Security (S&B/CBRNE) Magazine

Summer 2017

Security & Border Protection and CST & CBRNE Source Book, published jointly, concentrate on WMD response, NGB training, counterterrorism, and border security

Issue link: http://securitybpcstcbrne.epubxp.com/i/859102

Contents of this Issue

Navigation

Page 28 of 31

One customer that has been a focus of major testing within the Air Combat Test Directorate for many years is the nation of Jordan. Situated in the Middle East, Jordan is a relatively small country, about one-third the size of Arizona, bordered by three nations – Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Independent since 1946, over 90 percent of the population is Muslim, though the rights of Christians are respected. Jordan enjoys close relations with the United States. Addressing a Multi-tiered Threat A great deal of YPG testing has taken place and a "virtual fence" consisting of an assortment of towers, radars, physical barriers, and sophisticated electronic sensors to detect vehicles and people has been constructed and put into use. Tommy Gwynn, chief of the proving ground's sensor systems test branch, says branch personnel have supported sensor detection technologies for decades, most often aboard aircraft. The border security program with Jordan began with the 2007 source selection program and has been ongoing since with a wide variety of system testing and requirement verification programs. The first 50 km section of the virtual fence went into use in late 2009 and is today operated by Jordanian armed forces personnel. The number of kilometers of border surveillance fence in Jordan has dramatically expanded from the 50 kilometers initially installed. Today, the entire northern border with Syria has been covered, as has the eastern border with Iraq. This amounts to several hundred kilometers. Yuma Proving Ground personnel continue to support border surveillance activities today, particularly in light of the fact that much of the installed equipment is bordering on ten years old. Regular visits have taken place each year, with Test Officer Bert Evans having made two trips himself thus far in 2017. Evans is a team leader in the branch and has been part of the program for many years and has visited Jordan on numerous occasions. He has spent long hours on the range during each visit, working side-by-side with Jordanian soldiers. "We plan to look at the sensors and other systems installed years ago to determine whether their performance continues to meet requirements, or whether they've degraded over the years," he said. "Also, as technology has advanced, we may make the decision to install improved equipment." Evans says the relations between Jordan and the United States remain strong in 2017. Partly due to the success of the border surveillance system deployed in Jordan, Yuma Proving Ground experts are currently working with other nations that have expressed interest in installing similar systems. "Many of the individual systems that make up the project are commercial, off-the-shelf products," said Gwynn, "to save time and reduce costs. Our role has been to be the independent tester, which has entailed thousands of hours of work." Members of the team have made an average of two to three visits to Jordan each year. Incorporating Sensory Capability One of YPG's hallmarks in the aviation test arena is highly developed expertise in testing sensors. According to Test Officer Ross Gwynn, a challenge they faced was transferring their sensor knowledge from the fast-moving aerial field to stationary ground sensors. "We're often used to sensors moving aboard aircraft, but now the sensors are stationary and the targets are moving," he said with a smile. "It was challenging, but we came up with a pretty good testing approach." Testing at Yuma Proving Ground normally takes place amid a sanitized environment in which time-space-position data is carefully calculated, targets are tracked, and outside interference is deconflicted in advance. In Jordan, testing takes place in an active, dynamic border environment that requires testers to be able to distinguish important data from what is not. "This is a major challenge, but it's the real world," said Evans. "We meet it and it's satisfying to do so. We've developed a great deal of expertise over the years." Moving Forward Another portion of the sensor systems test branch mission is to test sensors placed on the outside perimeters of forward operating bases (FOBs) in combat areas. There is a great deal of expertise that can be transferred back and forth between the border and FOB protection mission areas. "Border protection is a major issue in a number of countries, including our own," said Branch Chief Tommy Gwynn. "This may very well be a future Yuma Proving Ground growth area." Bert Evans Sensor Systems Test Branch Lead Tommy Gwynn, Chief Sensor Systems Test Branch Your local connection to the world of security Direct access to 225+ leading exhibitors & brands Network with 4,500+ Physical, IoT and IT Security Professionals Free education on top emerging security risks with SIA Education@ISC SPONSORED BY: NOVEMBER 15-16 2017 www. I S C E a s t .co m Javits Center NYC COMPREHENSIVE SECURITY FOR A SAFER, CONNECTED WORLD PRE-REGISTER TODAY AT ISCEAST.COM IMPROVING BORDER SECURITY VIRTUAL FENCING www.tacticaldefensemedia.com Summer 2017 | S&B / CST & CBRNE | 27

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Security (S&B/CBRNE) Magazine - Summer 2017