WatchKeeper Helps Coast Guard
Coordinate, Share Information
The Interagency Operations Center
(IOC) Project was approved by the
Department of Homeland Security
(DHS) in 2008 to assist the Coast
Guard in response to the 2006 Safe
Port Act. The main goal is to help the
service work more effectively and
efficiently with its state, federal and
local port partners. WatchKeeper, an
information management software
developed to support a virtual information center, is a key component of
the project. Advanced Technology
International, Charleston, S.C., is
developing software and communications architecture to support information sharing and a geospatial situational awareness for WatchKeeper.
SRI International, Arlington, Va., and
Truestone, Anchorage, Alaska, also
are working on the project.
U.S. COAST GUARD
WatchKeeper information management software is a key component in the
Coast Guard’s effort to convert 35 critical command centers, such as this one
in Seattle, to Interagency Operations Centers by 2016.
The program was given $60 million in fiscal 2008 for start-up
costs, initial testing on the
WatchKeeper software and implementation in the Charleston IOC.
The fiscal 2011 DHS budget requests $71 million to continue
work on the IOC project. The service plans to convert 35 critical
command centers to IOCs by 2016.
WatchKeeper was first implemented in the Port of Charleston, S.C.,
in September 2009. The service
intends to implement the WatchKeeper program on another 13
port sites in the next year.
Capt. Alan Arsenault is the IOC
Prior to WatchKeeper, you might have the Coast Guard, Customs and
Within the department, instead of having stovepipe solutions and stovepipe
missions and stovepipe assets available, we can actually start sharing assets.
That can certainly make us more efficient and effective. We are working together, but we can do it a lot smarter with WatchKeeper for mission planning.
On the sensor side, by sharing sensor data, we certainly would be a lot
more aware of what’s going on in our ports. Right now, sensors are not
shared, for the most part. They are all hard-wired from point A to point B.
Once WatchKeeper is fully installed on all 35 ports, it will assist in the
sharing of information and data.
The big thing is coordinating our port operations among our port partner stakeholders out there. Everything from the IOC project stems from
the Safe Port Act, which basically told us we need to work better
with our partners.