After the perceived problems
with the C4ISR system and
installation on the first National
Security Cutter, Bertholf, how
are you approaching installation
for the next seven cutters?
GLENN: As you said, it’s the perception that they didn’t work, which I
don’t think is accurate. Bertholf sailed
up to Baltimore from Pascagoula,
Miss., then sailed around to the West
Coast, and its C4IT systems functioned properly. We’re still doing
additional planned installations of
certain pieces of equipment. Not
everything was planned to be
installed when it was accepted. So
there are still things being installed
and its continuing to go out on
shakedown for various pieces of
communication. [Bertholf’s] Inmarsat
communications worked fine while
it was underway and continues to.
What are some net-centric
problems the Coast Guard
continues to wrestle with?
GLENN: Given that we operate as a military service, as a
part of DHS and as a law enforcement agency, there are
certain pieces of law enforcement information that can’t
be shared with DoD, so we’re constantly vetting the
information and figuring out how we can share it best
and who we can share it with.
We’re not the authoritative data source for all the
information, but we do get lots of information on
cargo, on people, on vessels, on infrastructure. The
challenge is figuring out what we can share with
whom, and trying to develop almost an attribute-based
access system for the various pieces of information. …
It’s not a problem, it’s a challenge. It’s ongoing, but I
have to admit, it’s not yet perfect.
Right now, there’s a lot of point-to-point information-sharing. … Where we’d like to be is that if I’m the
authoritative source for the data, I could publish it to an
enterprise service bus and, if you’ve been granted authority, you could see it, he could see it, she could see it. That
would be the better way of doing it.
control radio systems are not changed nearly as frequently as the computer systems are. Even the sensors don’t
change as frequently as the computers and the operating
system. There’s a little bit more stability in that regard.
If you lived in the perfect world, how often
would Coast Guard assets get updated C4ISR
GLENN: Every four to five years. I try to recapitalize all the
computers in the Coast Guard on a four-year basis, and I’d
love to be able to upgrade every five years. Command-and-
There’s going to be a new DHS secretary, Congress and administration in the coming month.
What changes do you see that would affect
GLENN: I think that having close interactions with the
DHS CIO [chief information officer] and being a member of the DHS CIO council will help. Also, we recently
did a complete upgrade of the Strategic Plan in August.
We tried to have a one-, three-, five-year plan of things
that we wanted to accomplish that DHS would try to go
on budget for.
The plan was done knowing there would be this
change in administration and we tried tried to tap the
corporate knowledge of everybody who was current and
get their thoughts so that it could be presented to the
new administration. Hopefully, it will not result in the
new administration taking a different direction.
We’ll be receptive, though, as each administration
wants to emphasize certain things. Cyber security has
been a major emphasis of DHS’ and DoD’s current
efforts. I envision that that will continue to be one of
the top three things under the new administration, but
we’ll wait and see. ■