News | March 5, 2021

Good old fashion teamwork leads to greater security measures on DSCR

By Leon Moore DLA Aviation Public Affairs

The electronic security system on Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia, is undergoing a much-needed upgrade.

Eugene Marchand, a physical security specialist within Defense Logistics Agency Installation Management’s Security and Emergency Services, said the ESS is a comprehensive system consisting of three elements: access control, closed-circuit TV and intrusion detection. Dispatchers in the installation’s emergency communication center, monitor the system.

He said the current ESS is a legacy system that has been outdated for a while. 

“We needed to move to an updated system not only to improve the capability of our system, but to keep the workforce on DSCR safe,” Marchand said

To make the upgrade a reality, Marchand said installation management teamed with the Defense Logistics Agency Information Operations.

Jim Carver is the supervisory program manager for Installation Support and IT Services Program Management offices in the Enterprise Capabilities Portfolio of the Program Executive Office under DLA Information Operations. They manage multiple operational and information technology areas.

Carver said Leslie Sofocleous, who is the portfolio manager for ECP, challenged his team to complete this effort in a timely manner. Direct collaboration began back in the fall of 2019, when they met with David Gibson, the site director for DSCR. 

While discussing the history and status of the ESS upgrade, Carver and Gibson agreed, it was going to take some close teamwork to achieve the mission, so they established an integrated working group that included participants from information operations, installation management and contracting groups. 

“This has been a very challenging mission,” Carver said. “Some obstacles remain, but our success thus far is a direct result of our partnership with DSCR and notably some hardworking program and project managers in the Installation Support PMO: Jessica Thomas, Don Finley, Lori Berard, Tim Siemer and Jason Broughton.

“The age of the previous system hardware severely limited the site’s ability to confidently maintain 24/7 monitoring and data backup retention,” he PMO team shared. “The intrusion detection and access control hardware are degraded due to age, leading to false alarms and inconsistent access for personnel to approved locations.”

The current Honeywell system was also not compliant with updated Defense Department cybersecurity requirements; therefore, increasing DLA’s risk and exposure to security threats and vulnerabilities. 

Marchand said implementing the upgrade has proven challenging during the COVID-19 pandemic, causing delays in receiving several hardware orders and maintaining an effective staffing level for such a large undertaking.

Through it all, Marchand and Carver both said their respective teams persevered, adjusting to all COVID-19 safety guidelines and maintaining positive progress.

Physical construction on the upgrade began September 2020.

Installation management is tasked with installing the hardware upgrades, including common access card readers, magnetic door locks, door strike hardware, emergency exit and duress buttons, motion detectors and network control panels for both the intrusion detection and access control systems.

Marchand said one of the major changes those working on DSCR will notice are the new card   readers on buildings around the installation. This will allow the use of a CAC to gain entry after normal work hours, including weekends, thus eliminating the need to use a Honeywell card.

One of the most noticeable differences will be in and around the DLA Aviation Operations Center, where access to the command suite on the fifth floor will require a CAC.

A full upgrade of the closed-circuit TV system is also underway through the installation of new network video recorders, and National Defense Authorization Act compliant cameras.  

Carver said information operations and supporting vendors are taking care of all system software upgrades, while Security & Emergency Services is ensuring the system upgrades meet physical security regulatory/operational requirements.

Chief of Security and Emergency Services Guy Simmons, said, the $1.3 million upgrade of the ESS is scheduled for completion by the end of 2021.