Missile Defense

How Jerry Charlow achieved superior security at an affordable price for Raytheon Missile Systems

Security at the Raytheon Missile Systems plant in Tuscon, Ari., is world class — in fact, the program received its second consecutive superior rating from the Defense Security Service this year.

Raytheon’s security is built on relationships, awareness and training. Security personnel are “embedded” in every aspect of the business, with each employee conscious of both their own security requirements and how they fit into the big picture; while continuous training caters to the specific needs of each employee.

As a high-level defense contractor that deals every day with classified information, security at Raytheon must be measured perpetually and repeatedly, based on the highest enterprise standards and requirements.

Any organization can learn lessons from the security success at Raytheon, where achieving a superior-level security program is not cost-prohibitive. As the security program demonstrates, there are opportunities everywhere to make the operation leaner and to improve execution and attention to detail. For Jerry Charlow, Raytheon Missile Systems Senior Director of Security Services, a superior security program should not be seen as something that is profound or revered, but simply as a fundamental and necessary element of business execution.


March to Superior

Part of the transition from a “satisfactory” to a “superior” rating at Raytheon Missile Systems was a branded awareness campaign called March to Superior, which was implemented with the support of Dr. Taylor W. Lawrence, president of Raytheon Missile Systems, and Dan Schlehr, the company’s Vice President of Global Security Services. “It was a commitment as an organization to be an A student,” Charlow says. “We work constantly to be sure we are truly protecting what we are entrusted to safeguard.”

The security operation also embraced a strategy of “Local Vigilance, Global Defense” — emphasizing the need for each employee to pay attention to what’s going on around them. Focusing on local vigilance has broad implications at the global level, and promoting awareness built a sense of unity around a common purpose and common cause.


It Starts with the Basics

Initially, March to Superior focused on asking basic questions: What systems are currently in place? What are their maintenance and reconciliation requirements? Where is the classified material? The answers to basic questions like these highlighted opportunities to improve existing safeguards and run a leaner operation.

For example, in 2005, there were about 3,000 containers with classified information at Raytheon Missile Systems. Much of the information — including classified drawings, engineering information, magnetic media, disks, tapes, microfiche, etc. — was redundant, out of date or no longer needed; yet, protecting it was consuming valuable space and resources. To fix the problem, a team was conscripted to sift through the material, container by container, to review the inventory and tie it back to active contracts. The team pulled every document and piece of media, culled those that were no longer current, reduced duplication, and cataloged and assigned physical locations to everything that was retained. The exercise reduced the number of classified containers from 3,000 down to 600.

Eliminating duplication and material that did not need to be retained also translated into business cost savings in addition to better security of classified materials. For example, the material now takes up less floor space; it needs fewer GSA-compliant containers; and fewer lock combinations must be changed.


Building Relationships and Accountability

Transitioning from a “siloed” approach to more integrated security at Raytheon required creation of an organizational structure that included systems, processes and metrics that emphasize to employees that what they do affects someone else. For example, a security officer’s response time either helps or hurts a customer, whether external or internal; or a more complete report could shorten an investigation. Where there is overlap, processes related to an event should be addressed as a team, not as a single employee.

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