Boeing to develop command system for SBInet

Boeing Co. has begun developing a command, control, communications and intelligence system for SBInet with an initial delivery scheduled for this summer, the Homeland Security Department said.

Boeing Co. of Chicago is the prime contractor for the surveillance system known as the Secure Border Initiative Network that is intended to protect the U.S.-Mexico border. The company won a $64 million task order in December to develop the first phase of the C3I system, which includes a so-called common operating picture that would provide a comprehensive view of field operations in near real time.

Work on the new task order has begun as Boeing nears completion of its initial work for the border surveillance system, termed Project 28. That project consisted of installation of the camera, sensor, communications and tower surveillance system along a 28-mile segment of the Arizona-Mexico border.

Project 28 was conditionally accepted by DHS in December. Secretary Michael Chertoff said Feb. 13 that Customs and Border Protection is likely to make a final acceptance of that segment shortly.

Meanwhile, Boeing has begun work on the C3I system and is advertising on several Web sites to hire engineers.

The C3I system is to operate nationwide and will play a critical role as the backbone of SBInet, said Coast Guard Capt. Kurtis Guth, SBInet director for the C3I projects, who discussed the project recently with about 90 department officials, DHS said. Guth is detailed to Customs and Border Protection to assist with early deployment of the C3I project.

"Once CBP fully deploys SBInet, the C3I system will play a critical role in improving information sharing, analysis and situational awareness among CBP's mission areas, including Air and Marine," Guth said.

"Ultimately, C3I will be the backbone of SBInet and will be the single touch point for which all detection and surveillance technologies are filtered and sent back out to the field to enhance the agents' and officers' abilities to perform their priority mission of securing the borders," Guth said.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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