at speed of light weapons. How do you tell the difference between a terrorist and a tourist, the weekend sailor who comes too close to the ship. These high power microwaves which make your skin feel like it is burning, if you are a tourist you will probably turn away. If you are a terrorist and think that you want to go to heaven by being a martyr, you will probably continue. At that moment our young sailors, Marines, soldiersit can be used on land and offshorehave hostile intent, and at that point they don't have to question whether or not they need to stop this attacker.
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So we are taking a multi-phased approach working with the defense agencies. We are working with the other services. It is really an exciting time. Are we there? No. And what you can do to help, Dr. Sega talked about being an enabler. Yesterday Chairman Hunter talked about the fact that we are providing some of these items in onesies and twosies. The facts of life are you all need to resource the agencies who are responsible for deploying these wonderful devices. We can only provide themwe can't provide them in the numbers that the situation warrants.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you, Congresswoman Davis. And I think your last point was the real answer to my beating up on the panel for not having all of these machines down at the border, not having detection capability in the communities. You have to some degreewe got the same transition. There are hand-off problems that we talked about in research and development for the services yesterday. You can develop some great stuff and it is tough to get it into the 5-year plan, and that is one thing that I am worried about because I think it is going to take a couple of things. It is going to take a pull from the field and directives from the top. Certainly if Tom Ridge says we want to have some type of surety on every piece of cargo that has come into this country, then it probably will be done.
But you folks are evaluating a ton of technology right now. And probably you may need to attend that technology as you hand it off to the system with a pretty strong editorial if you think it is something that is really needed. And so I think you can have a pretty credible statement with respect to how serious and how quickly the administration and the Congress need to implement some of these technologies that you are going to be handing off.
Page 45 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But thank you so much for your testimony. We got a couple of other questions for the record that we are going to want to ask. We will send them to you in written form and maybe you can answer them for the record. I had one here that I wanted to ask before we wrapped up, and that was for Dr. Sega. And that was Dr. Dolores Etter, as acting DDR&E last year, initiated an electronics research initiative that was endorsed and implemented by letter from Secretary Aldridge. I don't know if you are familiar with that, Dr. Sega.
[The information referred to can be found in the Appendix.]
Mr. SEGA. Not in detail, but.
Mr. HUNTER. I will tell you what, we will get this question to you for the record and we will get a response. But I want to thank you for appearing before us and for your great contribution to our country. You got an enormous challenge, but I think you are up to it and you are bringing the best of our creative forces to bear here. Thanks for being with us, and if you can stick around and listen to some of the other testimony, that would be excellent, too.
[The information referred to can be found in the Appendix.]
We are going to move to the next panel, and they are going to talk about our regional response and that may be instructive for you folks to know what we have got and ready to go. We will take a 5-minute break and we will move into panel 2.
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Mr. HUNTER. Okay, folks, we are ready to fire up with our second panel here and we are going to talk about the regional perspective on homeland defense and emergency preparedness, and we have got a fairly extensive panel, starting out with Carl Siel. Got a good chair there. But from left to right, Carl Siel, SPAWAR's Director of Homeland Defense. And thank you sir for joining the panel. And I want to thank Congresswoman Davis for making sure that you have a participation. Dan Eberle, San Diego County Office of Disaster Preparedness, the Director of that office. I see Byron Wear, my old friend, San Diego City Council, District 2, one of our great local leaders and a guy who is really focused on this area. We have Brian Fennessy, the Air Operations Coordinator for San Diego Fire Department. We have Rear Admiral James Johnson, Commander of the Naval Medical Center. Steven C Woods, San Diego Metropolitan Medical Response Systems. Adele Fasano, the San Diego District Immigration and Naturalization Service. And also Deputy Chief Paul Blocker. Paul, you are the only one without a name tag up there, but that is okay, who is the Border Patrol, San Diego Sector. We look forward to you being with us and making a statement. And Jason Ahern, Director of Field Operations, Southern California Customs Management Center.
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for being with us, and why don't we start off with Mr. Siel. Unless you have a statement here, we will start off with Mr. Eberle.
STATEMENT OF DAN EBERLE, DIRECTOR, SAN DIEGO COUNTY OFFICE OF DISASTER PREPAREDNESS
Mr. EBERLE. Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommittee, thank you for holding this hearing in San Diego County and I appreciate the opportunity to tell you about emergency management in San Diego County and about local terrorism preparedness activities.
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For the record I am Dan Eberle. I am the Director of the San Diego County Office of Disaster Preparedness.
Every day we are reminded that the war against terrorism has not ended and a potential for another attack on our soil remains. The question that many Americans are asking is will another attack take place, when and where will it occur? The best answer that we can give is that an attack could occur any time and any place. We need to be as prepared as possible.
We have done some good things in San Diego region. A recent CNN poll on terrorism preparedness in the 30 largest U.S. Cities concluded that San Diego was well prepared. While we are grateful for that rating, we know that we can and must do better.
In San Diego County we have a long history of working together. For example, in 1961 the cities and the county got together and determined that they wanted to address emergency preparedness on a regional basis. They entered into a joint agreement and created the San Diego County Unified Emergency Services Organization. The governing body of that organization is the Unified Disaster Council on which each member agency is represented. They meet regularly and work on common goals and programs.
We started focusing on terrorism preparedness in 1997, when the San Diego County Health Department received a grant to develop a Metropolitan Medical Strike Team. In the course of working on the MMST program it became clear that many agencies were working on a lot of different aspects of terrorism preparedness. My counterpart in the City of San Diego, Deputy Chief D.P. Lee, approached me and expressed his concern that we were now working together as efficiently as we could. There needed to be better coordination to avoid duplication. I agreed. It was our belief that San Diego could benefit from a Regional Terrorism Working Group patterned after a similar group in the Los Angeles area.
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In 1999, the San Diego County Terrorism Working Group was established under the umbrella of the Unified Disaster Council. It is endorsed by the Area Law Coordinator, the Area Fire Coordinator and the local office of the FBI.
As mentioned before, the purpose of the working group is to coordinate terrorism preparedness activity in the San Diego region. There are 11 core members to the group, associate members are added as necessary. Chief Lee and myself co-chair that terrorism working group. The 11 core members include the Area Fire Coordinator, the Area Law Coordinator, which is the Sheriff, the City of San Diego Fire and Life Safety Services, City of San Diego Law Enforcement, County of San Diego Health and Human Service Agency, local office of the FBI, the Hazardous Materials Incidents Response Team, Metropolitan Medical Strike Team, State of California Office of Emergency Services, Fire and Law Branch, and the City of San Diego Emergency Management and County of San Diego Emergency Management Offices.
Some of the associate agencies that participate include the American Red Cross, area hospitals, California Highway Patrol, California National Guard, city fire and law agencies, local military bases, Science Advisory Board, San Diego Port Authority, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs Service, Border Patrol, and others as appropriate.
The activities of the Terrorism Working Group include ensuring that terrorism response plans are fully integrated, evaluating the effectiveness of regional training and exercises, reviewing actual incidents and lessons learned, reviewing grant proposals to ensure that they do not conflict and that they support the overall regional preparedness, coordinating with the FBI's regional antiterrorism team, coordinating with other terrorism working groups within the State and evaluating future needs.
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So what are some of our needs? We have many, but I just want to mention a few of them.
Standards in notification protocols. While I realize this is not specifically research and development, it is a problem. Warnings and advisories generally come down from the Federal or State level. There are no national standards to determine the seriousness of those warnings. More needs to be done in this area.
Interoperability of communication systems. A number of agencies have different communication systems. Many of those systems are not able to communicate with each other. This can be critical in an emergency. In San Diego County, we have developed a regional communication systems that has gone a long way in addressing this problem, but more needs to be done and this takes money.
First responder tracking and protective systems. First responders need special equipment for tracking and communicating when they respond to a chemical or biological situation. New kinds of personal protective suits need to be developed. They need to be lightweight and have an internal environment that allows the responders to operate for extended periods of time.
Four, simple, practical and affordable systems. When vendors and manufacturers begin to apply their technology into the field, they need to keep it simple, practical and affordable. For the most part, people who use the technology and systems are not scientists or engineers. Also when they look at the application they need to remember we are not a military model. We don't have the redundant capabilities that the military has. Systems that require a lot of staff commitment will probably be difficult to implement at the local level.
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This concludes my testimony. Thank you again for the opportunity to speak and I will be available for answering any questions that may come up.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you.
Byron, thank you for being with us and we appreciate your leadership in this area. The floor is yours.
STATEMENT OF BYRON WEAR, SAN DIEGO CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 2
Mr. WEAR. Thank you and I appreciate your affording me the opportunity to address you today on this most important issue of homeland defense. I think it is safe to say in the interest of homeland defense we are all here today out of concern not only for the welfare of our constituents, but for the safety of the public that we serve.
As both a major military installation and the most populous U.S. City on an international border, San Diego has exceptional security demands. It is therefore in our interest to take steps and coordinate with the White House efforts to enhance homeland defense. We will be the most effective in that approach as one of cooperative nature with projects that involve regional support. While securing our borders is an important task of the Federal Government, ensuring the safety of our county residents falls squarely upon State and local agencies. As Ben Franklin once said, we must all hang together or assuredly we shall all hang separately.
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In addition to the issues of communication and HAZMAT and personal protective equipment, I am here today to request your support and participation in a project that the San Diego Fire and Life Safety Services hopes to take flight. That project is for Fire and Rescue Helicopter Programs. The recent fire in Fallbrook and the Alpine fire last year demonstrated the critical need for aerial fire suppression resources that are permanently stationed here in San Diego County. Fire started with the undocumented border crossers desperately trying to keep warm on cold winter nights in and around Otay Mountain and the Cleveland National Forest have sparked wildfires for our ground crews to contain.
Difficult rescue operations and deep gorges and ravines in canyons along the border put our law enforcement aircraft in precarious situations, missions that they are not always equipped to carry out. And even our own lifeguards are finding themselves in a hazardous situation of entering the rain swollen Tijuana River, attempting plucking out stranded individuals attempting to cross our border.
These situations underscore the critical need for Fire and Life Safety Rescue Helicopter here in San Diego. Currently we have none, zero. By comparison, Los Angeles County has a fleet of these aircraft, as does Orange County, Riverside. County Supervisor Ron Roberts and I have identified some funding from the city, county and State resources to contribute to the helicopter program that we are proposing. We are facing a one million dollar funding gap and we are askingrequesting your help in securing dollars from the Federal Government to help us close that gap.
San Diego Fire and Life Safety Services Department has taken the role of the lead agency on this project, providing necessary staff support and facilities to make this program a reality, and we are enlisting the participation of various public agencies to assist with the varied missions that the fire and helicopter would be utilized for. This would certainly involve all those instances I previously described, including the fire and rescue helicopter may also be used to transport vaccines and antidotes in a public health emergency in the case of a bioterrorism attack.
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Furthermore, I understand that our own Border Patrol sector has a successful rescue squad made up of agents appropriately named the BORSTAR team. We envision cooperation with that group involving training and rescue operations using our helicopter. To that end we are exploring ways in which these groups can all work together in the interest of homeland defense and local public safety.
It should be noted, for example, that two of our largest military installations, Camp Pendleton and Miramar, present wildfire dangers to the communities around them for which they do not have adequate aerial resources locally to protect. I firmly believe that all levels of government can work together to develop a coordinated approach and a comprehensive strategy to prevent and protect against and respond to and recover from terrorist attacks in our border region and our military installations.
In conclusion, we want our public safety and law enforcement staff to have the resources necessary in order to complement the efforts of the Federal Government to respond to incidents that involve terrorism, and we believe that the fire and rescue helicopter will do just that. And I want to thank you for the opportunity to testify and wanted to turn it over to Brian Fennessy to give you a little more detail about this program.
STATEMENT OF BRIAN FENNESSY, AIR OPERATIONS COORDINATOR, SAN DIEGO FIRE DEPARTMENT
Mr. FENNESSY. Thank you. Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommittee. Thank you for allowing me to offer testimony on the critical need for a year round fully dedicated Fire and Rescue Helicopter and Air Rescue Crew within this region. I appreciate this opportunity to tell you about the Regional Life Safety Helicopter Program being proposed in San Diego County and how this resource will positively supplement existing local terrorist and preparedness activities in particular.
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For the record, I am Brian Fennessy. I am the Air Operations Coordinator for the City of San Diego Fire and Life Safety Services. The proposed Regional Life Safety Helicopter and Crew will respond to all major emergency incidents that occur within San Diego County. This includes natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, fires, et cetera. In addition, the helicopter and crew shall respond to any acts of terrorism within San Diego County, including but not limited to incidents involving weapons of mass destruction, such as biological, nuclear, incendiary, chemicals and explosives.
Program management shall include interaction with local Urban Search and Rescue, Metropolitan Medical Strike Team and Office of Disaster Preparedness resources within San Diego County to provide a coordinated helicopter response to acts of terrorism. Additionally, the Regional Life Safety management team will organize and initiate joint training exercises with local military, public and private helicopter operators. This supports the primary mission of the Fire Service in providing firefighting and heavy rescue services to the community.
The San Diego Regional Life Safety Helicopter shall be an ''interagency carded'' Bell 212, medium category helicopter. This model helicopter provides twin engine safety, exceptional air speed and excellent seating and lifting capability for the temperature and geography of San Diego County. This helicopter will seat 14 passengers and be capable of lifting 3,000-plus pounds. Additionally, the helicopter will be equipped with a 375-gallon water retardant drop tank for wildfire suppression, a night-sun lighting system for night rescue operations and a rescue hoist for rescuer insertion and rescuer and victim extraction. The Bell 212 helicopter is still in use by the U.S. Military and is widely accepted as the industry standard for aerial firefighting and air rescue operations. During the start-up phase of this program the aircraft pilots and support equipment will be operating under an exclusive use contract with the San Diego Fire and Life Safety Services.
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As Council Member Wear mentioned, currently there are no 24-hour, 7-day a week, year round fire and rescue helicopters available in San Diego County. Providing fire and rescue helicopter services in San Diego County is particularly difficult given the large expanse of the county and the high threat of wildland fires in close proximity to urban commercial and the international border area.
Despite this challenge San Diego County remains the only major community in southern California not to have this category type of fire and rescue helicopter. In comparison, Los Angeles County is served by 18 helicopters. Orange County is served by 3. The only firefighting helicopter located in San Diego County is daylight use only operation and is funded by the U.S. Forest Service for approximately 120 days during the declared fire season. This helicopter unit provides no rescue service and is commonly unavailable due to fire assignment commitments outside of San Diego County.
Currently, if the need exists at the international border for a medium category aerial firefighting helicopter, a time delay can be expected of at least 1 hour if the CDF helicopter in Riverside County is available and not committed to another incident.
Through the existing mutual aid agreements the Regional Life Safety Helicopter and Crew will be available upon request, at no cost to all military installations in San Diego County for fire suppression and air rescue.
Since the implementation of Operation Gatekeeper, which tightened border access in the Tijuana area, there has been a dramatic increase in undocumented immigrants entering the United States through the rugged mountainous area of eastern San Diego County. Investigators have determined that these immigrants have been responsible for an extraordinary number of wildfires. It is apparent that they are setting campfires and leaving them improperly extinguished. These also carry torches to guide their way at night. These two activities are responsible for several wildfires each year.
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People continue to accidentally set fires apparently not understanding that they are endangering their own lives. It is possible that dozens even hundreds of people could be trapped and buried at one time if a major wildfire were to sweep through this area. The threat to human safety continues to exist.
Every year the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the United States Forest Service, the United States Bureau of Land Management and other Federal and State local agencies spend thousands and even millions of dollars to suppress these wildfires.
The cold weather in the high country has also proven to be hazardous. During the winter temperatures drop to well below freezing in the higher elevations of San Diego County. Smugglers lead unprepared people into this area, telling them it will only be a short hike. When they fall behind the smugglers leave them to die. In 1998, 10 bodies were found, apparently the victims of exposure.
Being a dedicated San Diego County regional resource, the Regional Life Safety Helicopter and Air Rescue Crew will be available to the U.S. Border Patrol to assist as needed. Assistance would be in the way of transportation and deployment of BORSTAR team members or transportation and deployment with San Diego Fire and Life Safety Rescue firefighters and/or lifeguards. Joint training exercises could be planned and the BORSTAR team members would have access to the helicopter and all related rescue equipment, including the rescue hoists, night operations, et cetera. In addition, the Regional Life Safety Air Rescue Crew would be available to provide trained rescue personnel to augment or assist in search and rescue operations as needed.
Page 56 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The City of San Diego Fire and Life Safety Services has a highly trained heavy and technical rescue unit available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. We recognize that providing border safety is a challenge. Joint cooperation, training and utilization of both agency personnel will allow for expansion of these kinds of rescues without compromising border protection.
We have attained slightly more than half of the $10 million estimated to operate this program during the first 5 years. However, due to the current fiscal challenges that exist within the State of California, we have not yet been able to close the funding gap. We are still looking for funding assistance from Federal, State and local sources. We have been closely following the progress of homeland security funding that has been identified by the Federal Government and hope that this program will be identified as a necessary and critical component of the homeland security program.
It is our goal to continually improve the quality of emergency services throughout the San Diego region. We believe that the Regional Life Safety Helicopter Program is a vital and necessary addition to the San Diego region, and we appreciate your support of this program.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Fennessy can be found in the Appendix on page ?.]
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you, Mr. Fennessy. My complaint or frustration that I expressed to the first panel that we need to get equipment into the field with respect to detection capability and surveillance capability at the border and traffic coming in, you guys are coming in and requesting some hardware that sounds like it is a pretty important component of homeland defense and that if we have a strike in San Diego County our experience shows us it is going to involve a lot of fire and you have some areas that are pretty difficult to put it out. And as I understand it, these choppers that you are talking about have the ability to carry a 300, 400-gallon bucket. And one thing you can do that we have learned in ourbecause of the makeup of this county, with our large reservoirs, is you can usually find water, a water source within 5 or 10 minutes flight time of almost any remote area in the county.
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Do I take it correctly that this aircraft would have the ability to carry a bucket and to get to a fire whether it is created by a terrorist incident or something else very rapidly?
Mr. FENNESSY. Absolutely. The helicopter that has been spec'd out in an RFP is going to be equipped with a 400-gallon water drop tank that has the ability to drop a snorkel into a water source and snorkel up 400 gallons within one minute time.
Mr. HUNTER. I think that is an important tactical response to these challenges that we have. So we will try to help you. In the essence of time, in 2008 I think we can get around to getting something over here.
Mr. FENNESSY. In the essence of time, what we also did was bulleted the specific missions that would directly affect homeland security on that attachment 1, which is the last page of the written testimony.
Mr. HUNTER. Excellent. We appreciate it and, Council Member Wear, thank you for your leadership here. Let us work this thing, Susan.
We now have Deputy Chief Dave Blocker of the Border Patrol San Diego Sector. And obviously you havethe Border Patrol has a major role here not just in San Diego County but across the land border of the United States in this homeland defense challenge. Thank you for being with us.
Page 58 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSTATEMENT OF PAUL BLOCKER, DEPUTY CHIEF, BORDER PATROL, SAN DIEGO SECTOR
Mr. BLOCKER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, I am pleased to testify concerning our law enforcement initiatives that are effectively addressing alien and drug smuggling in southern California.
Mr. HUNTER. All written statements offered today will be accepted into the record without objection. So don't feel or any members feel they need to read their entire statement to get it into the record. You don't have to. You can if you want to or you can summarize. But all statements will be taken into the record.
Mr. BLOCKER. Let me begin by thanking you and your colleagues in Congress who have worked diligently to provide the U.S. Border Patrol with the essential resources to gain control of the border against illegal entry of aliens, drugs and other contraband. I am very proud of the agents of the San Diego Sector. Their hard work, dedication and professionalism have made possible the success we have achieved so far. We have brought a sense of order and law to what was once a chaotic and out of control border between San Diego County and Mexico.
The U.S. Border Patrol is the primary Federal agency tasked with interdiction of illegal aliens and drugs and narcotics between our ports of entry. The San Diego Border Patrol sector maintains a highly visible presence on 66 miles of U.S.-Mexico border and also covers 7,000 square miles of land and water boundaries.
Page 59 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In the State of the Union message President Bush repeated his commitment to Border Patrol and security as a top priority. Over the past 6 years Congress has provided Immigration and Naturalization Service with the resources necessary for an effective border enforcement strategy. Our mission is focused toward attaining a border that deters drug traffickers, illegal aliens and alien smugglers. Smugglers are equal opportunity entrepreneurs. They move unauthorized workers, terrorists, children, narcotics of all kinds and other contraband.
The Border Patrol employs a multi-faceted strategy in conducting enforcement activities in order to deter and apprehend alien and drug smugglers along our border with Mexico. At the immediate border, we deploy agents in highly visible positions. We utilize fences, high powered lighting, electronic sensor systems, infrared night vision scopes, low-light TV cameras, horse patrols, boat patrols, ATV patrols and bicycle patrols. We also employ a system of checkpoints situated along major roads and highways leading from the border areas to further deter the movement of and the intercept of illegal aliens and drugs. We work with the inspections and investigation branches of the San Diego INS District Office as well as with other Federal, State and local law enforcement agencies.
Since Operation Gatekeeper began in 1994, illegal entries in the Imperial Beach area, historically the most heavily trafficked illegal entry quarter in the United States, have dropped 92 percent while overall apprehensions in this sector have fallen by 76 percent. Local law enforcement officials attribute the decrease in crime in several communities to Operation Gatekeeper.
Technology has vastly improved our detection and resource deployment. A large portion of Border Patrol drug seizures and a tremendous amount of real-time intelligence are the direct result of electronic sensors placed along smuggling routes in remote border areas. The San Diego Sector uses long-range infrared night scopes positioned to provide maximum coverage of land border crossings as well as the Pacific Coast to the border.
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Our Brownfield station is the pilot for developing the INS biometric identification system interfaced with an integrated automated fingerprint identification system that allows us to electronically take 10 fingerprints, transmit them to the FBI's National Crime Information Center and receive confirmation as to past criminal records and pending arrest warrants. It has identified past offenders or wanted individuals and added a number of criminals beyond those discovered by our data base.
The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon brought immediate changes to our operations. Agents at all stations went on heightened alert. Knowing the areas of greatest smuggling activity, we moved additional agents to the East County zones, where the very terrain and limited road network increased difficulty of our job.
The 24 agents trained for the sector's Marine Boat Patrol immediately joined in the U.S. Coast Guard's Operation Picket, helping to check every vessel en route to San Diego Harbor. Within 24 hours of the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon 100 agents from the San Diego Sector were flown to San Francisco, New York, Newark and Boston to provide heightened security at their international airports. In the immediate post 9/11 special agents from the sector anti-smuggling unit assisted the local FBI. They obtained a Middle Easterner confidential informant and one of our Arab-speaking intelligence research specialist continues to interview aliens from Middle Eastern countries intercepted at the San Ysidro and Otay ports of entry and make referrals to the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the FBI.
Some of our agents spent 60 days assisting INS and Customs inspectors at the San Ysidro port of entry. Most recently 25 agents from this sector have deployed to the Blaine and Grand Fort Sectors. These detailed agents will allow these sectors to increase detection, deterrence and prevention efforts between the land ports of entry.
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Heightened Border Patrol enforcement between the ports has immediate impact on the ports themselves. This occurred with the onset of Operation Gatekeeper and has been seen routinely as enhanced Border Patrol operations have been initiated along the southwest border.
The San Diego Sector has routinely assisted and coordinated its activities with enforcements in the ports of entry. One example is Operation Doorstop. Begun in August of 2000 as a coordinated effort between the INS San Diego District and the San Diego Sector, it consists of joint intelligence gathering and cooperative enforcement efforts at the San Ysidro port of entry and adjacent interstate highways.
These three objectives are deterring pedestrian port runners at the San Ysidro port, identifying and targeting foot guides or smugglers used by the port runners and apprehending and prosecuting these guides. Prior to the initiation of Doorstop smugglers would endanger illegal migrants and the public by running them north through the southbound interstate, five lanes of traffic, ultimately directing aliens into drainage tubes along the highway or neighborhoods in the vicinity of the port. Intelligence units of the port and sector developed information on the techniques of the smugglers and prepared posters and pictures. Plainclothes agents monitored and then conducted enforcement activities away from the port on the guides and port runners. Liaison with the Office of the U.S. Attorney ensured that guides would be prosecuted for the reckless endangerment of aliens. Border Patrol also arranged for justice alien transport system flights to take guides to detention areas in Arizona and to repatriate at a distance the Mexican nationals given voluntary return. The results have been very satisfying.
Page 62 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In summary, let me say that since September 11 the mission of the Border Patrol has remained the same, to secure our national borders working in cooperation with other agencies. Our enforcement posture is based on prevention through deterrence expressed through high visibility presence at the immediate border, redeployment of personnel and resources to key border areas, flexibility to address vulnerable areas employing a comprehensive strategy. Technology is a force multiplier and cooperation with other law enforcement agencies.
The September 11 attacks reemphasized the importance of gaining effective control over our borders. No single initiative or program can achieve that goal. We appreciate the attention of the subcommittee to the problems we face. This concludes my written testimony.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Blocker can be found in the Appendix on page ?.]
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you very much, Mr. Blocker. And I think to continue on to give some continuity to the border theme here, we will have Adele Fasano, San Diego District Director for the Immigration and Naturalization Service, go next. And then we will ask Jayson Ahern to testify, and then we will go back to regular order.
STATEMENT OF ADELE FASANO, SAN DIEGO DISTRICT, IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE
Ms. FASANO. Thank you, Chairman Hunter and Congresswoman Davis. I am happy to be here today to talk about the Immigration and Naturalization Service's work in the San Diego District with an emphasis on the security at our six land border crossings on the California-Mexico border, especially in our post-September 11 environment.
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The San Diego District's largest program is inspections, where one-half of our 1,200 staff work on the front line at the border. In fiscal year 2001, we conducted a record 99 million inspections, 20 percent of the nationwide inspection at all land, air and seaports.
As Operation Gatekeeper has established tighter control over illegal immigration in the areas between the ports, smugglers target the ports of entry. The major types of violations we encounter are document fraud and concealment in vehicles. We are working hard to respond to an alarming increase in a particularly dangerous activity that involves specially outfitted compartments such as hollowed gas tanks, engines, dashboards, trunks and floorboards. We even found a man sewn into a seat. Last year we arrested 56,000 violators, of which 12,000 were found concealed in vehicles.
To deter illegal immigration at this major smuggling corridor, we utilize a highly effective, multi-pronged code enforcement strategy. Our top priority is criminal prosecutions of the most serious and egregious cases. Those numbered 900 in 2001. Second, we initiate civil court proceedings to remove repeat offenders. And finally, we administratively remove first time offenders.
I would like to discuss the San Ysidro border crossing, which has 24 vehicle primary lanes and 8 pedestrian booths. San Ysidro is the busiest port in the world. In fiscal year 2001, we conducted 50 million inspections of travelers. We have several initiatives that aim at deterring illegal immigration and expediting the processing of legitimate crossers.
Operation Triple Play is a special operation conducted by INS and Border Patrol agents. Its focus is to reduce fraud in the pedestrian lanes and generate leads for further investigation of smuggling organizations linked to fraudulent document rings. As a result of this operation, document fraud and the pedestrian lanes decreased 25 percent. Two INS special agents are permanently assigned to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force and they provide a vital link to sharing intelligence and interviewing individuals of national security interests who we intercept at our ports.
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We have also established an innovative joint prosecution initiative with the Mexican government, where certain smugglers we apprehend at the border are prosecuted in the Mexican judicial system.
The lives of thousands of border crossers who live and work on both sides of the border are affected daily by our port operations.
The Secure Electronic Network for Traveler's Rapid Inspection, or SENTRI, automated inspection program now operates at the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa ports. This system is very popular with our community. Since September 11, SENTRI applications have increased by more than 100 percent. Since its inception in 1996 over 13,000 border crossers have been enrolled in SENTRI.
In response to the September 11 terrorist attacks, all our ports were placed on a Level 1 security alert. Security operations include special pre-primary roving teams to search inside vehicle hoods and trunks, officer presence at less than 24-hour ports, extensive computer checks using our interagency border inspection system, placing of magnetometers and x-ray machines in pedestrian walkways and photo identification requirement of all border crossers.
There have been three noticeable effects of heightened border security. First is the beneficial effect that heightened security has had on deterring illegal immigration. Prior to September 11, the average weekly apprehensions of San Ysidro were about 1,000. Today the average is 500. This represents a 50 percent decrease. Second is the regrettable lengthening of border crossing waits. Third, longer border waits tend to result in a lower number of legal crossings.
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INS is working closely with the U.S. Customs Service to address traffic management issues resulting from heightened security. In recent weeks, wait times have diminished. The average wait is now 40 minutes in our vehicle lanes, a significant drop from the 2 hours and more we faced during the initial weeks following the attacks. Pedestrian delays are longer. They have increased from an average of 15 minutes before September 11 to about 45 minutes presently. Gradually vehicle crossings are returning to pre-September 11 levels.
Average daily vehicle crossings are now 40,000 compared to the previous average of 43,000. However, pedestrian crossings are 50 percent lower. The 38,000 average daily pedestrian crossings have dropped to about 21,000.
Heightened security at our land border crossings has provided a strong defense against terrorists seeking entry into the United States. We have done a remarkable job of maintaining the highest level of security possible at the busiest border crossing in the world. In doing so we have achieved a reduction in illegal immigration.
Our top priorities remain heightened border security, effective enforcement to deter illegal immigration and the efficient processing of legitimate travelers.
In light of the focus of today's hearing, I would like to highlight the types of technology that are under development to further secure our border. They include an automated entry-exit control system for noncitizens, automated tracking of foreign students, biometric identification systems to include automated inspection lanes to facilitate the inspection of low risk frequent border crossers.
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Finally, I would like to mention that under the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice programs we have a Border Research and Technology Center here in San Diego. This is a consortium that works to assist the Departments of Energy, Defense, Justice, Treasury and local law enforcement agencies to assist and apply technology.
I appreciate the invitation to appear here today and thank the Congress for its attention to the many challenges that we face.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Fasano can be found in the Appendix on page ?.]
Mr. HUNTER. Well, you have covered a big area and very important area.
STATEMENT OF JAYSON AHERN, DIRECTOR OF FIELD OPERATIONS, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA CUSTOMS MANAGEMENT CENTER
Mr. AHERN. Chairman Hunter and Congresswoman Davis, thank you for your invitation to testify and for providing me the opportunity to appear before you today. I would like to address the role of technology in the efforts of the United States Customs Service to address the terrorism threat and the challenges that exist along the U.S.-Mexico border.
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In the Southern California Customs Management Center the majority of our resources are focused on processing traffic through the ports of entry along that border.
From this traffic our officers seized a record of 244 tons of narcotics worth $783 million in fiscal year 2000, an increase of almost 19 percent. The amount seized accounted for 36 percent of all the narcotics seized along the southern border and 29 percent of all drugs seized by the Customs Service in that fiscal year.
This performance resulted from the skillful operation of a multi-layered enforcement strategy of risk management and targeting to sort out suspicious persons and goods from legitimate travel and trade. The layers of this strategy include vigorous automated and manual pre-screening systems, dedicated individuals of Customs officers, National Guardsmen, our canine enforcement officers and utilization of a wide array of state of art technology.
Immediately following the terrorism attacks of September 11, Customs went to alert Level 1. And as Ms. Fasano described, Level 1 requires sustained intensive anti-terrorist initiatives along the border. We still remain at Level 1 today.
The activities under Level 1 do not really constitute anything new for the Customs Service, but rather an intensification of what we currently have been doing heretofore. It has given us an opportunity to focus more on terrorist activity, and we continue to do tighter, more intensive inspections of individuals.
That I believe is the purpose of this testimony, to talk more about technology, how we might infuse that into our operation. I would like to address some of the things we have in place.
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We do utilize a wide array of technology to supplement the frontline detection and interdiction programs we have in place. These include large scale nonintrusive inspection systems, enhanced video surveillance, automated license plate readers, radiation detectors, density measurement devices and laser range finders.
Our progress in the use of nonintrusive inspection technologies is particularly significant in terms of our ability to process full-sized vehicles and items such as tankers, trucks, buses, motor homes and sea containers.
This has been accomplished with the utilization of two major systems. The Vehicle and Cargo Inspection System, commonly known as VACIS, employs gamma rays to produce x-ray type images. We have two systems at Otay Mesa, one at Calexico and one at Tecate. The mobile truck x-ray system, commonly referred as MXTR, uses similar x-ray technology that is housed in a cabinet on a truck chassis. The MXTR operates by slowly driving past a parked vehicle with a detector boom that extends over the target vehicle.
Mr. HUNTER. Which is the one at Otay Mesa which I watched them operatewas the one that looks like a big car wash?
Mr. AHERN. That is the fixed truck x-ray system. That has been in place for about 6 years.
Mr. HUNTER. You still have that?
Page 69 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. AHERN. We currently have four systems operating at Otay Mesa.
Mr. HUNTER. Of those type?
Mr. AHERN. We have one of the car wash and two of the VACIS and one of the mobile.
Mr. HUNTER. I want to let you finish your statement. What are the relevant times that it takes to scan a truck and trailer, the car wash system? 4, 5 minutes?
Mr. AHERN. The capacity for the truck sized is about 10 per hour, so about 6 minutes.
Mr. HUNTER. That is for the car wash type. How about the scanner type?
Mr. AHERN. The capacity is a little bit more increased; we can do about 12 to 14 per hour.
Mr. HUNTER. So it is not much faster. Go ahead.
Mr. AHERN. We also are currently working on the installation of two rail VACIS systems for examination of entire railcars. One system is expected to be in place in Calexico by July of this year and the second is scheduled for San Ysidro in July of 2003.
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Another interesting technology development that we have is the expanded use of our port video camera systems to assist in antiterrorist, anti-drug and traffic management operations. The next step in the use of this system, particularly as it relates to antiterrorism goals, is the integration of facial recognition technology. We are currently using this type of software at San Ysidro, where it has been integrated into our port closed circuit television system.
Cameras located in the security offices and the pedestrian area gather the facial images and compare them against the data base of known violators. The system then alerts the operator that there may be somebody that we may need to go ahead and spend more time with and focus on. While we need to continue to explore this approach utilizing facial recognition technology, we also need to take a look at applying this in our cargo process as well as to take a look at the drivers that are bringing the trucks across the border. In this program the truck drivers would be subject to extensive background checks and if found acceptable would be issued a tamper proof SmartCard that would be tied to facial recognition technology that would provide proof positive identification of the individual. This would greatly enhance our ability to know as far as who is crossing the border.
Other technological developments we are working on include portable communication devices for wireless system queries of individuals by roving officers. Other things we are looking at are hand-held acoustical inspection systems as well as detectors of nuclear and chemical hazards. An important component of our antiterrorism effort recognizes that knowledge is a force multiplier. The more we know about the people and the companies who are crossing our borders, the better we can target what we need to put through the large scale entry systems or those we need to do 100 percent examinations of.
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The recently implemented Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism is such a force multiplier. In this program we are working with importers in developing information such as where the goods have originated, the types of security, the plant, the physical aspects and the control that they exercised before exporting to the United States. We think this will help us tremendously in the process. We are looking at an electronic sealing capability to take a look at the control from the point of departure to the point of arrival into the United States.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I would like to go ahead and thank you and Congresswoman Davis for the opportunity to testify today. The U.S. Customs Service will continue to make every effort possible working with our fellow inspection agencies, the administration, congressional leaders and Mexican counterparts and the business community to address any concerns and those of the American people as well. I would be happy to answer any questions you might have.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Ahern can be found in he Appendix on page ?.]
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you, Mr. Ahern, and Congresswoman Davis has to leave shortly and I want to let her know I really appreciate your participation in this hearing and if you would like to ask questions now or wait forthe last testimony is going to be on medical response, the last 2 witnesses. Susan, it is your call.
Mrs. DAVIS. I think I am going to have leave shortly. I wanted to thank all of you because you are our first responders in the community and it is very important that we know and understand what you need. You all have been forthcoming about that, and I appreciate that and we need to know that and we need to know what is missing in a coordination.
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I know that we probably do as good or better a job than most regions because we have already done so much of that, but I am always looking for the next step, what can we do that would facilitate that more, and I think certainly on the borderI know I said to Congressman Hunter that we could have an entire hearing for 2 or 3 days on this. You are doing a lot of work with technology that I don't know that Congress is doing its job in providing you with the tools that you need, the resources that you need to do that job well. We knowat least I have read that we are not screening the low risk travelers at the same rate that other communities do, that perhaps we are overwhelmed by them in a different way in terms of the number of people that need to go through that system.
What is it we can do more of in that and how can you help us to advocate stronger? I would hope, and I know that Congressman Hunter agrees with me, we would have the entire California delegation behind this effort because we are so critical here on the border that I don't think that is the case, certainly in California, and I know it is not the response of our colleagues across the country. What can youhow can you help us so that we can facilitate your job better?
Ms. FASANO. Actually there are significant resources requested in the President's 2003 budget to pursue and develop new technology systems to support our efforts at the border, and there is a significant enhancement in INS 2002 budget. So the development work is underway. The problem is that it will take months, if not years to develop these systems and to fully deploy them at the hundreds of points of entry that exist throughout the United States. But our SENTRI system in San Diego is working extremely well.
Page 73 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We are working with our headquarters and region to identify some additional resources so we can process the applications more expeditiously. But the program has over doubled in size in just 1 year and I believe the resources are there. We are just waiting for the deployment here at the border.
Mrs. DAVIS. When you say the resources are there.
Ms. FASANO. They are funded in our nationwide budget out of Washington and the issue becomes then the allocation of those resources to locations like San Diego. I certainly have been aggressively seeking the resources being allocated here, and we are still waiting to see how that will unfold.
Mrs. DAVIS. How do the priorities stack up? I know when you mentioned those prioritiesI think deterrence is certainly the highest prioritywhere does SENTRI fit into that in terms of being able toI would think that to then focus on high risk travelers rather than low risk travelers and that that would be important in trying to process those applications. And 6 monthswhat would be our goal in processing them?
Ms. FASANO. Currently it is taking us about 6 months to process an application, but the goal is to get that down to no more than 30 days. But that will take an infusion of resources and equipment that we are working on.
Mrs. DAVIS. I think the other question then would be if we broaden your activity to the community as a whole, are there economies of scale or coordination that perhaps hasn't taken place or hasn't taken place for some reasons that perhaps some people haven't really even faced yet? And I am thinking about your barriers, whether it is bureaucratic barriers, whether there are cultural barriers in getting people to work better together. What are some of the barriers you are facing? And again is there a powerful role for Congress in helping you be the enablers that we would like in that process? Anybody like to respond to that?
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Mr. AHERN. One of the things as far as from the Customs Service perspective is the delivery of the technology. We have the 5 years technological call plans that are out there, and oftentimes by the time some of the cycles come around for delivery there have been new and improved versions of the technology already created. So we need to speed up that process and get the acquisition and deployment much more rapidly to the benefit of the people in the field using that technology. That is a key thing from a user's perspective.
Mrs. DAVIS. Is there a problem in terms of training and personnel and the ability to use the technology once you got it?
Mr. AHERN. Absolutely. One of the things within the Customs Service we take a look at, our line officers can do just about everything we ask them to do. Certainly as you look at more high technology applications in the field we need to make sure we have the right jobs for individuals to point in that technology and running that technology and looking at the screens so they can get a better determination, similar to what we have in our other disciplines. We have what is known as a detection systems specialist that would actually be the ones viewing and monitoring the screens as opposed to somebody who might be more field oriented from an operational perspective. It would be much more efficient to have someone who is more technically inclined to run these machines.
Mrs. DAVIS. Anybody else?
Mr. EBERLE. I was going to answer your question about conflicts between agencies. And I think we are incredibly fortunate here that we don't have a lot of those conflicts, whether it is at the State, local or Federal levels. We all come in here and we are looking at the common good. So we don't see very many of those conflicts at all, and we are incredibly fortunate for that.
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Mrs. DAVIS. I would agree that we are actually very fortunate, and I think with the next panel we will be looking at the way in which we are coming together. But we have such great assets here and also our vulnerabilities. So I think it does take a very special effort here in San Diego to bring it together and we want to be sure that people have what they need to do that.
Ms. FASANO. Congresswoman Davis, if I might add, one of the major challenges we face here is the pay in compensation of our work force. We have real difficulties here in San Diego, which is a cost of living location, in recruiting and retaining qualified staff. And a couple of issues: They are the locality pay that is provided throughout the ranks of the Federal work force has not kept pace with the cost of living here in San Diego. That is an issue that needs to be addressed as well as the fact that our inspectors at the border, Immigration and Customs inspectors, are not designated as law enforcement officers in terms of pay and benefits. And considering the significant role that they play with major law enforcement responsibilities, that issue needs to be addressed by the Congress.
Mrs. DAVIS. Thank you. Appreciate it. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BLOCKER. I think that is very important to look at. For the Border Patrol we have a GS9 journey man level and it doesn't compare with the local and State law enforcement jobs that are here in the county. We have lost 30 agents to the sky marshals because they start off at a GS12 to 13. So we are losing some valuable people that know our operations. They take with them the corporate knowledge that secures our borders here when it comes to Border Patrol operations, that we hate to see them leave. And the one big issue is, appreciate this, it is the pay because there is no difference from sitting on a seat on a jet as opposed to sitting in a still watch position. And revolving in the Border Patrol can do a lot more than that. And agents that are here doing so well, and they have a great amount of knowledge that they get in our organization, and the selling point is that pay issue. I can't talk about that enough.
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Mrs. DAVIS. Thank you very much.
Mr. HUNTER. Congresswoman Davis, thank you very much for helping to make these hearings very successful. And you have asked some great questions. And as you said, we could expand this border dimension to the homeland defense challenge into a several day hearing. But we have got some information to work on here. Thanks a lot for your participation. Appreciate it.
You know, I think we have got our last two witnesses, of course, in the medical area. I want to make sure they get their statement on record. And then I got couple of questions with respect to our operations on the border.
But first Rear Admiral James Johnson, who is a commander of the Naval Medical Center. Admiral Johnson, you have a big responsibility here. Thank you for being with us today.
STATEMENT OF REAR ADM. JAMES JOHNSON, COMMANDER, NAVAL MEDICAL CENTER
Admiral JOHNSON. Thank you. Chairman Hunter, I appreciate the opportunity to testify before you. For the record I am Rear Admiral James A. Johnson, Commander of the Naval Medical Center in San Diego and also the lead agent for the TRICARE region that encompasses southern California and parts of western Arizona.
As the largest health care facility in the United States military, Naval Medical Center San Diego stands ready to respond to any threat to the health and security of our forces or community. Our role is unique in that we are charged with and do provide the highest level of health care to sailors, airmen, Marines, Coast Guardmen, whether at home or forward deployed. Further, we provide a full range of health benefits to the families of those who serve our Nation as well as to our retired veterans and reservists. In addition, we work in tandem with San Diego County Public Health officials and County Emergency Medical Response System to coordinate an effective response in the event of a chemical, biological or radiological nuclear or explosive event. For Navy medicine, homeland security incorporates many activities.
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As we contemplate today's dangers to our Nation's security, we must attempt to envision a threat that may exist in the twisted minds of those who will do us harm. We are fighting an enemy that will do anything to destroy our way of life and has demonstrated that. Fortunately, some of our Navy Medicine's bioterrorism and emergency response experts are at Naval Medical Center San Diego and we are located in a region known for its high technology and scientific center of excellence.
Though the exact nature of potential threats is unknown, what is known is the need to have adequate weapons to carry on the battle against terrorism.
Navy Medicine is working to close the resource gap to assure utmost readiness. One of our priorities is to enhance our preparedness efforts with the civilian community. Today we engage in realistic training to simulate various known threats and disaster responses. The hospital ship USS Mercy, which many of you have seen at 32nd Street, spent an entire week conducting CBR drills based on a defense scenario of a large West Coast port city. The Medical Center conducts regular drills to train for exposures to multiple agents, conventional attacks and for injuries caused by earthquakes or other natural disasters. As an example of our commitment to readiness, Naval Medical Center San Diego will conduct a chemical-biological exercise next Monday and we do it all on a budget intended not for a lengthy war footing but just for occasional potentialities.
There is a constant need for training for improved force protection measures, for replacement of aging equipment and for research and development to combat evolving and yet unknown threats. The Naval Health Research Center in Point Loma is conducting cutting edge research in a broad spectrum of areas that will be of tremendous benefit to the Nation.
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Admiral Cohen mentioned some of the things we are doing in Navy Medicine. On the waterfront specialists in Naval Environmental Protection Medicine, Unit 5 have recently received technologically advanced diagnostic equipment to assist our FBI leaders.
While the Nation is enhancing its forces for defense against terrorism, there is much to be done. Locally in the military and civilian communities there are requirements that must be met. For example, we in our public safety agencies, as has been said, need widely available hand-held rapid diagnostic test kits that are standardized with high levels of sensitivity and specificity that will ensure prompt appropriate response to potential threats.
Mr. HUNTER. What about those test kits?
Admiral JOHNSON. These are test kits we can take in hand out in the field so that if there is a potential biological threat that we can begin to test for it.
Mr. HUNTER. Do you have those?
Admiral JOHNSON. We do not have those currently in the inventory.
Mr. HUNTER. Is it an R&D item? So you made a request for the development of this system?
Admiral JOHNSON. Correct, and for their distribution.
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Mr. HUNTER. Are you aware of the status of that development?
Admiral JOHNSON. I can't give you scientific details. I know people are working on it at NHRC, for example, and I think some of the panelists who are coming in the third panel will be able to give you more specifics on the scientific merits of that.
Mr. HUNTER. You haven't been given any estimated time of arrival of these systems?
Admiral JOHNSON. I have not. Another example is the need for syndromic and environmental and surveillance equipment. These are two examples that both military and civilian communities can utilize specific technology to improve preparedness.
While I represent Navy Medicine in these hearings, it must be mentioned that we do not work in a vacuum. We work closely to integrate our work with other Federal and State and local entities to ensure the safety of our citizens. Our efforts are complementary. As one example, the Metropolitan Medical Strike Team, with which we have a memorandum of understanding, relies on us to provide immediate pharmaceutical support against chemical and biological agents.
Research and development work carries with it the promise of eventual application and use by service members and our civilian colleagues. Make no mistake, we are at war and while there are dangers known and unknown on the horizon, I am confident in saying the medical and scientific communities of San Diego hold many of the keys to future advances that will ensure our regional and Nation's safety.
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[The prepared statement of Admiral Johnson can be found in the Appendix on page ?.]
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you very much. And now Steven C. Wood, who is the Director of San Diego Metropolitan Medical Response System.
STATEMENT OF STEVEN C. WOOD, SAN DIEGO METROPOLITAN MEDICAL RESPONSE SYSTEMS
Mr. WOOD. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for this opportunity. My name is Steven wood, and I am Director of San Diego's Metropolitan Medical Response System, which is a federally funded program through the United States Public Health Service that addresses the comprehensive medical and health planning and response issues related to chemical, biological, radiological and explosive acts of terrorism. But this system works for all hazards as well.
The County of San Diego has been preparing for terrorism and disasters for several years. We have a tested county emergency plan and a comprehensive bioterrorism response plan.
Our counter-terrorism planning and response capabilities have been made possible in part through the gracious support of the Federal Government. This support included equipment grants from the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice, the Department of Justice Domestic Preparedness Training Program, the CDC Public Health Preparedness Grant Programs and, like I mentioned, the San Diego Metropolitan Medical Response System. Continued support in these programs is crucial to all aspects of our continued preparedness.
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Local representatives from the United States Navy and Marine Corps as well as other Federal agencies, including the Border Patrol, INS Customs and especially the FBI, have been involved in all aspects of our planning response efforts. In fact, one of our key partners is the Commanding Officer of the USNS Mercy, Captain J.D. Malone, and he is considered a local star in our response capabilities at the local level. I am not saying that because your boss is sitting next to me, but we truly do appreciate the military and other Federal agencies' support.
We also have a very strong public-private collaboration effort with many agencies. In fact, last year, well before September 11, we teamed up with SCIC to bid a contract with DARPA to build an enhanced surveillance system, utilizing some data mining technology and some autonomous alarming technology of existing health indicators, both traditional and nontraditional, because if you have a detector out there that sniffs the air but you have a contagious agent that an individual picks up in Phoenix and it comes to San Diego, that detector isn't going to smell it. But through traditional health surveillance and new technology we can enhance that capability at the local level.
Additionally, because of the wide involvement of public sector and private sector health providers, our responsiveness requires rapid and broad confidential communication networks. In other words, public health agencies must be able to listen and talk to our local soldiers, the hospitals, the physicians and public safety entities, just as the United States military communicates with its troops. We need electronic linkages for data collection and for communications with our entire health care systems, including the hospitals, clinics, other partners, physicians, laboratories and pharmacies.
Page 82 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Similarly, local public health agencies must be able to have the skill and resources to talk to the general public as rapidly as CNN.
It is fitting that the vast resources of the Federal government, including military research and development, be directed at guidance, technology, equipment and training at the local level. Funding to develop and manage critical local communication systems to receive and distribute vital health information to the medical and health community and the general public in a rapid effective manner is of highest priority.
The prominence of the United States military installations and personnel in San Diego is a demonstrable asset to local preparedness for terrorism, including covert bioterrorism. The consistent high quality collaboration of the United States Navy and Marine Corps with civilian, governmental and nongovernmental health officials has to be highly commended, and it is. As a matter of further protecting the security of our county as well as our Nation, the establishment of fast, secure and fail-safe electronic public health communications network is vital, and so is early detection through enhanced health surveillance systems and partnerships with our Federal partners.
CDC Director Jeffrey Koplan stated in a letter dated January 4, 2002 that one major lesson learned during the recent anthrax investigation is that the response to a bioterrorism event is a local issue. It is vital to national security that local public health agencies have the guidance and assistance of the Federal Government to design and manage local high quality health-related communications alert detection systems that provide rapid access to the medical and health community as well as our partners and the general public.
Page 83 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Thank you for this opportunity.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Wood can be found in the Appendix on page ?.]
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you. Let me start with you, Mr. Wood. Do we have the ability in San Diego County to handle a catastrophe?
Mr. WOOD. We have a very exercised emergency response plan. We would not be able to do it by ourselves. We do have a very strong interrelationship with both our local military and Federal partners, such as the Navy, FBI and INS border control and Customs, but also we have a strong relationship with the State of California to work within our region's NOES to gain additional Federal response.
Mr. HUNTER. Do you have any detection capability yourself?
Mr. WOOD. We have some detection capability right now through an enhanced health surveillance system, but it is basically the hand mining of several different health indicator data sources monitoring that, which we are way ahead of the curve on, but we do not have the capability of doing this with some autonomous alarming capabilities and also doing it automatically.
Mr. HUNTER. You say you have some real-time?
Mr. WOOD. We have real-time capabilities.
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Mr. HUNTER. How much?
Mr. WOOD. We have four different data sources right now to our knowledge that we can look at real-time health care indicators. One is through our San Diego quality assurance network, which is a prehospital communications tool where as the paramedics take patients to the local emergency departments that emergency is loaded into a data base. That information is real-time, live. We can look at the number, for example, of people presenting at the area hospitals via ambulance of flu, fever, rash as often as we need to.
Mr. HUNTER. So you have got the ability to monitor what is happening to people and the effect on people of some problems very quickly because you got good communication with all the folks that have to deal with these people. But you don't have any monitoring capability where you can tell there is an anthrax agent in the air?
Mr. WOOD. Correct.
Mr. HUNTER. Are you seeking that?
Mr. WOOD. Not directly through the air capabilities at this point in time. We are emphasizing our resources towards the enhanced health surveillance component, utilizing high technology to analyze these different data sources.
Mr. HUNTER. Chem-bio treatment. First, do you have chem-bio treatment capability?
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Mr. WOOD. We do have chem-bio treatment capability, one of which is in the final operational certification stage through the U.S. Public Health Service, which has been mentioned a couple of times. That is the Metropolitan Medical Strike Team. That is a chemical and radiological response team.
We also have a very comprehensive biological response team and network.
Mr. HUNTER. What does that team do that you just described?
Mr. WOOD. If there was a release at Qualcomm Stadium, for example, this team would go in to perform an agent identification, victim rescue, decontamination of patients and funnel them all the way through the system for treatment.
Mr. HUNTER. Is that team in place?
Mr. WOOD. That team is in place. It is not operational yet. It should be within 6 months.
Mr. HUNTER. If you were to evaluate that program, do you think it is moving along steadily?
Mr. WOOD. Yes. I firmly believe with the limited resources that were originally funneled back in 1977 to the Metropolitan Medical Response System, San Diego has come very, very far. It is not only that, but it is also through some other support mechanisms, but by no means is it enough. And I do praise the U.S. Public Health Service efforts in this Metropolitan Medical Response System because they provide the technical guidance and planning efforts behind it as well.
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Mr. HUNTER. Now you get folks with a biological problem, you are going to have to isolate them. Do you have isolation facilities where you can treat them while not exposing the other inhabitants of the hospital?
Mr. WOOD. Very limited. To be honest with you, if I had tolike I said, J D. Malone is one of my good friends in the system and I would call him and ask him for some help as well as some other folks on trying to figure out a way.
Mr. HUNTER. Let me just think of something practical here. If you had some of these trailers that you could wheel into the parking lots or any spare land that is adjacent to your hospital you could hook up that would be equipped with chem-bio treatment capability and a number of beds, you would then be accessing the medical area where you would have your medical expertise and your resources and your hookups for things like oxygen and other things and yet you would be able to isolate them. Have you looked at that at all? Otherwise you would have to dedicate facilities.
Mr. WOOD. It is written in our plan that we would actually dedicate facilities. To do the trailer model would probably work if we had a very small number of patients. But if you are talking about 5, 6, 7,000 affected, the trailer isn't going to work.
Mr. HUNTER. Well, if you get enough of them, you are not going to have anybody to isolate them from. You take the whole hospital. But are you working on that?
Mr. WOOD. Yes.
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Mr. HUNTER. What is your estimated time of completion of a solution to that?
Mr. WOOD. At this point in time, it has to do with the individual responses for the hospitals themselves. Building isolation rooms is very, very expensive, and Admiral Johnson can probably give you more details. That isn't an easy thing to do.
Mr. HUNTER. That is why I suggested the trailers. You said, well, we don't want to do that but the permanent things. It sounds like to me you are not going to do anything for a while.
Mr. WOOD. The trailer idea would be an expensive item, too, because patients are going to be very, very sick as well and we need all the medical support behind it, including staff support, et cetera. And to be honest with you, our feeling is if we detect it earlier then we are going to reduce the number of people that become affected. One of the ways to do that is through an effective communications system to get that message out all the way down to our local physicians so that we can communicate that information very, very rapidly so we prevent further spread.
Mr. HUNTER. I don't think you can count on that happening, and I don't think you want to bet their lives on early detection because I don't think we have early detection. Part of the theme of this hearing has beenat least that I have heard is that we don't really have early detection. We have a little bit of this point detection capability in a few limited strategic spots but you don't have early detection, do you? What you got is when some people get sick and being brought in on stretchers, then you are notified. But in terms of being able to tell if there has been something released in the air before it can have a lot of impactI mean some of this stuffand I am not a medical expert, but some of this stuff takes a while to incubate so by the time you see people really manifesting these symptoms of a deadly disease, it has been around for a while.
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Mr. WOOD. A lot of these patients are also treatable at that very early stage.
Mr. HUNTER. At that point there could be a lot of people with this stuff, and therefore you might need an isolation capacity. I would just recommend that we try to come up with something that works where we can isolate a number of folks. And, Admiral Johnson, what do you think? Do you folks have an isolation capability?
Admiral JOHNSON. The key really from our standpoint is to develop the ability so we don't get large numbers.
Mr. HUNTER. Sometimes you don't get what you wish for. It is like we have a real difficult problem so we pretend we are going to do something else that will keep that problem from ever arising. But with all the king's horses and the king's men working against this, we have all seen the facts to the effect that very small containers with some of this stuff released can create an enormous number of casualties. And we don't have anything that detects it real-time right now. And so the call that you get something might be happening to people may not involve dozens of people coming in on stretchers, but might involve thousands of people coming in on stretchers. At that point, you can say the R&D didn't work. We need the isolation facility.
So I think we should at least preliminarily look at something that is real basic in terms of having a place where we can have folks in San Diego that we can't have next to the general hospital population, and I mean from a military perspective also. Who knows, we may have folks come back from theater that need to be isolated too.
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Admiral JOHNSON. Some of our folks have already come back from theater that we are watching closely.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay, let's work on that, and I think there are a few kind of bite sized things we can try to have as a goal. I think that ought to be one goal, is to have the ability to handle a lot of chem-bio folks if we have to at least isolate them but have them in a place where we can access other types of medical care to them.
But let me ask Ms. Fasano and Mr. Ahern, you are aware of all the multitude of plans to have a single agency coordinating border control and the fusion or dissembling of the Border Patrol from the INS? Chairman Sensenbrenner of Judiciary has a piece of legislation out with George Gekas.
Let me ask you about a couple of basics here. One thing you mentioned was the monitoring of student visas. Have you got a handle on that?
Ms. FASANO. We don't currently have a system in place where we get immediate notification from the local schools if the student is no longer in status.
Mr. HUNTER. The local schools are not cooperating?
Ms. FASANO. We have asked them to report these instances to us, and actually I have no way of verifying whether or not they are doing that.
Page 90 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. What would you get from the school? What kind of information would they give you?
Ms. FASANO. We need an electronic notification that a student is no longer complying with the terms of the visa that was issued to them.
Mr. HUNTER. What would that mean for a school like San Diego State or UCSD?
Ms. FASANO. Well, we are talking about a workload there of about 10,000 foreign students in San Diego County.
Mr. HUNTER. What I'm saying is what would the school be expected to notify you that has happened?
Ms. FASANO. They would have to give us the identification of the student, their name and other identifying information and indicate why they are no longer complying with the terms of their visa.
Mr. HUNTER. What do you mean? What the school knows about them complying or not complying? You mean.
Ms. FASANO. The school has a certification process and they are fully aware of the requirements the students must meet to maintain their visa status.
Page 91 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. That means they have to be in the school, right, and enrolled in the school and have a certain grade.
Ms. FASANO. They have to maintain a certain number of credits to be fully enrolled, and then of course we want to know the students who failed to appear.
Mr. HUNTER. So people who did get visas from you and never show up at San Diego State or UCSD, is that something you think the schools could deliver up to you, that information?
Ms. FASANO. Yes. The problems is we don't have an automated system for them to report to us in and there is funding.
Mr. HUNTER. Why do they need an automated system to tell if somebody didn't show up?
Ms. FASANO. Nationwide it is a complex issue because we had a lot of students transferring from different jurisdictions to different schools, which they are permitted to do under the law, but we need a nationwide system to track them.
Mr. HUNTER. You can't rely on the schools to give you the information in the absence of a nationwide system?
Ms. FASANO. That is the path I have gone down now. I have sent a letter to the schools, all the foreign student advisors in San Diego County, and asked them to begin reporting this information to INS.
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Mr. HUNTER. Have you gotten any response from them?
Ms. FASANO. We are getting some reports.
Mr. HUNTER. Are they generally cooperative?
Ms. FASANO. Again I have no way to measure whether in fact they are reporting all the students to us.
Mr. HUNTER. I mean are they cooperative and willing to give you the information?
Ms. FASANO. We have an excellent working relationship with the foreign student advisors.
Mr. HUNTER. And that is a part of the administrations of most of the institutions. So you think you are getting a handle on the so-called foreign student problem?
Ms. FASANO. One thing I would like to point out, we did do a special intensified review of foreign students from countries that support terrorism. We did this in conjunction with the local FBI office and we found that over 90 percent of the foreign students are in compliance with their visas. So I don't think we are looking at a mass number of individuals here in San Diego.
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Mr. HUNTER. Well, if you got 10,000 and 90 percent are in compliance, that means a thousand are not in compliance. And you are getting good feed from the info from our domestic intelligence agencies?
Ms. FASANO. There is extensive cooperation and coordination here among all the agencies.
Mr. HUNTER. I understand there is coordination, but here is what I want to know. When people come across our border and you have got a certain set of information about people to look for and people to exclude, people to not give visas to, do you have all the information you think you need from the FBI and our other domestic intelligence agencies?
Ms. FASANO. Yes. We have a very extensive interagency border data base that we can query. The problem is the lack of technology that allows us to query that data base in an extensive manner. It is a real challenge for us to do those types of checks.
Mr. HUNTER. Well, you have to do it by hand. So much of this stuff we can't press a button and get anymore, but in the old days what we would do is we would ask them to give us a handwritten list and we would check it and you have got in many cases photographs. So you have info. In the absence of waiting for the system to come on that is going to do this stuff for you automatically, are you doing it by hand? Do you think you are getting all the information you need on people, people coming into the country from the agencies that have information on bad people and make sure you are not letting bad people come in? Have you got that?
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Ms. FASANO. Yes, we have that. The challenge is that we rely on our officers' judgment to identify suspect individuals, and that triggers the accessing of these interagency data bases.
Mr. HUNTER. Well, when you say triggers the other agency data bases, what will you have for an INS staff member to utilize from an intelligence agency? What will they give you?
Ms. FASANO. It is referred to as our Interagency Border Inspection System. It is a multi-agency data base.
Mr. HUNTER. What will it give you if you got a person standing in front of you saying I want to come into the U.S.? What will you have to check against that person typically from an intelligence agency?
Ms. FASANO. It will be an individual's name, perhaps some biographic data and perhaps an indication of the agency interested in the individual, and it would give us a contact point and we would call that agency and they would respond.
Mr. HUNTER. How would you know if you got people who have changed their names?
Ms. FASANO. We don't have the capability to do any type of biometric verification against the data base.
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Mr. HUNTER. Do you have anyare you able to have pictures that have some relevance to the folks coming into the office, for example, people you don't want to have in who may be operating under different names?
Ms. FASANO. There are limited numbers of photos in the data base. The one that is the most extensive is we now have access to the State Department photos that they collect as part of the visa issuance.
Mr. HUNTER. How do you utilize that?
Ms. FASANO. Again it has to be queried. For example, if one of our inspectors determine an individual is suspect, for instance, an imposter, which is what we most commonly see, presenting a good document that doesn't belong to them, we can go into our secondary area and bring up the computer screen with a photo and attempt to do a match.
Mr. HUNTER. What do you need?
Ms. FASANO. A major tool we need is the ability to do some form of an automated biometric identification system by our primary inspectors.
Mr. HUNTER. Explain to me what that is going to do.
Ms. FASANO. What it will do is allow us to confirm and match the identity of the individual with the document they present to us and at the same time query a data base which would have photos in it and to do the matching.
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Mr. HUNTER. Is there any other type of matching that you would like to have? Fingerprints?
Ms. FASANO. Fingerprints is a major tool, particularly for matching criminals or wanted criminals.
Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Ahern, you have four of these scanner machines at the border at Otay?
Mr. AHERN. That is correct.
Mr. HUNTER. First, how many trucks are coming in a day?
Mr. AHERN. We are seeing about 2,800 trucks. About 6040 split between loaded versus empty trucks.
Mr. HUNTER. What percent of those are you checking?
Mr. AHERN. We are looking at over 10 percent of those through the x-ray system.
Mr. HUNTER. So you are doing 10 here. That means you are not doing 90.
Page 97 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. AHERN. That is correct.
Mr. HUNTER. Do you use the dog on the other 90 percent?
Mr. AHERN. We use the dogs very extensively in our operation, yes.
Mr. HUNTER. When I was down there you guys were trottinga German shepherd went by in a trot, passed this line of trucks, and if he didn't stop and bark, you waved them through.
Mr. AHERN. What the procedure we have in place is what we like to refer to as the layered enforcement system. We do a lot of pre-arrival targeting. We know a lot about the importers. We know a lot about the companies. We have gone and visited a lot of these companies to see what kind of security and packing measures are taking place.
Mr. HUNTER. Hold on that one. How many of those companies of that 2,500 trucks have you visited?
Mr. AHERN. I don't have the exact number. We can get that for you.
Mr. HUNTER. Do you think it is over 2 percent?
Mr. AHERN. Yes.
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Mr. HUNTER. Do you think it is over 12 percent?
Mr. AHERN. I can't guess.
Mr. HUNTER. Let me tell you. I will bet you a lunch that it is not over 5 percent. You don't have the manpower. You can't go down and check all the companies that are firing these trucks up. How many acres you got at Otay Mesa?
Mr. AHERN. The acreage, I am not exactly sure.
Mr. HUNTER. I think you got enough acreage that you could check all the trucks. You got the scanner systems. If you got the scanner systems that are taking, as you said, 4 to 5 minutes a piece for these trucks coming in, if we had enough stations there we could scan all those trucks coming in. I think we have to do it. We are talking about this war against terrorism and we have got 2,800 trucks a day now coming into this country from Mexico that we are taking careor scanning about 12 percent of them or 10 percent of them. 90 percent of them aren't being scanned.
And you know, the Task Force on Terrorism that reported to the Senate laid out their scenario of the nuclear weapon coming through on a cargo container either through our port of entry here through Long Beach, being shipped intermodally across the country and being detonated in Chicago. And so we have this enormous effort and lots of people having lots of conferences just like this one about what we are going to do. And yet we have got the one practical aspect that could be accomplished because all these trucks go through one chute.
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I mean, they are right there. They got to come through Otay. They don't get to go down 100 yards down the border and ram through the border fence. They have got to go through Otay. And we have to harness this creative capability we have got with all these companies and maybe get a smart guy there working this space problem at Otay. Every port is going to have one. But you know, I think that is going to be easier.
These various delegations have talked about going in and pre-clearing these factories. You are going to use a ton of people to do that. If you have to go through and pre-clear these trucks before they are packaged with the components they are bringing north, you are going to have a lot of people dedicated to doing that. I think that will take more people than the 5 minutes per truck that you use to scan it coming through. And then you also always have the problem that if it is a pre-cleared truck, then you have the problem of collusion with driver, people that know it is a pre-cleared truck, putting something on the pre-cleared truck because they know it is going to get a free check when it gets in.
So I think we need to work with you, and I think part of the problem is our problem in Congress. I really worked this thing hard and we are trying to get that first one down there. And what happens if you don't keep mowing the grass, you know, we kind of go back to the same pace, and I know everybody is struggling for these resources. I think we have to have the ability to check all these containers coming in.
Mr. AHERN. Well, in comment to that, I wouldn't necessarily disagree, but I think we need to have a more comprehensive approach as opposed to looking at each 100 percent. I think there can be some trade-offs. If we know more about the manufacturers and the packing and the security they employ there, if we take a look at the abilities of looking at electronic sealing to make sure that there can't be any tampering or diversionary stops of that truck or that container, we have a higher level of confidence that it hasn't been penetrated when it crosses the border.
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We need to have a better balance. Certainly 10 percent is probably too low. We need to raise that. But I think we need to have a balance of good targeting, good layered enforcement systems in place and seeing what is the practical application of the technology. It was stated earlier technology is good but it is not perfect. It is down frequently and we don't need to have a determination made soley based on a technological screening of the cargo shipment.
Mr. HUNTER. How many of these companies are you pre-checking right now?
Mr. AHERN. We are looking at 30 to 35 percent of the trucks coming across that have actually been pre-screened as part of our industry partnership program.
Mr. HUNTER. Do you pull any of those in through the screener?
Mr. AHERN. Yes.
Mr. HUNTER. So you pull some of them through anyway? So you got 35 percent of them pre-screened and you at least do the screening on 10 percent, you are up to 45 percent. So you got 55 percent that aren't, right?
Mr. AHERN. They do go through some layer of enforcement, whether it be querying on the primary vehicle or the driver or by screening of the dogs for narcotics.
Page 101 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. I watched the German shepherd drop by and not bark. That ain't acceptable. I know it shows up on paper as a screening, and I don't think the American people want to bet their life on it as much as I love dogs.
Mr. AHERN. Our statistics last year, the dogs accounted for 244,000 pounds of narcotics.
Mr. HUNTER. And I watched the biggest cocaine bust in your history down in Mexicali because you had one Customs inspector with the guts to crawl into a load of fish that the dogs didn't screen on. And that is how you got more cocaine than you ever got up here in Otay. I like the dogs. I think that is good, but I think it is a little bit of a fraud when we have that showing up on the statistic papers as being screening of materials coming into this country.
If we can get the money for you and get these machines, you wouldn't be adverse to using them, would you?
Mr. AHERN. Absolutely not. There is no silver bullet, whether it be the dogs or pre-screening or be it the technology.
Mr. HUNTER. You know this, you know that if you don't haveyou know that an x-ray machine is not going to catch all the compartments. There are things that can be shielded. But you know if you don't have any x-ray machine you don't have any chance of catching those hidden compartments because the dogs look atthey can't detect hidden compartments, but they can detect a scent. And only the dummies on the smugglers' part generally speaking have any scent that can be sniffed by a German shepherd as he trots by the outside of the truck. We tend to get the dummies coming across.
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And I think when this stuff comes it is going to be related to a chem-bio attack or something else. It is not going to be stuff that was put in those trucks by dummies. It is going to be put in those trucks by people who are able to defeat a German shepherd. And that is why I think it would be a good idea for us to haveif, as you say, not everything is a silver bullet, that doesn't mean you don't have any bullets. Let us use everything we can use. And we got these great companies that make this stuff now, and I think we ought to screen every single cargo container coming into this country and simply charge the port director at every port with putting together a plan that allows you to do that. If we don't do that, we are going to be slapping our foreheads 10 or 15 years from now saying, you know, we developed this technology back in the nineties and we deployed it on a very limited basis, still deploy it on what I would call a limited basis.
So anyway, it is not your fault. Congress has to come up with the bucks for this stuff and you guys have to make do with what you get. And I understand that and I know the military needs this stuff, too. We have been shipping these screeners off to the various military bases.
Let me ask you one other question, Mr. Ahern, and, Chief, let me ask you this, too. Border Patrol, Customs, the big tug of war that is now going to go on with respect toif we had the single entity controlling the border, who is it going to be, where is it going to be? How do you think, candidly speaking, Chief, maybe you can tell me, how do you think the agencies are working together?
Mr. BLOCKER. I think we work well. We have the BCI, the Border Coordination Initiative, that we work with Customs. I think right now because of 9/11 the border control is more focused on patrolling the border. We sent these people up north. And we still have agents detailed in Tuscon. So we are somewhat limited in what we can do as far as working with coordination. We do work with law enforcement agencies, but we have focused our attention on the border in particular and for the East County area of Campo that traditionally we don't have the infrastructure there. So we put a majority of our agents there.
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We are actually flexing, as you know, the Brownfield-Chula Vista fencing project. I would love to see that Brownfield finished as well as Imperial Beach, but we are able to utilize that infrastructure to move some of our people out to the east.
Mr. HUNTER. The fence is working pretty good, isn't it?
Mr. BLOCKER. Work is outstanding. I would love to see it finished. Before this promotion I was a PIC at Brownfield and I envied the PIC at Chula Vista. That fence was in place. It was an all weather road. It controlled that area outstanding. I mean, it couldn't be better. And it was almost finished at Brownfield but we were working with the environmental issues. Once that was cleared and that fence was there we could redeploy our resources more effectively of course if we had the RVSS.
Mr. HUNTER. You know we made a mistake. I got most of that fence before the enviros discovered it. And my last briefing was that when they get finished with their lawsuits it will be 2007 before we finish that little bitty stretch of fence between IB and Mexico, which is, you know, within a couple of miles of one of the biggest naval bases in the world, which now has a terrorism aspect. And everybody who has got a relative or a family member who has been hooked on cocaine has an interest in that fence going up. And today I think everybody who has an interest in having a community that is free from terrorism also has an interest in that fence, but we will try to work with you. But you think the Customs-Border Patrol interaction right now, coordination is a good one?
Mr. BLOCKER. I think it is good. They are working port of entries of course and we are in between, but we do work with them.
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Mr. HUNTER. How many folks do you have at the port of entry? Your area is basically the uncontrolled entry, a non-port. But you have some folks at the port on a regular basis, don't you?
Mr. BLOCKER. Not right now. Well, we do have the ones up north that I mentioned earlier.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Folks, thank you very much for your testimony and thanks for your service to our community. We appreciate it. And let me getthe committee will have some written questions, follow-up questions. We would like to cover a few areas. But thanks for what you are doing and we have got a big challenge and let us keep working this thing. And we will take a 5-minute break.
Mr. HUNTER. With us for our next panel here we have Dr. Mark Thiemens, Dean of Physical Sciences Department at UCSD; Dr. Sanford Ehrlich, the QUALCOMM Executive Director of Entrepreneurship at San Diego State University; Dr. Omero Suarez, President of San Diego-Imperial Counties Community Colleges Association; Ramesh Rao, Director of California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology thank you, sir, for being with usand Dr. Stephen Rockwood, Executive Vice President of Science Applications International Corporation, or SAIC as we know them; and also Carl Siel is with us in this panel, SPAWAR's Director of Homeland Security.
Thank you, gentlemen, and I think you had a chance to listen to some of the statements first by the Federal R&D leadership and, second, kind of a regional response capability from our last panel. So thanks for sharing this time with us and, Mr. Thiemens, feel free to go right ahead.
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STATEMENT OF MARK THIEMENS, DEAN OF PHYSICAL SCIENCES DEPARTMENT, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT SAN DIEGO
Mr. THIEMENS. Thank you very much and let me begin by expressing the gratitude of myself and the university for the opportunity to come here and share some of our deep ideas and feelings with the subcommittee. We are especially grateful to Chairman Hunter for the leadership in putting this together. It is an enormous amount of work and equally important.
One of the lessons we have learned since September 11 is that homeland security isn't just a national issue. It is clearly a local issue as well. In fact it is felt most acutely at the local level and it demands a local response based on regional collaboration.
Throughout its history San Diego has been a test bed for regional collaboration. We take pride in our long traditions of lowering the walls between sectors and institutions. Whether we hail from government, military, industry or the academic world San Diegans are driven by the same entrepreneurial spirit. We share a passion for discovery and a belief in the power of new ideas.
I would like to focus my own remarks on the role of academic institutions that they have played in the past and should play in homeland security collaboration, especially here in San Diego.
Page 106 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Public research universities do not have a single mission. We have three missions: Education, which is our primary mission, research and community service. As we create and gather new knowledge and impart that knowledge to students, we also put that knowledge at the service of the citizens of our community in that capacity. Merging our three missions in the cause of homeland security has been part of UC San Diego's history since long before we were called UC San Diego.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which will celebrate its centennial next year, came of age, in a manner of speaking, in the World War II era of unprecedented university and government research cooperation. Today, for example, students at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography study under Professor Emeritus Walter Munk, one of the fathers of modern oceanography. He was a young immigrant from Austria the 1940s and a researcher at Scripps Institution of Oceanography on Point Loma. He helped plot the Allied invasions of Northern Africa, the Pacific theater and Normandy by calculating optimal surf conditions for amphibious assaults.
In the decades that followed Walter's colleagues used these findings for wartime research as a springboard to peacetime discoveries. Their work in mapping the Earth's oceans and climates has been the cornerstone of the environmental sciences and oceanography. That landmark university-government research cooperation that helped shape Scripps Institution of Oceanography became a model in some sense for the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health. This government-university partnership ushered in a new era of American research supremacy. Here in San Diego it laid the groundwork for a high tech and biotech industrial hub that has grown into a regional powerhouse.
If we look at that chapter of San Diego research and development history, we learned several lessons. We learned that basic research is an investment that can pay unimaginable dividends. Findings applicable in one area today may be applicable in 10 or 20 years, many years out. We learned that in the pursuit of knowledge no one discipline can go it alone. Oceanography, like the health sciences, telecommunications and especially homeland security, draws on knowledge from many disciplines. The frontier research areas are found in the places where disciplines intersect, and we learned that in the pursuit of frontier research no one institution or sector can go it alone.
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Even before September 11, UCSD embarked on numerous initiatives in partnership with industry, with government and with research institutions such as the Salk, Burnham and Scripps.
Here are two examples. In May, we will break ground on the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, or Cal(IT)-squared, which was launched in December, 2000 with extraordinary industry and government backing. As you will hear in a moment from my colleague Ramesh Rao, Cal(IT)-squared will dramatically ratchet up the level and the potential of public-private research development collaboration. And Admiral Cohen spoke eloquently in the end of the first panel on the role Cal(IT)-squared can play in homeland defense.
In the health sciences area our School of Medicine has been working closely with the Naval health research on epidemiological studies and on advances in medical information technology.
UCSD's partnership with industry and government have long been an institutional asset and a source of regional pride. Now they represent one more thing, an opportunity to fulfill our obligations as citizens to protect our homeland.
Let me conclude with an observation about a university's alpha mission, which is education. We are in the business of preparing future leaders to pick up where we leave off. That job has taken on a new dimension in the last 5 months. Our students are intensely aware that they will inherit a far more complicated world than the world we inherited. September 11 saddened and sobered them, but it did not rob them of their promise and their dreams. They are hungry for knowledge. They are eager to reach the next horizon. They look to us for direction and reassurance. A unified homeland security research effort will help safeguard the Nation. It will energize the region and will bolster the hopes of the next generation of leaders.
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Again, I thank you, Chairman Hunter, for your efforts in doing this and the opportunity to testify.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Dynes can be found in the Appendix on page ?.]
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you very much, Dr. Thiemens, and now Dr. Sanford Ehrlich.
STATEMENT OF SANFORD EHRLICH, THE QUALCOMM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP, SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY
Mr. EHRLICH. Good afternoon, Chairman Hunter and distinguished members of the subcommittee.
For the record I am Sanford Ehrlich, the QUALCOMM Executive Director of Entrepreneurship for San Diego State University Entrepreneurial Management Center. On behalf of the university, I am pleased to testify before you today regarding research and development in support of the war on terrorism.
We are all now well aware of the ascendant priority that homeland security and antiterrorism has taken on since the tragic events of September 11, 2001. The threat has become more pervasive with the increased availability and use of special weapons, explosive materials and biological-chemical warfare agents. The anthrax situation is but one prime example. It is now abundantly clear we must move quickly to address this priority and direct advanced technologies toward meeting the needs for prevention, detection, heightened security and crises event mitigation initiatives.
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Technological advancements can be successfully applied to assist law enforcement and military operations in civil crises response in the areas of communications, command and control, physical security, surveillance and biological-chemical agent detection provided that the technologies are tailored to meet the needs of these personnel. We would characterize this approach as technology pull as opposed to technology push. To effectively mitigate the threat and consequences of the terrorist-induced event we must employ a coordinated, integrated and systematic approach to disaster preparedness and response that leverages all available resources and employs the best available technology.
But how do we identify the best available technology and deploy it for use by crisis response personnel? Recognizably, the U.S. Military is best equipped and most experienced in dealing with disaster situations involving weapons of mass destruction. Its R&D laboratories for decades have been developing and are continuing to develop special tools and equipment for use in nuclear, biological and chemical warfare situations. However, this technology was not being evaluated for use in civil as well as military situations. Thus it is critical that we determine how best to apply all of the DOD experience in technology with the technological advances from private industry to accelerate the commercialization of dual use products that will benefit commercial and government users.
We in San Diego are not only committed to resolving this issue but have taken the initiative as well. More than 2 years prior to the devastating events of September 11, we created a unique consortium comprised of partners from academia, industry and government. The consortium, better known as the Center for the Commercialization of Advanced Technology, or CCAT, was designed to bridge the gap between the generators of technology and the end users in both DOD and the private sector. Our goal was to address the issue of how to fast track the commercialization of advanced technology to meet crisis consequent management initiatives.
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Four experienced partners formed the CCAT, the SDSU College of Business Administration Entrepreneurial Center, the UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering, UCSD CONNECT and ORINCON Corporation International, a defense and commercial contractor. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center San Diego, a premier Naval laboratory, serves as the primary conduit for evaluation of government-sponsored technology concepts for commercialization and dual use application.
CCAT was funded under a Congressional appropriation through the Department of Defense, Office of Naval Research. Since July 2001, CCAT has been aggressively pursuing advances in technology from academia, industry and government for use by first responders, crisis managers and other emergency response personnel.
CCAT offers specially tailored research, development and marketing and business services to move technologies from the lab to the marketplace. In our first two solicitations over 100 promising technologies in various stages of development have been reviewed, evaluated and several have been selected for support. With assistance from technology experts, experienced capital providers and product developers, we are rapidly moving the most promising technologies through the necessary stages toward commercialization.
The San Diego region is an ideal location for crisis consequent management initiatives. It has all the critical resources, a high technology industrial base, large military population, strong academic community, diverse government infrastructure and unique geographic conditions.
Page 111 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Most importantly, the CCAT project is consistent with current government policy to accelerate the commercialization of existing defense-related technologies. The intent is to reduce the support costs of existing military systems components and applications, promote the use of low cost off the shelf products and support development of dual use applications from the outset, thus allowing amortization of R&D costs across multiple customers.
Moreover, CCAT offers entrepreneurs, high tech small businesses, and academic researchers an opportunity to more rapidly develop and advance their technology to the market. The return on investment for this DOD-sponsored program is potentially unlimited. As new businesses and product lines are launched, new tax revenues are created and, most importantly, new solutions for dealing with costly disasters, manmade or natural, are implemented by our military and civil authorities.
In summary, San Diego State University and our consortium partners fully support military-sponsored research and development as one of the most cost effective means of gainfully bringing to bear all of the available scientific and technological talent on issues of national importance. We in the San Diego region have the requisite scientific talent, research capabilities and industrial and work force resources to tackle and successfully meet this challenge. We welcome the opportunity.
Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to testify on behalf of our community, our industry and our military partners.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Ehrlich can be found in the Appendix on page ?.]
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Mr. HUNTER. Thank you, Dr. Ehrlich.
STATEMENT OF OMERO SUAREZ, PRESIDENT, SAN DIEGO-IMPERIAL COUNTIES COMMUNITY COLLEGES ASSOCIATION
Mr. SUAREZ. Chairman Hunter and distinguished panel members, thank you for the opportunity to appear before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Research and Development in support of the war on terrorism.
San Diego and Imperial Counties include six community college districts with nine colleges and serve almost 300,000 students each year preparing them for entry into the work force and for transfer to the university. We provide training for the first responders to activities of terrorism through fire and police academies, paramedic emergency medical technician training, nursing programs, including emergency room nursing, security management programs and hazardous materials management training.
California community colleges transfer students directly to the California state universities at two-thirds of the graduating individuals and one-third of the graduates of the University of California. We work closely with these institutions to ensure that our students are well prepared in such fields as math, science, information systems, computer science and engineering.
Page 113 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Since September 11, the region's community colleges have added antiterrorism training to hundreds of courses, including those provided for the U.S. Navy in San Diego and bases throughout the country. Antiterrorism training has been incorporated into our security management programs and administration of justice courses that serve city and county law enforcement agencies. Hazardous materials management, security training and biotechnology technician preparation are other fields that have growing enrollments.
State and Federal laws require public and private organizations to prepare hazardous materials management plans. Community college courses provide this training either for company employees or for individuals who specialize in hazardous materials assessment training and planning.
Other related areas of community college education include lifeguard training, aviation maintenance, wastewater treatment and evidence technology. Our health occupations graduates are employed in all the local hospitals, including the Veterans Administration. Local community colleges have submitted proposals for training airport employees, including baggage screeners.
Into all of these courses community colleges infuse vital course components such as critical thinking, teamwork and problem solving. We stand ready to assist the Nation's efforts as we move ahead.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Suarez can be found in the Appendix on page ?.]
Page 114 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. Thank you, Dr. Suarez. And incidentally for all three gentlemen, your respective institutions have helped us on an emergency of sorts, and that is the electricity emergency, and you all were very helpful with this extra capacity that was heldthat was available, we assembled along with a lot of other private institutions, companies, factories. We got up to about 80 megawatts of reserved power that during a blackout we could have turned on in San Diego County, thereby preventing at least a low level or mid-grade blackout from occurring and having these rolling blackouts roll through the community.
So I want to thank you all for that participation. And, Carl, you have been on two panels now. And incidentally all written statements will be accepted into the record without objection. So feel free to summarize your statements. But Carl, thank you for being with us and the floor is yours.
STATEMENT OF CARL SIEL, DIRECTOR OF HOMELAND SECURITY, SPAWAR
Mr. SIEL. Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity.
Even though I am an employee of the Department of the Navy, the concept that I would like to talk to you about is much broader in scope. Over the last several weeks I have had a number of interactions with local Congressional representatives, officers, as well as industry, academia and Federal, State and local first responder organizations. As we have been discussing today, the challenge of homeland security requires a great deal of coordination and collaboration between Federal, State and local agencies when in the past interaction and communication and cooperation may have been limited for the most part.
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You are also seeing a lot of technology solutions that are being offered up. Many of these are typically point solutions, with few of them being integrated from a technical or organizational response. The concept that we are proposing is to establish a regional homeland security technology evaluation site. The area thatand the reason for the services is really to be able to evaluate technologies that are potential candidates, work on intra and interagency operating concepts, develop training and skill based needs for first responders to deal with legal and policy issues that will occur between the Federal, State and local agencies as well as those other entities of DOD participation.
Mr. HUNTER. Would this beyour concept is kind of out of a university of homeland defense?
Mr. SIEL. It is really setting upI wouldn't say a university of homeland defense, but an area where we can evaluate homelandevaluate the homeland security technologies. Establish it with a consortium of participants, both academia, State, Federal and local agencies and industry to be able to identify the technologies, exercise those in the region and using that to serve as a model for national implementation.
Mr. HUNTER. In your vision why don't you tell us what that would look like? Let us say you established this and you now had local agencies and agencies from across the country coming in to get some education and also you have got lots of companies with technology in a number of areas that are for evaluation and possibly for some help in development. What would this look like? Tell me what your vision is for this thing. Let us say this was it, we are going to turn East County regional headquarters into your operation.
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Mr. SIEL. We would have the opportunity as different entities, for example, at the Border Patrol for evaluating, as I said, face recognition type technologies or the biometrics, and there were other organizations within the community that were interested in that same type of technology. You would be able to evaluate the technology and then share that information with others so that the products people would know how they performed in a given environment, so that others can make informed procurement decisions.
Mr. HUNTER. So you would be kind of the honest broker or kind of the independent tester, if you will, for some base technologies that would have application to a lot of different agencies. If somebody said, well, what is this latest biometric system, they couldfirst question, I don't know if it works or not. Well, has it been through the center yet.
Mr. SIEL. Has it been through the center, has it been evaluated somewhere.
Mr. HUNTER. And what kind of grade did they receive.
Mr. SIEL. The other would be technologies for scanning the containers, same type of items.
Mr. HUNTER. You notice I was interested in that, didn't you?
Mr. SIEL. We have opportunities for industry to evaluate their technologies and get them tested.
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Mr. HUNTER. Let me tell you, you know I thinknot to digress, I think that this evaluation and the ability to have something evaluated is so important. I don't want to bore you but I will tell you one little brief story. Several years ago we had technology that was brought to us and shown to all San Diego law enforcement folks to detect narcotics and it consisted of and I went down toall the local county mounties were there and all the local agencies and they had a machine that was maybe 2 feet by 3 feet high and it had a little Buck Rogers gun plugged into it and you would pull this little gun out and the guy pulled out a hundred dollar bill. The guy that is running the thing said, anybody got a hundred? Interestingly, all of the law enforcement guys had hundreds on them. The Congressmen had nothing. All I had was coins. But he said every hundred in America has some cocaine on it. So he laid a bill down and this little Buck Rogers gun would heat up the surface and suck up a little bit of the dirt off the surface and plug in the machine and within a couple of minutes it registered whether it was methamphetamines, cocaine or whatever on this particular surface. And it was quite interesting. It took a couple of minutes.
So everybody was very impressed with this, and I don't know where the system is now but I called up the border. I just been down working the border issues. And I called up the Director of Customs down there and I said I got a hot one for you. I said I am going to have this guy come down with a machine he has got. You got thousands of cars coming through right now. Let one of your guys at one of the gates, simply when he does the interrogation of whether you are a U.S. Citizen or whatever, just to reach over with his little Buck Rogers apparatus and take a little reading on the steering wheel because where people have something on their hands they are going to be touching the steering wheel. You plug it into your machine and it takes maybe 120 seconds and if he hasif something shows up, you pull him into secondary. You got the world's greatest test bed down there.
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Right, I think that is a great idea, Congressman. Couple of hours later, we are kind of working this. Somebody from Washington called up and they wanted to know what is going on down there, but they said don't worry, we are going to do the test tomorrow. So I called up the guy and said can you hang around, we want to do this test. The upshot of this thing was about 4 months later after it was delayed, delayed, delayed we finally got the word from the R&D Director of Customs in Washington, D.C. That by golly he will take care of all the testing that is done on these things. To my knowledge, we don't have any little system like that.
But my point is there are lots of smart people out there with good approaches who have no way of getting their stuff evaluated in the system. And typically you got the incumbent that has got their 8-year program with the next 5-year plan ready to go and that is the only plan that the program manager deals with. And so the thing that we Americans are great at, which is innovation, never gets exposed. We have a system which denies innovation and tries toand we have kind of been through the wars here. We have a number of panels with respect to the military and how tough it is for the guy that has got a good idea to break through and get something in development and ultimately get it into acquisition.
So going back to your idea, in theory, the guy that has this system or the company that had the system I just described could bring it over and get it evaluated by you folks. Is that an accurate description?
Mr. SIEL. Yes.
Mr. HUNTER. Would this require a lot of infrastructure? Is this something we could get fired up right away?
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Mr. SIEL. I think we could get fired it up right away. The San Diego region has a robust technology base that we can draw on with the universities, the laboratory is here, SPAWAR System Center in San Diego and private industry.
Mr. HUNTER. You think we can get it going quickly. How many people would needwhat kind of a population of folks do we need in this operation?
Mr. SIEL. That is something we are working on in terms of how we administer this. That is one we are still working on, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. Well, thank you, and to my other witnesses excuse me for digressing on this. Thank you for being patient here.
Now we have Dr. Rao, Director of California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology.
STATEMENT OF RAMESH R. RAO, DIRECTOR, SAN DIEGO DIVISION, CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN DIEGO
Mr. RAO. For the record, I am Ramesh Rao, Director of the San Diego of Cal(IT)-squared you heard described earlier today. It is the California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology. I am also Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of California here in San Diego.
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Mr. Chairman, let me start by thanking you for inviting me to testify here today. As a naturalized citizen of the United States I am especially honored to be asked to participate in these discussions. I have been a professor here at the university for 18 years and have never witnessed a greater resolve to take a hard and deep look at what we as academics can offer the Nation as we confront the new uncertainties. Briefly stated, at UCSD you can find researchers who take pride in advancing fundamental scientific theories, and researchers will take great pride in collecting and analyzing real data that are deployed in the real field.
The most recent recognition of the unique capabilities of this year's researchers materialized more than a year ago when Cal(IT) was accepted. Cal(IT) is ready to partnership between UCSD and UC Irvine and has more than $300 million from State government and private industry sources. Other engagement with Federal agencies is just getting off the ground.
Programmatically Cal(IT)-squared is about taking the Internet into the physical world. That means developing and deploying smart sensors and bridges, pipelines and waterways and sewerage systems. It means instrumenting automobiles and roads to usher a new generation of safety, navigation and entertainment services. It means developing biological and medical sensors that can be implanted in the human body. It involves nurturing a new generation of technology inspired collaboration. Cal(IT)-squared is also about test beds and living labs as described in our brochure.
Much of what Cal(IT)-squared set out to do a year ago as a scientific exercise has now turned into a matter of grave national significance. It is worth looking at. Many others have mentioned already that many of the solutions we deploy today are the results of federally sponsored research done 5, 10 and 15 years ago. First, we need to continue investing in new long-term research to agencies such as the National Science Foundation.
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The next areas of technical activity that need to be nurtured are what we call the living labs, and we are attempting here to capture some of the issues that were discussed earlier today. So we see a need to competitively fund a number of regional living labs that are staffed and prototype a succession of progressively more complex technologies and systems that emerge from the long-term research investments.
Finally, we must recognize that in addition to universities some of the greatest innovations often spring up from small private companies and they deserve special attention as well. In my written comments I described in some detail some of the technical research challenges that we confront.
Very briefly, I will summarize: The fact that we need to invest in the development of new low cost, low power integrated sensors that can be deployed in the physical environment; the need for additional wireless bandwidth that pulls the data that these sensors are going to be requiring. We also need a new generation of robust software systems that can develop more complex systems that are emerging that are going to come together as we move forward.
And finally, I would like to draw some attention at one other issue, and that is the need to better understand diverse and sometimes hostile cultural perspectives and the intensity of the aspirations of the peoples of the world. I and my colleagues look forward to engaging with you in additional discussion on these topics, and I thank you for this opportunity to testify here today.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Rao can be found in the Appendix on page ?.]
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Mr. HUNTER. Thank you very much, Dr. Rao, and we are going to have a couple of questions for you. But first Stephen Rockwood.
Stephen, thank you for being with us and all your service to our country, and the floor is yours.
STATEMENT OF STEPHEN ROCKWOOD, PH.D., DIRECTOR AND EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, SCIENCE APPLICATIONS INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION
Mr. ROCKWOOD. Mr. Chairman, it is a pleasure to be here and take part in your discussions on research and development on homeland security and the war on terrorism. I have prepared a statement for the record. I will just summarize briefly.
[The information referred to can be found in the Appendix.]
In fact, for the record I am Stephen Rockwood, an Executive Vice President of SAIC and also a member of the Board of Directors. We are the makers and manufacturers of the VACIS product, which has received a lot of attention this morning.
Mr. HUNTER. I think you should call that the German shepherd, and then they will buy a lot of them.
Mr. ROCKWOOD. Let me just clarify on the scanning time, the machine itself over a life cycle, lifetime costing maybe, but seriously the machine itself is able to take an image at about 10 miles an hour so it is less than a minute to take a picture of a truck or a car.
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Mr. HUNTER. When they said 10 per hour, that is probably based on the speed of bureaucracy in terms of driving them through. If you could take them through in a cavalcade like they line up before they come through the port of entry, you can take them through at 10 miles an hour, that is an average of about how many a minute, 60 a minute?
Mr. ROCKWOOD. I don't know exactly. But maybe 30 seconds for a car. The extra time is in the queuing, getting ready, and then the operator looks at an image. You are seeing what appears to be an x-ray of this vehicle and the operator has to make decisions on whether that is a suspect and you to pull that aside. There are many steps. It is not the scan time of the instrument.
Mr. HUNTER. But let me get back. The scan time is critical. If you decide you are going to do them all, then you don't have go through the process of discrimination in terms of figuring out which one you are going to do if you do them all. If you can drive these babies at 10 miles an hour, that is about 30 seconds a piece or so you think?
Mr. ROCKWOOD. Yes.
Mr. HUNTER. So that is even if you had a little bureaucratic time in terms of having to line them up and make sure you get a responsive line, you can be able to do at least 60 in an hour, right? That doubles your 30 seconds.
Mr. ROCKWOOD. It is an operational issue and a real estate issue. The government has been great customers.
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Mr. HUNTER. The record will reflect that you like Customs and you didn't say anything mean about them after they left. But they do line up in a line and your system you couldliterally this is one time when you have all this cargo. Just like our carry-on language, it goes across the conveyor belt and that is one time you can look at it and check it if you are at the airport. By the same token you have the trucks lined up in a line and they do go through a single gate, if you will. Now if you had thatI guess my question is if you had that machine at the gate where you have extraordinary problems in simply driving the cavalcade through at 10 miles an hour and surveilling them as they come through.
Mr. ROCKWOOD. No, sir. You can take the picture. An operator needs to look at that picture and make a judgment just as they do at the airport whether there is anything suspicious in that car, truck. That is an elapsed time. So if you had a link where I stand here and the cavalcade is still rolling and somebody up here is making the decision and by the time he gets there I made up my mind that is the real estate issue that makes the operation easier.
Mr. HUNTER. Not to be real complicated here, let us say you got that yard down there that is about 300 yards in width and if you startedif you had your device or several of them at the end gate and you moved the procession of trucks through. So you started at the end gate right on the Mexican border and 300 yards deep, by the time they got to the exit gate, just like having when you put your stuff on the x-ray machine when you get with our carry-on luggage sometimes the inspector will back it up. But generally speaking by the time you go over to get it up they have had a chanceyou go through the detector yourself you had a chance30, 40 seconds elapsed and they had a chance to look at what you got. Now if you brought that stuff in probably without a lot of rocket science, we could figure out a way to, practically speaking, have an ongoing x-ray operation and have the scrutiny of those pictures done by the time you got to the exit gate. Is that correct?
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Mr. ROCKWOOD. That is correct. I would hasten to add, though, I think that the screening will be a combination of screening every vehicle plus having pre-qualified shippers plus having secured tags and by that combination you will get the most economic flow through your borders.
Mr. HUNTER. Let us say you got the pre-screening up to 50 percent. But you know, Steve, here is my point, though. Nobody has suggested that we pre-screen people with carry-on luggage. If it is a major general in the Army and he has carry-on luggage we know he is pre-screened, we are not going to check his stuff. We don't do that. We just screen them all probably because it is logistically easier to have the general go through the carry-on luggage thing and the x-ray with his bag than it is to have a background report that you have got a secure person here.
I would say if you go to one of these package plants where we have an American maquiladora, which is probably what we are talking about here, that is making components for a place up here and in theory they are a secure customer and you have a visit once a week with some of your Customs people, et cetera, you are probably going to devote about as much time to pre-screening those people as if you drove the God darn truck through the x-ray.
Now if you are going to drive this cavalcade at 10 miles an hour and make it work, why not just drive it? You may take more time pulling people out of a line and saying you are special than if we just drive them.
Mr. ROCKWOOD. There is a certain logic to that. I am not arguing with you.
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Mr. HUNTER. Okay. So how are you doing on this technology? Is the technology becoming more effective all the time?
Mr. ROCKWOOD. We are continuing to upgrade the product and we are into about the third generation. There are seven different devices, depending on the particular application. They range from a few hundred thousand dollars if you need low resolution, and that is being used at the Port Everglades in Miami, to look for stolen autos and things going out of the country. It is easy to see the car is there when they said it was supposed to be a truckload of tomatoes. So that does not require high resolution. Higher resolution is a more expensive machine, as you yourself noted, about a million to a million two and they can resolve small things. They were originally designed to look for contraband smuggling, drug smuggling. They can certainly detect explosives on a large scale, but you are detecting it as the operator in the airport. You are looking for a physical manifestation.
This is not like the Quantum Magnetics gentleman will speak to. So these are complementary. This is designed to look for large car bombs, truck bombs. It will scan cargo. We are working on a device to scan cargo containers coming into the port.
Mr. HUNTER. Don't you have a resistance with these aluminum bodies?
Mr. ROCKWOOD. We can penetrate up to 6 inches of steel. So no, sir. The radiation will penetrate that much. But you are always relying on a human judgment that that object looks suspicious. So to optimize the operation you need an information system that gives you in advancelet us suppose we are at a port. You should know in advance that the cargo container has the following things.
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His manifest has told me that information and I check against what I am seeing to make sure that that is indeed verified. This is the mode of operation at ports that will become very effective and you start to get that information offshore. You don't really want the bomb to get to the Port of Long Beach in the container. It is too late. I don't care if it was intended for Chicago. Once it is in the U.S. And if that goes off, that is enough of a problem. You want to get information offshore, have the Coast Guard able to interdict, Navy, whatever.
Mr. HUNTER. Ideally that is what we want.
Mr. ROCKWOOD. Anyway, I was actually going to testify to the regional concept, but the gentleman of SPAWAR just addressed.
Mr. HUNTER. You can be on the record for that.
Mr. ROCKWOOD. Our company, SPAWAR, universities have been working on this concept. I would only add one more idea to that and let you address questions to everybody, and that was it is not just testing. The real focus to me is how do you get early adoption. How do you get something out of the lab and into the hands of the user quickly.
Mr. HUNTER. This was the entire set of hearings we had yesterday, how do you move from R&D and get technology into the field.
Mr. ROCKWOOD. The way this regional center would help that is we have in San Diego funded research in many institutions, government, industry, et cetera, those programs report back somewhere in Washington, D.C., where they are being administered but there is no easy way to take a cross look at what is coming out of those and see that here is a piece of technology good for facial recognition, here is a secure information for transmitting the information, et cetera. Let us put it together and deploy it at the border and see how it works right now in sort of a controlled environment. That is what I think this center would do.
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Mr. HUNTER. This centeryou would envision this center if working optimally would be able to take a piece of hardware down to the border where you got the greatest test bed in the world and got this stuff going through and see if it works. Don't intrude on the Customs agency, but I am sure they could accommodate us and maybe have a few of their people as participants in the overview of the operation.
Mr. ROCKWOOD. And I think getting user feedback is essential to research. And having a law enforcement officer use something and tell you does it really do what he needs to do is very important. Otherwise.
Mr. HUNTER. So you can get response not only from the folks at the ports but also the uncontrolled areas between the ports where the border patrols are using sensors and other things. And you also got the port here and you got the Navy to work with you.
Mr. ROCKWOOD. San Diego region is a perfect model for homeland. We have the port, an international border, very high throughput of international traffic, high profile targets, San Diego bridge, nuclear power plants. It is a great region to be a test bed.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Rockwood can be found in the Appendix on page ?.]
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you very much, Stephen, and thank you for your service here. And Dr. Rao, embedded in your testimony as I recall, you hadat least I gained the impression that you think one area that is important is being able to detect stuff in our water supplies. You talked about being able to embed things in our bodies that can detect certain elements and certain states. Do we right now have in this country the ability to monitor large reservoirs for communities that depend on large reservoirs like we do?
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Mr. RAO. This is one of the areas that we are focusing in, able to take wireless connect into remote areas. So we do have sensors that pick up the existence and can pull that information off quickly and move it.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Carl, you had the opportunity to listen to Stephen talk a little bit about his ideas about how this thing would work. Do you have anything to add?
Mr. SIEL. No. I agree with him as to the vulnerabilities within the region; you are rich in those vulnerabilities; as you just identified, the water supply of San Diego being very dependent on its water supply. This is a great opportunity to evaluate technologies to be able to sense if someone has contaminated the water as well as our food supply.
Mr. HUNTER. Dr. Suarez, what do you think? Do you
thinkobviously our academic institutions can play a great role in this test bed.
Mr. SUAREZ. Absolutely, and I defer absolutely to what has been said. I thinkworking together, I think that we are able to test whatever is produced out of the labs is very important and I would simply add that whatever is produced, whatever technologies are produced requires educated and effective individuals to operate them. And I think that is where education enters the picture. For every scientist we probably have to have 4 to 5 technicians to carry out what they produce. So education plays a very important role.
Mr. HUNTER. Because any package that comes out is going to have an operational aspect to it, and community colleges can really do a great job in terms of training people to operate those.
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Dr. Ehrlich, what do you think?
Mr. EHRLICH. One of the issues that I think we have to talk about is how technologists can identify the needs that the military and government have. There are many technologists that have difficulty negotiating through the maze of the government and military bureaucracy to determine what those needs are. In the commercial market it is a little easier to do the kind of market research and business research that is necessary to say is there a market for my products. Many technologists do not understand how to access the government market and they are not sure how to determine who the buyer is, what the need is, talking to various first responders to determine what would be the various features that we would design to any device that would be used in the field.
So I think better communication coming from the government, better coordination about what the needs are so the technologists can begin to design products and services to meet those needs.
Mr. HUNTER. What do you think along those lines instead of MILSPEC-ing this stuff, you know, where you end upas was mentioned yesterday in the panel, we talked about how great it was to have Predator in Bosnia. Predator failed its test because it didn't have the right icing capabilities. But they brought it over to Bosnia anyway because they needed it and it worked out great. So instead of having a strategy for failure for almost every product, which is manifest in these MILSPECS where your cornflakes have to crunch at a certain number per second, you have a broad statement of requirements, for example, along the line we just talked about; for example, the capability to detect quickly contaminants in large bodies of water. And that is your statement of purpose and you let folks respond to that statement. They might come in with different products, with different ideas and different angles, but they might nonetheless, if they come in to meet that statement, meet that stated goal, they could get a fair hearing or test for evaluation here at our center. Does that make sense?
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Mr. EHRLICH. I think that makes a lot of sense, I think for a commercial company developing those devices how many municipal water districts would purchase this device. Does it make economic sense for us to produce this particular product? If it doesn't then typically we go more MILSPEC where we are going to have few amounts of products and we are going to pay larger dollars because we can't amortize the cost over lots of customers.
Mr. HUNTER. That is going to be an early decision they are going to make. I mean if this center gives them the Good Housekeeping seal of approval; that is, this thing works, this is cost effective and requires minimal operation, at that point they are probably going to have a market. If they can't get the Good Housekeeping seal of approval and have problems with itI guess what I am saying is nobody that builds a product can be really guaranteed of a customer until they know what the product can do and I don't know how we can better prepare producers for the domestic market. The one thing we can do from the military side, and we are doing more of it, is to give a capability designation or a capability requirement rather than a very fine MILSPEC requirement that is very finite and detailed and, if you can meet that general requirement, we consider your product.
But I think in terms of homeland defense you can lay this stuff out. You have a way to be able to check your water supply, you have to have a way to check people when they come across. And you heard the INS problem. You know they can't match up all the bad guys with the folks coming in. You got the problem of this massive cargo coming across and we don't have right now a wayor we are not checking it expeditiously and we are not checking more than 10 percent of it. So you got these broad holes in our defenses right now, and if we define those holes in such a way that people could respond to that then we probably have a lot of people showing up at this center for evaluation and government agencies. Does that make any sense?
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Mr. EHRLICH. I think that makes a lot of sense.
Mr. HUNTER. Do you guys want to participate in this thing?
Mr. EHRLICH. Through our CCAT we are doing so in terms of providing some regional collaboration across technologists, academia, et cetera, to try to better identify what the needs are and get products and services to develop those needs.
Mr. HUNTER. And, Mr. Thiemens, what do you think?
Mr. THIEMENS. I think it is a terrific idea. A lot of us have been thinking along those lines and the first part that I have heard all day is getting something from the hands of the research scientists to the hands of the operator, whether they are in the military or border control, to the people that can handle that operation and get it to the decision makers in the fastest possible time. And the only way you do it is with total integration. And we have all the players to do that here.
The other part that makes sense to have in there is the health community, both military and civilian, because they all have a stake in this and the communications industry, for example, or sector I should say. For example, the seismological laboratories many times are tied into the communication network because rapid accurate communications in any sort of event is critical for decision makers. So having that all packaged together can really work and I can't think of a place better to do it.
Page 133 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I admit I am waving the flag on the region here, but everything is here. You need the military presence and you need the corporate presence in a big way. You need the high tech and the biotech. You need the university involvement, and you need to put it together in a package. You heard my comments about the City of San Diego being entrepreneurial and being able to work together. It is the perfect place to do it.
Mr. HUNTER. You think we could do this thing without a big windup? I mean some of the things you are doing right now. We are doing some of the evaluation of this stuff right now.
Mr. THIEMENS. We can put the rubber on the road very quickly and then think things through real time and as you spiral it up. The other thing that is important about doing it that way and getting it going quickly is you are getting the information from the operator, whether it is the guy at the border or the person making the decision and the person who is doing the research. So the feedback loop is a lot shorter between the person who needs to do the fundamental research to get phase 4 in your device and the person who is actually using it. You get it to right where you want it to be.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you very much, gentlemen. You have been really great here and thanks for your service to our community, and we appreciate it. And, Stephen, we had a call from the chairman of the German Shepherd Breeders Association and they have called for your resignation.
Mr. Siel, we would like to know any expansion that you have and more detailed information on the center. If you could whip that up and submit it to us in writing, we would appreciate that. And I would like to ask any of the panelists, if you would like to expand on what you would envision this center to do, feel free to get it together and get it to the subcommittee.
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Thanks a lot and we got our last panel coming up here: Dr. Randy White, CEO of Nanogen; Dr. Lowell Burnett, President and CEO of Quantum Magnetics; Dr. Kathy Sridhar, who is President of the San Diego Chapter, National Defense Industrial Association and also President of Indus Technologies; Tom Sheffer, President and CEO San Diego Defense and Technology Consortium; and Deanna Weeks, President and CEO, East County Economic Development Consortium.
Folks, we have gone late here and I apologize. Dr. Kathy Sridhar has another appointment soon, and Doctor, why don't you testify first and we will let you escape here.
STATEMENT OF KATHY SRIDHAR, PRESIDENT, SAN DIEGO CHAPTER, NATIONAL DEFENSE INDUSTRIAL ASSOCIATION, AND PRESIDENT, INDUS TECHNOLOGIES
Ms. SRIDHAR. Thank you for the consideration. Committee members, thanks a lot for the invite. I am here representing NDIA, which is the National Defense Industrial Association. This is an industrial organization that is devoted to promoting cooperation between government, military and industry towards furthering our Nation's defense.
NDIA's membership is about 25,000 nationwide and NDIA's members include individuals from all these groups; that is, government military, and industry. And we play sort of an advisory role and also an educational role in the defense realm. Some of the issues that we are putting forth this year are very similar to what we are all concerned with here. They include funding America's defense, protecting the homeland, ensuring the health of the defense industrial base, and also establishing and maintaining information dominance.
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I am an engineer. I am also President of Indus Technology, which is a communication defense contractor here in San Diego, but I am also the President of the San Diego Chapter of NDIA and I am here to lend NDIA support to the suggestion that we all heard that San Diego be the location of a national test center for homeland security solutions, and I am sorry for beating a dead horse. Perhaps I should have been in the last group.
On September 11 our Nation's physical security was tragically breached and in the process of responding to it we encountered a number of other kinds of breaches, other kinds of problems. On September 11, rescue workers from different jurisdictions found that their radios were not compatible, cutting off communications between those who needed to communicate the most, and those were the people on the front lines. Wireless phone service was overloaded and often disrupted and friends and relatives all over the country waited in fear for information about their loved ones.
How many of you tried to make cell phone calls that day? I know I did and couldn't. The emergency radio network established during the Cold War to alert people to danger was never activated. Also in the weeks after the attacks, law enforcement agencies discovered that various government databases held critical information on some of the men who had hijacked the four passenger jets used in the attacks. The information was not shared among law enforcement agencies, including the fact that one of the hijackers had been on a terrorist watch list. Three of the September 11 hijackers had expired visitor visas, but no system was in place to track their whereabouts.
These information technology; that is, IT, problems emphasize the strong relationship between fiscal security and information security and they really strike fear into the hearts of our homeland defenders who realize that a coordinated physical and IT attack would have been so, so much worse. A future terrorist group may launch a highly targeted virus, for example, or may disrupt communications or services at the very moment that it launches a physical attack and only quick communication between the information and the physical security entities will avert disaster in this case.
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So it is really clear that the future will involve a new kind of warfare, one that has to rely upon information technology to protect Americans. Our traditions of freedom and privacy notwithstanding, we recognize the critical needs to share information between Federal, State and local institutions and authorities.
This may include a number of things. It might include a national information network, for example, that might alert doctors and rescue workers quickly of an emergency. It might include passport modernization. It might include SmartCards, RF chips in luggage tags, people in cargo, border tracking systems for people in cargo, sensors that detect viruses or disease in the water supply, speech and feature recognition software and a host of other technologies.
Other IT needs include sensors in systems with applications to battle space awareness targeting, medical supplies tracking, collaboration technologies that enable decision-makers to share the same data, improved unmanned vehicles for intelligence gathering, and the list goes on and on.
Now these technologies are already in various stages of development and deployment and we have to develop a method of analyzing and evaluating them for what they can bring to the homeland defense effort, how soon and at what cost.
Now Carl Siel has already suggested today and other times as well a national test site that would provide much of the testing and operational evaluation and integration of homeland security technologies. The center could do any number of things, but it could certainly test individual technologies as we talked about. It could also integrate technologies into current and proposed systems, but it could do other things, too.
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Perhaps it could develop scenarios based on different types of potential terrorist attacks. It might conduct targeted exercises with military and civilian first responders cooperating from all levels of government. It might work with responder training programs or it could assist in the development of operations, including full integration of military public safety and emergency services throughout a given region and indeed eventually across the Nation.
What the site would do is develop and evaluate technologies and processes at the test site and then suggest perhaps scale-ups that could be used at the national level. I know Susan Davis agrees with this concept and she also agrees that the test site could be located in San Diego. Indeed, San Diego has diverse assets that could facilitate testing the technologies and processes for homeland defense and which really make it ideally suited to this role.
Take a look at them. There are lots. We have a nuclear power plant at San Onofre. We have prominent landmarks like the Coronado Bridge. We have a water supply that is transported from outside the region, as Congressman Davis has emphasized. We have a huge pharmaceutical industry that is highly populated with entrepreneurial small businesses. San Diego is the biotech Mecca. We have a chemical industry. We have a strong academic presence in the form of UCSD, SDSU and other organizations that are associated with them, and they have programs for commercializing the technologies that they are researching. We have super computing facilities. We have a plethora of U.S. Government agencies right here in San Diego that includes DOD, DOE, Department of Transportation, FAA, Border Patrol, INS, Customs, the CIA, the DIA, FBI and NRC.
Mr. HUNTER. Kathy, can we put you down as undecided?
Page 138 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. SRIDHAR. We have many military facilities, as you know. SPAWAR has already spoken. There is NCRD, North Island, Camp Pendleton and Miramar, and we have a hotbed of technology here in San Diego, not only technology start-ups and entrepreneurs but established firms.
San Diego is really Telecom Valley. It is a stronghold of communication companies and technologies. We have a myriad security technology firms with security technology professionals. This was an interesting thing for me to learn. There are 10 or 20 of these firms.
We have the busiest international border in the country and, as I learned today, we have a Board of Research and Technology Center. We have a coastline and we have a commercial port. We have access to open spaces and the desert for testing. We have nearby test facilities like China Lake. We have an international airport, a multitude of racial-cultural groups and languages and many large companies with security emphasis like Titan, SAIC, Booz Allen.
And last but not least, we have a large and very civic minded public here in San Diego, many with past military and government work experience and willing to pitch in when necessary in this test effort.
So San Diego can certainly pull its own weight in putting forth technologies to be tested in the homeland security effort, but I believe it stands alone in being able to serve uniquely as a test bed for its own technologies and for other technologies toward homeland security solutions.
One thing we have to remember, and it has been emphasized before, that such a test site has to result in rapid insertion of technologies towards homeland security. So it cannot be subject to our standard government funding and acquisition process, which typically take a long time.
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Mr. HUNTER. You got another government in mind? Getting things from the lab to the field is tough. That has been our biggest challenge over the last 20 years. But maybe we have some ideas on how to do that, and we have the operators here with respect to the border and the military and so we are closer to being able to at least get a few systems into the field, which is better than we have done sometimes.
Ms. SRIDHAR. Well, NDIA certainly supports the establishment of this homeland defense test site and the San Diego Chapter certainly supports its location in San Diego. Let us use San Diego's considerable assets to test the new technologies and process it and let us rapidly get this thing in place to be able to deploy a fully integrated defense strategy. And Susan Davis said it in her article last week when she said now is the time and this is the place, and I concur.
Thank you for the opportunity.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Sridhar can be found in the Appendix on page ?.]
Mr. HUNTER. Kathy, thank you for being with us today and you can leave any time or stick around.
Ms. SRIDHAR. Thank you, I appreciate that.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you. And now Deanna Weeks, who is President and CEO of East County Economic Development Consortium. And Deanna, thank you so much and thanks for your great work in East County and San Diego County.
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STATEMENT OF DEANNA WEEKS, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, EAST COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CONSORTIUM
Ms. WEEKS. Back at 9 o'clock and there was a bigger group I was going to say welcome to East County, but I certainly don't have to welcome you to East County. But thank you very much for this opportunity to add the small business perspective to the proceedings. And today I am speaking on behalf of the East County Economic Development, the East County Regional Chamber of Commerce and, talking to Terry, our hundreds of medium sized industrial technology companies.
We want to compliment you on our choice of venue here because it makes a very powerful statement about the vital importance of small business to the process of keeping our country secure in the face of the threats because small business is what East County is all about.
And I was glad to hear your comments about practical applications and getting things done because that is the hallmark of small business. The agility and innovation resident in these business will generate the new technologies and find new ways to use the existing methods that will allow us to respond quickly to threats on many fronts.
Approximately 92 percent of the businesses in San Diego County are small and this will add to the arsenal of what Kathy was talking about because ours indeed is a dynamic entrepreneurial culture that has focused on areas with important practical applications such as bioscience, communications software and computer development, electronics and defense and transportation manufacturing. Each of these industry sectors brings important technical and practical expertise to bear on the problem of homeland defense and the war on terrorism.
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Because of the region we are so dependent on a robust small business economy. We have taken a number of steps to provide an environment that nurtures their special strengths and helps with the challenges they face. For example, in 1993 in the face of a prolonged recession combined with Defense Department cutbacks in San Diego, we found that nobody had looked at the impact of this combination on small and medium sized industrial technology companies. So East County EDC proposed a pilot study that was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense to investigate the impact, and the results really were stunning because we found many companies were in deep distress, but the range of capabilities in them portended a bright future if they could be harnessed effectively and their markets diversified.
East County's success resulted in a request for us to expand the study to the entire County of San Diego. Simply put, we got to know, and I mean really know, the capabilities and capacities of the businesses we studied throughout the county. The resulting data base has now been expanded and computerized and the result is Connectory.com. It is a state of the art web based tool that has captured not only what a company makes, not just that they make widgets, but how do they make those widgets; what kinds of machinery do they use, what are the tolerances of the machines, what materials do they work in, what special certifications do they have, do they hold any patents, and many additional details depending on the individual company or industry segment.
That is important now because I am hearing about the fact that we have a lot of the technology, but can we get enough out there? Can every community have something? I am telling you you have a whole army of small businesses, and maybe they are not making these now but they can. They have the expertise. They have the machines they need. So give them the specs and turn them loose and you can take care of that capacity of problems.
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The Connectory has been extremely successful because it really doesn't matter very much what you can do if the right people don't know that you can do it. And one example speaks very well to the subject under consideration today and it hints at the power that can be unleashed if we can access the unique products and technical expertise rather than in businesses that work often in obscurity.
Dr. Stuart Gordon of the San Diego State University Foundation was working with the Air Force and they were trying to find a way to formulate a sort of magical super gel coating that could protect equipment that is being exposed to harsh environments. Specifically the problem they had right then was a need to fix, to halt corrosion and one that could be applied in the field with no elaborate preparation. The metal modular buildings now being used in Afghanistan are in need of quick repair and I would like to add many of those modules, boxes, can be made to do anything. Some of them are field hospitals, some are jails, some are computer centers. Using the Connectory, Dr. Gordon hit the jackpot when he located a company right here in El Cajon, and that is American Metal Processing. And the president, Mr. Dan Cummings, and I know you know Mr. Cummings and he had a lot to say about this, he provided a better answer than the one they were looking for. As an expert in his field he knew that the one-size-fits-all coating to take care of aluminum and steel and previously painted surfaces really didn't make economic sense. There are unique products already out there that can be reformulated to do the job and save the government a lot of money.
So it isn't always cutting edge, think tank technology that saves the day, but sometimes of course it is. We have that base covered very well. We have the entire range of expertise in San Diego, but in order for both theoretical problem solving and practical applications of technology to work their magic, we have to know they exist and to be able to locate what we need when we need it, and this is the challenge we have met in San Diego with the Connectory.
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These companies are very eager to contribute to the defense of their country. However, and this is going to come as a huge shock to you, they find it very difficult to deal with the government and they may well build a better mousetrap, but contrary to the old song, nobody is beating a path to their door. They often lack the staff and specialized expertise to handle the arcane ways of government, and they don't have the bid and proposal dollars necessary to be competitive, and they tell me often huge bundled contracts are not small business friendly.
And this is the challenge we have met head on with the development 2 years ago of the San Diego Defense and Space Technology Consortium, and the President, Mr. Sheffer, will tell you more about that in just a minute.
We all stand ready to work together to find solutions and remove barriers to homeland security and to bring superior force to bear on the war on terrorism. Thank you very much for this opportunity.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Weeks can be found in the Appendix on page ?.]
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you, Deanna, for a very articulate statement. I appreciate you being with us today and stick around here while we have a few questions and happen to get all the testimony in here.
We next have Dr. Lowell Burnett.
Page 144 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSTATEMENT OF LOWELL BURNETT, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, QUANTUM MAGNETICS, INC.
Mr. BURNETT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate this opportunity to give the committee a brief overview of Quantum Magnetics and its research development activities as they relate to the Nation's efforts to counter terrorism and build our homeland defenses.
Quantum Magnetics is primarily an R&D company with a long-term focus on security. As a result, we outsource manufacturing and other important corporate functions. Our core technologies are quadrupole resonance, magnetic resonance, magnetic resonance imaging and high sensitivity magnetic sensing. I provided the committee a short description of these technologies in the statement I submitted, so I will spare you the interesting details today. However, a brief description of quadrupole resonance is important to today's discussion.
Quadrupole resonance technology is similar to medical magnetic resonance, or MRI, but without the magnet. Using pulses of low frequency radio waves, quadrupole resonance probes the molecular structure of targeted items such as explosives or narcotics. Recently using quadrupole resonance, Quantum Magnetics also detected a major component of anthrax spores. Over 10,000 compounds have been investigated and no two have produced identical responses. This means this detection method has an inherently low rate of false alarms.
Mr. Chairman, you will recall from your visit to Quantum Magnetics last summer that our engineers and scientists are working hard to provide the Army and Navy with sophisticated land mine detection systems to assist our soldiers and Marines on the battlefields. These systems are based on quadrupole resonance. And with about $100 million of support from Federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, the FAA, the U.S. Customs Service, the Department of Energy, National Institutes of Health, and the National Institute of Justice, Quantum Magnetics has developed an array of unique and effective technologies ready to support the war on terrorism. Some of these are ready right now. Some of these will be ready very soon. First, let me tell you what is ready now.
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As a result of this R&D support, Quantum Magnetics offers a line of QScan quadrupole resonance explosives detection devices. Our QScan QR160 is designed to detect small amounts of explosives concealed in mail, briefcases, purses, carry-on bags and in fact shoes such as those worn by Richard Reid on his aborted flight only a few weeks ago. The QScan QR500 is designed to scan larger items, such as mail bags, boxes and large suitcases.
QScan systems are completely automatic. They signal the scan result by a simple red light-green light output. There is no complex image to analyze and as a result security personnel require minimal training. QScan systems are in use today, providing force protection at selected DOD facilities. And you may be interested to know that we recently met with the Capitol Hill Police as that department makes plans to strengthen its security systems to screening visitors to Congressional offices in the Nation's Capitol.
Two other security systems represent the fruits of R&D support to Quantum Magnetics. Our LiquiScan systems scan sealed bottles for the presence of liquid explosives and flammables and is capable of detecting both chemical and biological warfare agents.
Quantum Magnetics' i-Portal 100 not only detects concealed weapons on the person passing through but also locates the position of the weapon on a digital photograph of that person.
Mr. HUNTER. We saw that when we made the visit to your plant. Can you detect chem-bio in real-time?
Page 146 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. BURNETT. It takes a few seconds.
Mr. HUNTER. What can you do in terms of the area detection?
Mr. BURNETT. We are not set up for area detection. We are looking for bottles that are being carried from one place to another.
Mr. HUNTER. But can your technology be adapted to area detection?
Mr. BURNETT. You mean in terms of sampling the air?
Mr. HUNTER. Yeah.
Mr. BURNETT. I don't believe so, not in this present state.
Mr. HUNTER. Is that the technology that Zan was talking about in the first panel?
Mr. BURNETT. That is correct.
Mr. HUNTER. She mentioned point detection. And that is probably what you have.
Mr. BURNETT. Point detection.
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Mr. HUNTER. Didn't mean to interrupt, go ahead.
Mr. BURNETT. Dr. Hopkins, I believe, was talking about down selecting various technologies. He mentioned nuclear quadrupole resonance specifically as one of those down selected.
Quantum Magnetics has a number of systems in the R&D pipeline. These systems are ready for near term deployment and they include a quadrupole resonance wand to scan people for both concealed weapons and explosives, quadrupole resonance shoe scanner for use in airports. So essentially an upside down mine detector. The more you stand on it, it scans your shoes quickly and accurately for explosives. Quadrupole resonance portal which scans an entire person for explosives and pinpoints the alarm location. And last but not least a body cavity screening system that we have developed for National Institute of Justice, which scans body cavities of people entering and leaving high security facilities for the presence of weapons, explosives and narcotics.
I would like to end my statement at this point so that I might answer questions you have regarding Quantum Magnetics and security products, R&D projects or any other subject of interest. And I want to thank you again for the opportunity to introduce Quantum Magnetics and our research and development activities to the committee.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Burnett can be found in the Appendix on page ?.]
Page 148 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. Thank you, Dr. Burnett. And now Tom Sheffer, who is President and CEO of San Diego Defense and Technology Consortium.
STATEMENT OF THOMAS J. SHEFFER, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, SAN DIEGO DEFENSE AND TECHNOLOGY CONSORTIUM
Mr. SHEFFER. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. It is a real pleasure to be here with you today. Thank you for the invitation to appear before you.
The Consortium is a private nonprofit corporation whose mission is to promote the expansion and the competitiveness of the San Diego-based space and defense technology sector. We have been operational for about 2 years now and we are headquartered in our state of the art software engineering center right here in El Cajon.
We are governed by a board of directors composed of representatives from industry government and academia. The Consortium also works in the public interest to deliver superior value and innovation to major Department of Defense program sponsors by bringing together the collective and combined resources and capabilities of small and large technology companies, government and academia.
Our business model is focused on the creation of integrated product teams composed of local technology companies. At our facility, we are the home of two advanced satellite communications projects, the first being the Automated Communications Management System and the Joint Integrated SATCOM Technology Project, or JIST.
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The ACMS project is the planning element of the MILSTAR Satellite Communication system. MILSTAR provides the core survivable services for the joint DOD warfighting community.
The JIST program is a truly transformational satellite communications technology that will unify the operations of today's MILSATCOM configuration, which is presently stand alone, independent and stove piped systems that will allow the joint commanders to manage communications much more efficiently when it is fielded.
In the 2 years of our operations the consortium's activities and projects have created hundreds of new jobs and millions of dollars in new investment in the East County area and the San Diego metropolitan region.
The purpose of our testimony is twofold, first to discuss the San Diego region's technological capabilities in the prosecution on war of terrorism and homeland defense and defense transformation imperatives. And the second purpose is to discuss the Consortium proposal that we call the Defense Technology Transition and Transformation Project that could lead to a national technology registry designed to marshal the Nation's untapped commercial technological capabilities for transition to the government for war on terrorism, homeland defense and defense transformation.
In terms of who we are, the technology community, a lot has been spoken about so far about the excellence we have here. Our biotechnology industry is the third largest in the Nation. We have more than 240 companies here in San Diego. Our communications industry is the world leader in wireless communication with nearly 100 companies. The region's software companies employ more than 17,000 people and has over 600 companies. Our defense and space industry is among the Nation's leading defense contractors, contributing over $10 billion to our local economy and we have over 250 companies engaged in defense and space work.
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Our electronics industry is among the top in the Nation in computers, semiconductors, electronic components and instrumentation. The region is home to superior research institutions like UCSD, San Diego State, the Salk Institute and the Scripps Institute. We are home to one of the Nation's two public research supercomputers at the San Diego Supercomputer Center. And as we all know, we are the home to the SPAWAR, or the Space and Naval Warfare System Center San Diego.
Today San Diego stands as the Nation's largest military and defense complex. For nearly 100 years San Diego has answered the call to action in serving the Nation's security interests. The Consortium has recently completed a survey of our local defense and space sector to gain a better understanding about the kinds of technologies, defense technologies that our industry is engaged in. The results of the survey provide conclusive evidence that our local defense space sectors are heavily invested in each of the Department of Defense's 18 militarily critical technology areas, making San Diego one of the leading defense R&D and production centers in the Nation.
Our companies demonstrate particular strength in such DOD critical technology areas as aeronautics systems, armaments and energetic materials, chemical, biological systems, directed in kinetic energy systems, defense electronics, ground systems, informational warfare, marine systems, nuclear systems, power systems, sensors and lasers, space systems and weapons effects and countermeasures. As I said before, we are just about heavily invested to about every one of the critical technology areas that DOD needs.
One of the keys to succeeding in the war of terrorism, on homeland defense and defense transformation is to, as the President stated during the signing of the defense appropriations bill, revolutionize the battlefield of the future. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld during a Business Week interview stated that we must get connected to the private sector in order to identify new leap ahead technologies capable of combating terrorism.
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These comments underscore the fact that the existing defense industrial base is not as robust as it could be to meet our challenges. It is a fact that the existing defense industrial base is comprised of only a small fraction of what is really out there in terms of technological capabilities. Business as usual will not get us there. Government procurement practices are arcane and foreign to most commercial nondefense high technology companies who don't want to be consumed by the process. But today nonetheless there are thousands of nondefense high tech companies that are interested in answering the call to action, but don't know how to engage with government.
The solution to harnessing these capabilities may be found in the development of a national technology registry. A national technology registry would enable the government to marshal the Nation's untapped commercial technology assets and capabilities for successful transition to DOD for the prosecution on the war on terrorism, homeland defense and defense transformation. It will be a user friendly data base composed of companies and their technologies sorted by critical technology mission areas from which government agencies can quickly access and identify.
How would it work? Well, as you can imagine, a technologist at DARPA who is interested in finding a new innovative technology that could lead to development of through-wall imaging or automated voice recognition systems or terrorist behavior prediction tools or new ways of detecting chemical and biological warfare agents. They have done work in this and they have developed technologies potentially of great value. This could be a powerful new tool that would allow government to drill deeper into the mother lode of technological capabilities throughout the country, the pilot project to be carried out right here in the San Diego region. The focus of the region would be to mine at the grass roots level by utilizing the capabilities of local industry associations, trade groups, Chambers of Commerce. These are entities that are chartered to promote the business interests of the industries they represent and represent thousands of companies here in San Diego.
Page 152 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We secured the port for the pilot from the San Diego Telecom, the San Diego Software and Internet Council, Viacom San Diego, and San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and East County Economic Development Council. The technical arm of the pilot project would be a team of management consulting companies and technologists that really understand defense, really understand the mission area programs and processes and the various mission areas in working through this industry, the core technologies of each technological sector, and sort them with the war on terrorism mission areas and the Nation homeland defense mission areas.
So there is a lot of interest out there, and we think that the creation of a national technology registry has to get in there and access the technologies right now that were impossible to access. We would start using the technology and we would start right here in San Diego because again we have a critical mass of all of the electronic software, space and defense. They are a test bed and we believe that a project like this could lead to the prototype and be replicated throughout the United States. The product of our effort would be a prototype and it would be robust and user friendly and be populated with potentially thousands of new technologies that can be transitioned to the critical defense mission areas. It can result in a vastly more integrated civil and industrial sector and also create new connections between government that are simply impossible to establish than the existing government acquisition.
Mr. Chairman, once again I thank you for the invitation to appear before you.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Sheffer can be found in the Appendix on page ?.]
Page 153 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. I appreciate the great statement and, Randy White, thank you for hanging around for a while.
STATEMENT OF RANDY WHITE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, NANOGEN, INCORPORATED
Mr. WHITE. Last Thursday I got a call from Joe Pannetta, who is the President of Viacom, and all of the technology companies have taken a vote and I won, and I would be here today to represent them all. It is an honor to be here to give this testimony. My statement is very brief.
Mr. HUNTER. Without objection, it will be taken into the record.
Mr. WHITE. My name is Randy White. I am the Chief Executive Officer of Nanogen, Incorporated, a biotechnology company headquartered in San Diego. I hold a PhD. In chemistry and have more than 30 years of executive level management experience in laboratory and high energy technology.
Nanogen was formed in 1993, and its technology is based on the use of electrical fields to manipulate DNA on silicon-based microarrays for detection and mutational analysis. Although the central thrust of the company is in the area of human molecular diagnostic testing, the chemical structure and composition of biologic agent DNA, and thus our technology, is particularly well suited for the detection of biologic agents that might be used in terrorist activities.
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Since 1977, Nanogen has been involved in developing portable sample to answer devices for detection of various biologic pathogens. To date, Nanogen has been awarded grants totaling $11 million from government agencies such as DUST and DARPA. Under these grants, three different prototype sample to answer devices have been produced. Each of these were fully functioning devices, yielding sample to answer results from whole blood for at least one pathogen.
In addition to these sample to answer devices, Nanogen has also successfully performed multiplex analysis for six microorganisms simultaneously in a single homogenous sample. Most recently, Nanogen completed internal validation of a multiplex analysis for anthrax and smallpox. A contracted external validation is currently being undertaken by Midwest Research Institute in Kansas City.
The events of September 11 certainly raised our awareness concerning terrorist capabilities and determination. Although significant strides have been made to improve our preparedness, the Nation is unprepared for rapid detection and diagnosis in the face of a biological attack. The CDC is currently overwhelmed with activities connected to the most recent anthrax crisis. Further, the potential devastation that certain biologic agents can cause in a 24-hour cycle is such that centralized testing facilities like the CDC or even regionalized testing centers like Fort Detrick are inadequate in response time. In a true biologic attack, time is of the essence to prevent or minimize loss of life.
A recent article, Emerging Infectious Diseases, showed a comparison of the effects of a 10-kiloton nuclear bomb and a 10-kilogram weapons grade anthrax release. The report shows that the death rates would be essentially the same. For this reason, detection and testing capabilities should be available in all major metropolitan centers to provide the quickest possible turnaround time so that proper emergency treatment and quarantine measures can be implemented, if required, or the all clear sounded as quickly as possible if a false alarm.
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Current DNA testing is a three-step process: Extraction of genomic DNA from a sample source, an amplification step and finally a detection step. All of our DUST-DARPA funding has been directed toward developing a single step portable sample to answer device. However, Nanogen's current instrument and technology are capable of detecting anthrax, smallpox, yersinia pestis, botulism and many other pathogens using the current three-step process. This is true not only with the Nanogen system, but with other current technologies as well.
Thus, my first recommendation is to fund establishment of testing detection systems in every major metropolitan area and to link these systems via the Internet and or through wireless communication devices to regional and central monitoring locations. Nanogen has this capability today.
Mr. HUNTER. And what is your capability with respect to detection?
Mr. WHITE. With respect to detection, sir?
Mr. HUNTER. Yeah.
Mr. WHITE. We can detect anthrax, smallpox.
Mr. HUNTER. How fast?
Mr. WHITE. In about 45 minutes start to finish. That is with the current technology. The problem is that the footprint for instrument today is about 4 feet long, about 2 feet deep and 3 feet high. It was clearly made to be in a laboratory. All of the DUST-DARPA funding that we received is to get that down to something that is portable, battery powered and can be taken into a battlefield. And in fact some of the projects we are working on is to make it the size of this water bottle so it can be strapped to a soldier and have wireless readout that would go back to a central command and give them a real-time readout of battlefield conditions.
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Mr. HUNTER. On the other hand, you got something right now?
Mr. WHITE. We have something right now. I am a practical man, as I saw from you today. The issue is that there is a threat facing us. We may not be able to deploy the single step little miniaturized device, but we got a device today. We ought to do something with it.
Mr. HUNTER. How many of those would you need if you were going to monitor all of San Diego, San Diego County?
Mr. WHITE. I don't know that you would need that many because in the event I heard from one of the earlier testimonies if something happened at QUALCOMM stadium, it is concentrated enough. What you need is the ability within a few hours period of time to determine is that anthrax, is it smallpox, what is it or is it something we don't have to worry about. If it is, it is going to be a large enough issue, as I think Admiral Johnson and some of the other people were talking. We clearlyI am not going to mislead you, we clearly don't have the ability to deal with that kind of a quarantine situation. You would be talking about holding two, three, four or more hospitals to a quarantine area. There are no facilities in San Diego nor do I believe there are facilities in any of the metropolitan centers in the United States that would be capable of coping with that.
So what Nanogen offers is we do have a solution. It is the large solution. You could put that in say three to five different large hospitals, maybe one up in Scripps Clinic, one in La Jolla, one down here one at the Naval Center and you could provide at least some response capabilities to some kind of a biological attack and you could do that today.
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Mr. HUNTER. That is the detection. How many would you recommend to have?
Mr. WHITE. Again because I don't believe that you are talking about real-time monitoring or monitoring on a continual basis, I would think that in San Diego County something on the order of five is probably sufficient. You would have the delay to get the sample to wherever it was going to be tested.
Mr. HUNTER. This isn't likethis baby is not like a fire detector that goes off when it smokes. It requires the human interaction and has got to be serviced and you have to take the sample and work it through.
Mr. WHITE. Correct. And from the time that the sample is prepared and ready to go it is about 45 minutes. So you would have some transit time from wherever the biological attack was. But generally I think if we had five of them in San Diego County you would talking about response time, a turnaround time of less than 3 hours. It is certainly going to be futile, in my opinion, to take a sample and try to send it to Fort Detrick, Maryland.
Mr. HUNTER. Where do you send the sample here? Where would you take it?
Mr. WHITE. Let us say we put one at Scripps Clinic or we put one at UCSD.
Page 158 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. You have it right where you wanted it and you could analyze it close by.
Mr. READ. What is the current process?
Mr. WHITE. That is why the CDC is overwhelmed. We have one of our systems at the CDC. And we wanted the CDC to do the external validation of our anthrax-smallpox that we just validated. They don't have a second. So that is why we went to Midwest Research Institute.
Mr. HUNTER. Where is that located?
Mr. WHITE. Kansas City.
Mr. HUNTER. So you have to send this thing back and this has to go through the mail?
Mr. WHITE. Basically what we do is we have the sequences so we can send DNA. So it is not the infectious agent itself, it is the sequences.
Mr. HUNTER. How much are these machines?
Mr. WHITE. 150,000 a piece. We are not talking about breaking the bank, but I want to finish this.
Page 159 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. But go ahead, Randy.
Mr. WHITE. It is slightly more than a German shepherd. Historically, DUST and DARPA funding administrations have done an excellent job of identifying emerging technology. Grants have specific time frames, milestones and deliverables. And while funding in the several million dollar range has been available to develop prototypes or proof of principle, no funding has been available to continue the development of the prototype into a commercial instrument. This is a prerequisite to entering the government contracting arena for deployment of fully functional sample to answer devices.
Thus, my second recommendation is that DUST-DARPA.
Mr. HUNTER. No money has been.
Mr. WHITE. Zero. Basically you have the research grant funding area over here. That is anywhere from 1 million to $3 million in grants for very specific investigations of technology. Then you have got a gap here because that produces a prototype. Nanogen has produced three of those prototypes. Over here you have the government contracting. This is granting and this is contracting and there is no money to bridge that gap.
This is where Congress needs to fill in that gap because I can take one of those prototypes now. It is expensive. It is a 15 to $20 million proposition and 18 months to 2 years to take something from a prototype to a commercial product. But once it is there now you have a deployable system we don't have today. All we have is the prototype and we have a third one and you are looking at a CEO that is frustrated, who is not really interested in producing a fourth one.
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In summary, the San Diego biotechnology community and indeed the Nation's biotechnology community stands ready to answer the need for rapid detection and testing in the event of biological attack. DUST and DARA grants over the last several years have produced numerous prototypes of sample to answer devices for lots of companies.
The following are respectfully submitted as recommendations for increasing the Nation's preparedness for biological attack. For each major metropolitan area, fund placement of existing technology platforms capable of detecting biological pathogens and provide emergency medical training required to handle a mass casualty event.
Two, facilitate review of biowarfare sample to answer prototypes developed under DUST-DARPA grants over the last 3 years. For those deemed to have the greatest potential use in combating biological attack, fund further development towards a commercial instrument.
[The prepared statement of Mr. White can be found in the Appendix on page ?.]
Mr. HUNTER. I thank you.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you for the very, very excellent testimony, Randy. I mean I think you hit the nail on the head and told it like it was. I want to thank everybody for being with us, and any of our panelists have anything additional they would like to add here? Deanna, any additional comments you would like to add here?
Page 161 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. WEEKS. I didn't realize there was much out there, but I think, building on what Tom was saying, if we could capture on what we are doing that is good.
Mr. HUNTER. That is the million dollar question. It is interesting that the last comments of Randy's basically re-echoed the recurring theme of not only this panel of homeland defense but the Navy of the future panel yesterday, and that is yesterday the systems that we got in the field that turned out to be really great systemsand we talked about the Predator but a number of other systemswe got out basically despite the system not because of it. Even though they failed, the Predator, but we put it in the field and it worked superbly. And we got them out in onesies and twosies and we got them out basically in prototype numbers. That is sad to have to basically avoid the system to get something into the field. And the proud examples that were given by our folks this morning in our first panel about the thermobaric weapons, again something that was accelerated because of the emergency, but not something that went to regular system.
So I think you have cut out our work for us. We have to be really diligent on.
Mr. WHITE. Nanogen is a commercial company today. The principal thrust of our company is on the human side of DNA. DNA is DNA be it biologic pathogen or human DNA. So the same techniques we use on the human side are applicable to the defense side, and that is why we have done what we have done. It doesn't support our company. We have done it to try and do what we thought was right to get the United States where it needs to be. And yet we hit this roadblock and create these protocols, and there is no money to take it forward.
Page 162 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. Randy, we have met the enemy and they are us, and I know what we have to do and I think we are going to make some progress here. And Tom, I want to thank you very much for a great presentation concerning the Consortium, and let us move forward and do everything we can to make that program a success and, Lowell, I want to thank you for your great contribution and the technology you folks have. That is really remarkable, and I am ready for another tour here. And Deanna, thank you for being so articulate today. We want to thank you.
And Jean, do we have any panels left? Would you like to constitute another panel and extend this?
Thanks, and I think we are off to do one more hearing, R&D hearing, in New Mexico tomorrow. So appreciate your attendance and endurance. And the subcommittee is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 2:45 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]