National security cutter approved for classified operations

The Coast Guard on Thursday granted the lead ship in a new class of national security cutters authority to operate, a formal designation that allows the ship to join the fleet and participate fully in service missions.

The formal accreditation of the CGC Bertholf, a key component of the Coast Guard's Deepwater modernization program, had been seen as a major hurdle after critics, including the Homeland Security Department's inspector general, raised concerns about design flaws and other problems with the project more than two years ago.

Among the most contentious issues was whether the cutter would meet rigorous security requirements for safeguarding information, including technical standards known as TEMPEST, established by the National Security Agency.

For several months the Coast Guard had been preparing for the TEMPEST testing to resolve all known discrepancies before the final evaluation, conducted in April by the Navy's Space and Naval War Systems Command.

The Navy command, acting as an independent validation and verification agent, completed the final software and network scan of the cutter's classified system in mid-May, according to a Coast Guard statement.

"Being certified with the authority to operate was the last major step before deeming the cutter fully ready for Coast Guard operation," said Rear Adm. Gary Blore, assistant commandant for acquisition, in a statement. "With this authority to operate on classified networks, Bertholf is now approved to communicate using classified systems with other Coast Guard, Department of Defense and partner agency assets."

In September, the Bertholf will undergo a period known as "post-shakedown availability," during which the Coast Guard will add a sensitive compartmented information facility, or SCIF, an enclosed area for handling especially sensitive classified information. After that, the Bertholf will go through another round of TEMPEST testing and information assurance verification.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.