Protecting the U.S. Military's Premier War Lab

One of the country's most important military training centers depends on multi-faceted technology to keep its facilities secure.

Up to one year ago, the JRTC-IS Operations Center had no physical security systems in place. Because Fort Polk is located in a rural area and the operations center is well within the base's perimeter, the possibility of someone gaining unauthorized access was unlikely. But recent world events have elevated the importance of the information flowing into and out of the operations center, so the government mandated enhanced security. Raytheon was assigned the responsibility of selecting and installing an electronic security system.

The government gave Vanessa Crawford, engineering project leader with Raytheon, a basic list of security objectives that she and the Raytheon team had to fine-tune and then develop into a list of specific requirements.

One of the items on the list was the installation of turnstiles at the main entrance of the operations center inside the lobby. Crawford did some research and came across Gunnebo Entrance Control, a manufacturer of turnstile products. "After I explained what we were looking for to the Gunnebo representative, he recommended we contact a security systems integrator." Said Crawford, "I worked with the government and the military to further define the requirements for the security system, and then Raytheon submitted an RFP to a list of security system integration companies. Securitas Security Systems [formerly known as Pinkerton Systems Integration] came back with the best response in terms of capabilities and cost," explained Crawford.

Proposing a Solution
Securitas' recommendation specified an AMAG Professional edition access control system. "They were looking at different access control systems and really liked the fact that AMAG was installed at the Pentagon," said Dean Bernard, account executive with Securitas. Securitas also recommended and installed AMAG's multiNODE-2000 controller panels that feature the ability to store biometric templates. "They appreciated that the AMAG system could support biometrics and smart cards, as they anticipated using both at some time in the future."

"Securitas recommended the AMAG system, but I was responsible to research it to ensure it met all of our requirements," explained Crawford. "I did the research and found that it did." At this point, the operations center is using HID proximity cards as its access control credentials and is investigating ways to use the cards as part of a workstation security system.

Another component of Crawford's requirements list was a digital video recording system that would give JRTC the ability to visually survey and record activity inside and around the perimeter of the operations center and other surrounding areas. Additionally, the DVR system would have to interface with the access control system so that operations center security personnel could manage the access control and video system using one interface at the same workstation. This integration would provide visual records linked to access control events. If a door were forced open, for instance, security personnel would be able to identify by video who committed the breach.

Said Bernard, "There again the AMAG system provided another compelling benefit in that it offers a number of integrated third-party DVR options." AMAG's Digital Video Management (DVM) module is an optional software application that offers customers a range of third-party DVR choices. The module links the AMAG access control and DVR databases and controls DVR cameras and playback within the access control interface.

The ability to expand the DVR system as the fort added buildings was essential. To address this requirement, Securitas recommended Loronix, one of AMAG's integrated DVR partners. "Loronix uses server-based architecture," explained Bernard, "so additional recorders and cameras can be easily added when the military decides it's time for the system to grow."

To meet the perimeter-monitoring requirement, Securitas installed 10 Pelco cameras. Five of the cameras are fixed and feature low-light and color capabilities with auto-iris varifocal lenses. The other five cameras are also low-light and color capable and feature advanced pan, tilt and zoom capabilities. Securitas then installed two Loronix Enterprise MP Recorders™. Each digital recorder manages five cameras over the operations center's local area network (LAN).