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Fusing security and science.

THE SECURITY MEASURES AT THE Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory -- dog teams, SWAT teams, computerized access control devices, sophisticated perimeter and building alarm systems, and guards toting automatic weapons -- all convince the observer that something on this site needs a lot of watching. But given what that something is -- nuclear weapons designs and materials -- the most impressive aspect of Livermore's security measures is that they are characterized by a measure of restraint. They embody, in a sense, a crucial and sensitive balance between two goals that sometimes conflict.

The first goal is obvious: to protect at all costs the special nuclear material, weapons parts, and classified information relating to weapons design. The second goal is more subtle but every bit as important: to maintain the free and open exchange of ideas among scientists on the site without which advances in all areas of inquiry could simply grind to a halt.

So security faces a quandary. To protect special nuclear materials, classified parts, and information, access to the site and to areas within it must be rigidly controlled. But to do good science, information and people must flow freely. This is where the conflict resides.

"The lab has been successful because it has maintained a necessary and sometimes ticklish balance" says Joe Krueger, head of the safeguards and security department, which is responsible for the overall security at Lawrence Livermore. "It is as open and campus-like as possible for science, and yet its security is tight and tough to protect what the nation demands that we protect."

Krueger, a 26-year veteran of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, cites the unusual administrative structure of the lab as another factor in that balance. While the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is funded by Congress mainly through the Department of Energy (DoE), it also receives some funding through the Department of Defense (DoD) and other agencies. It is actually managed by the University of California, acting as prime contractor to DoE.

The administration of the lab realizes that significant weapons development work -- and the many nonweapons programs that also take place at Livermore -- require first-rate scientists. The administration also realizes that such minds are not going to work at a place where access controls make good science impossible. "The university and the lab have always given great importance to the free academic exchange of information and ideas," says Krueger.

What the visitor to the lab finds is a carefully graduated, six-level system of increasing security, layer within layer having specific measures based on what kind of work is being done where. The first level in Livermore's security scheme is the so-called open areas. To gain access to open areas, visitors can walk in off the street without having to pass security officers or checkpoints, although these areas can be closed off if needed (to protect property during a protest demonstration, for instance).

The second level applies to controlled areas, called red-badge areas after the color of the badge that allows access to these areas. These controlled areas, which make up 70 to 80 percent of the physical area of the main lab site, can be entered only through staffed checkpoints. No classified work is done here, and standard types of industrial security measures are in effect. To get a red badge, employees and contractors must go through standard screening to ensure that they do not have a criminal record or outstanding warrants for their arrest.

The third level is made up of limited areas, also called green areas, where both classified and unclassified research goes on. Access to limited areas requires a security clearance. Access is controlled by a combination of staffed and automated security checkpoints. Obtaining a DoE Q clearance can involve an extensive background check.

The fourth level applies to exclusion areas, higher-security zones in limited areas. Security for exclusion areas is designed to allow access to individuals on a need-to-know basis only. A computerized data base of these individuals is maintained for each exclusion area, and access is granted or denied according to whether the data base does or does not contain a given individual's name. The data base can be queried by either security officers or automated badge-reader heads that scan the magnetic information encoded on the green badge. What happens inside exclusion areas is weapons work, and just getting access to the area tends to give access to classified information.

The fifth level of security pertains to the superblock area where nuclear weapons parts and significant amounts of special nuclear materials are kept. These are materials like plutonium that could be fashioned into components of a nuclear explosive. (By policy, however, complete nuclear explosives are never assembled at the laboratory.) The superblock is patrolled by security officers carrying automatic weapons and is surrounded by extensive intrusion detection systems and double fences topped with razor wire. Access is controlled on a need-to-know basis, and every vehicle entering or leaving the superblock is searched.

And finally, the most secure areas in the lab, the sixth level, are the materials access areas. These are the areas in the superblock where special nuclear materials (mainly plutonium) are kept.

Within this general scheme are more finely graded security distinctions that appear on each employee and contractor badge in a number of graphic and electronic formats. Thus, a person with a green badge might still be denied access to certain buildings in limited areas based on information encoded on that badge.

OF COURSE, WEAPONS WORK IS ONLY one of the activities at Lawrence Livermore,

so the mission of the safeguards and security department extends beyond special nuclear material and weapons parts and information to people, property, and overall physical integrity. The mission requires essentially two different kinds of security: one based on people and one based on various kinds of automated devices.

The protective force division, which bears the bulk of the responsibility for security at the lab, uses both. And while the division's mission has not changed significantly since the lab was founded in 1952, the sophistication of its people and security machinery has.

David Leary, who headed the safeguards and security department for several years, thinks the change began with the kidnapping and murder of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympic Games in Munich. Before then, Leary says, security was regarded as a routine activity. The average age of the protective security officers (PSOs) who make up the bulk of the protective force division was close to 50. Physical conditioning requirements were low by today's standards. Most officers were armed with two-inch revolvers. And the typical response to alarms was to go check a couple of doors.

All of that changed in a hurry after Munich. It became clear that there were small teams of terrorists in existence who were highly trained, well equipped, and heavily armed. DoE had already begun to worry about what such a team could do at a site where nuclear weapons design and development work was done. The occurrence of what Livermore officials term "incidents related to perceived and real threats at various facilities in the 1970s" just helped give a final push to the effort to upgrade the lab's security.

DoE handed down new guidelines for training PSOs, and things "got a lot more intense," says Leary. A new security profile emerged. "There were no more false alarms," he says. "We went tactical on every alarm."

At the same time, DoE changed its evaluation procedures from so-called manual testing, in which officers were graded on how well they knew the requirements of the manual, to performance testing, where they are graded on how well they actually do what the manual talks about. To improve performance, the protective force division began to use multi-integrated laser engagement system (MILES) equipment in training exercises. MILES allows teams of PSOs to simulate fire accurately by using low-power laser weapons and suits that emit a loud beep when the laser hits them: paintball without the mess.

"Those games are great," says Leary. "They teach you the difference between concealment and cover in a hurry. And they teach you about the stupid choices you can make in live-fire situations.

The lab also hired a full-time exercise physiologist to help the PSOs get into shape so they could meet DoE's new guidelines.

Today, the protective force division (PFD) is made up of approximately 200 officers who are highly -- and continually -- trained in the latest techniques and weaponry.

Their training begins with a 280-hour course certified by California Police Officers Standards and Training and continues with at least 24 hours of added training every year. Many officers take on additional physical fitness and weapons training on their own time.

From the two-inch revolver of the 1960s and 1970s, the weapons PSOs must master have evolved rapidly. The standard armament is now the Smith & Wesson 66 .357 revolver. But PSOs are also trained in using Remington 870 and Berntelli shotguns, the Heckler and Koch 33 automatic rifle, and several varieties of machine pistols and light machine guns.

A different attitude on the part of the security forces also prevails these days. Years ago, the academic questioning of authority common among the scientists had begun to seep over into the PFD. That's not true anymore.

"We have national security interests we're guarding here," says Lee Sanford, chief of the PFD. "When we go tactical, I have to have absolute obedience.

"In some places," continues Sanford, "when people make a mistake, they waste money or break something that can be fixed. In the PFD, when we make a mistake in a live-fire situation, we could go to a funeral."

Most of the responsibilities of the PFD would look familiar to any police officer in America, including foot patrols, building patrols, motor patrols, traffic, emergency response, and so on. With its 10,000 employees, Lawrence Livermore is big enough to be a small town. It has its own power stations, its own medical facilities, its own sanitation department, and many of the problems that come along with all of these.

But the special nuclear materials add a layer of responsibility that is anything but routine. In response, the PFD has developed some capabilities that are usually found only in big-city police departments, and some capabilities that are unique.

AN EXAMPLE OF THE FIRST KIND OF capability is the laboratory's Special Response Team (SRT). SRTs are a form of SWAT team highly trained in small-team tactics and special weaponry, with special emphasis on counterterrorism and hostage negotiation. First organized in 1981, SRTs are the result of a directive that all DoE Class A facilities (that is, facilities that have special nuclear materials on-site) should have SWAT capability. Livermore was among the first to organize the teams.

Today, the laboratory has three SRTs, with one on call and within a short response-time distance 24 hours a day. Their mission is to protect the special nuclear materials. In practice, they would intervene whenever a situation escalated beyond the point where a PSO would handle it routinely -- for example, a hostage situation.

The first part of SRT training occurs either at the FBI SWAT school at Fort Ord in Monterey, CA, or at the DoE Central Training Academy in Albuquerque, NM. But the teams are continually involved in ongoing training all over California.

"We particularly like to train with other big-city SWAT teams," says Lieutenant Wayne Davis, the SRT commander, "because they get a lot of experience with what works and what doesn't work in the field." Davis says the ability to tap that experience allows the Livermore SRTs to keep current. And that is surprisingly important. The whole field of special weapons and tactics is in a constant state of upheaval, so the "book" on tactics keeps changing.

A good example was the sudden appearance of body armor among terrorists a few years ago. Up until that time, the book on one-on-one confrontations was to shoot the bad guy twice in the body, a technique that worked. When the bad guys started wearing body armor, however, several SWAT team members lost their lives by adhering to outdated tactics.

Certain members of Livermore's SRTs specialize even further, becoming hostage negotiators or snipers. Hostage negotiation is a psychological skill taught at workshops and is considered essential for Livermore's special teams. The basic mission of hostage negotiators is to resolve situations without resorting to force.

Training to be a sniper involves 12 to 16 hours a month of ongoing training after completing the basic SWAT course. Snipers are chosen both for their proficiency with rifles and for their stamina.

"Snipers sometimes have to spend hours at a time in direct line of sight with the bad guy, without moving, without food, without water," says Davis. "They have to endure a lot and still stay alert. We rely on them to act as our advance scouts." During many incidents, the sniper is the only person who can actually see the bad guy and any hostages until an operation is actually set in motion.

Another capability Lawrence Livermore has that is unusual in a facility of its size is its K-9 unit. Implemented in response to the perceived threats of terrorist bombings and illegal drug use, the K-9 unit has three bomb-sniffing dogs and two drug-sniffing dogs. They are used in a variety of situations, including random vehicle searches, searching vehicles at the superblock, and patrolling buildings and the laboratory perimeter. They can also be used to locate the bad guys inside buildings in hostage situations or other terrorist incidents.

Initially, getting the K-9 program approved was a tough sell, says Leary, former chief of the safeguards and security division. Images of how K-9 units were used to terrorize black civil rights marchers in the 1960s were still fresh in people's minds, and the lab administration was reluctant to authorize the expense. Now that it's up and running, however, "it's probably one of the most effective programs we have," he says.

And it has also had an unanticipated side benefit; the employees love the program. Alan Cocilova, an officer in the K-9 unit, says a lot of employees know the individual dogs well and complain when the unit's duties keep them away from certain areas for any length of time.

"They'll come up to me and Benny [Cocilova's dog] and pat Benny on the head, and then turn to me and say, 'Where have you guys been? Why don't you bring the dog by more often?'" Cocilova says.

The dogs are all beautiful animals -- Alsatians from Germany that cost up to $10,000 per dog. And that expense is just the beginning of the outlay necessary to field an effective K-9 unit. Because their diet must be free of chemical additives, they eat special food imported from Germany.

The dogs go through intensive one-month patrol and two-week bomb and drug detection courses initially. They then receive six hours of ongoing training every month and two hours of obedience training every day for the rest of their professional lives. Their handlers also have in-service training requirements because using a highly trained dog is not like using a piece of machinery.

Paul-Mark Baker, a narcotics K-9 officer, says handlers always have to bear in mind the capacities of the individual dog, the environment it's working in, and where the team is in the work day. "The health of the dog that day, the weather, how many hours he's been on duty -- you have to take all of these things into account," Baker says. "You have to be careful to pace the dog so that if something happens at the end of the day, you can still use him at full capacity."

The handlers get to know those capacities through prolonged contact. Baker and his dog Falk von der Tilsiter Strasse, whom he calls Falk for obvious reasons, are essentially never separated. "Although the dog is owned by the laboratory, he's my responsibility," Baker says. "I take him home with me at night, feed him, take care of him, train him. He's basically my dog."

Because of the laboratory's K-9 capability, its dog teams are constantly being called on to assist other law enforcement agencies in the area, both in actual incidents and in setting up and training for K-9 activities.

WHEREAS TERRORISTS, BOMBS, AND drugs are all localized threats, PSOs must also deal with an ongoing security problem that big-city police departments never face: the protection and control of classified information. One of the foundations of this effort is a secure computer network.

There are literally thousands of computers at Lawrence Livermore, ranging from small desktops for individual use to top-of-the-line supercomputers. Many of them are used in classified weapons research. Protecting these computer systems and the information stored on them is vital to national security.

This presents a technological challenge, for the laboratory has on-site and off-site communications networks to provide efficient, computer-to-computer connections. Classified systems share a communications network dedicated to classified applications, while unclassified computers communicate over other independent networks. The classified communications network and computer systems are not connected to unclassified resources in any manner. In this way classified information is restricted to properly authorized employees.

Information to be shared with persons not properly authorized is carefully reviewed for classification before it is released. This applies to both computerized information and printed material. Protecting classified information is a responsibility of all employees.

Another technological foundation of security at the laboratory is the formidable automated security system that the protective force division relies on to help keep tabs on the one-square-mile facility.

The system most clearly visible to lab visitors is the controlled access by individual number (CAIN) booths. This is an automated access booth with interlocked doors and a badge reader system, a personal identification number (PIN) input system, a closed-circuit video camera, and high-speed data pathways to the security console and to a data base that contains access authorization information. To get through a CAIN booth, a person must -- among other qualifications -- have a badge, know his or her PIN, and be authorized to have access to the area beyond the booth.

Should the person fail to meet any one of these criteria, an alarm will sound, the inner booth door will remain closed, and notification of the failure will be sent to the security console, where an operator will institute appropriate response measures.

Much less visible is the lab's secure interactive Livermore alarm system (SILAS). This system is similar to the CAIN booths, but it controls access to vaults that store classified materials and information. A person in a limited area has to get through either a CAIN booth or a staffed checkpoint to get to one of these vaults. SILAS includes a remote access panel with a badge reader that is also connected to a data base that stores current access privileges. SILAS is different from CAIN, however, in that it offers a number of options to the requester, not just "open" or "shut." It displays a menu of choices from which the requester selects, and then logs that transaction, creating a record of everyone who got access to a particular vault and what they wanted to do there.

SILAS is also monitored by the security console, which is part of the $6.5 million completely integrated computerized monitoring system that is the nerve center of the laboratory's security systems. Sitting behind a secure, 750-pound door in a basement room, the console is designed to collect signals from entry-control devices, alarm stations, and surveillance equipment, and it constantly process and prioritize them before displaying them on powerful 32-bit graphical workstations.

In the past, alarm and surveillance information were processed and acted on from the control alarm station (CAS), a room that has one wall covered with what looks like a gigantic home fuse box with rows and rows of manual switches used to regulate access to various sections of the lab. Among its many problems, however, the CAS displayed information in a format that was difficult to interpret, and consequently it required a lot of human operators.

The console solves both of these problems. First, all information is displayed graphically, which is a tremendous benefit. "Graphics can be interpreted 10,000 times faster than text," says Lonnie Moore, the computer security operations section leader and a consultant in the design of the console. What the console shows the operator is a full-screen graphical plan of the area of interest, whether that be the Livermore Valley or the southwest corner of room 111 in building 423. The various alarm systems, sensors, and access control devices are displayed on the screen, and the one that has been activated is highlighted in red.

This gives PSO console operators the ability to instantly pinpoint one or more trouble spots by looking at the plan of the lab grounds and then to home in on the ones with the highest priority. At the greatest level of detail, the operator can sit at the console and actually track the progress of the bad guy through a building, or even through an individual room, simply by watching the sensors light up as he passes by.

Second, because the console has integrated all the sensor and alarm data into a workstation with encrypted radio and closed-circuit video, the monitoring job requires fewer PSOs. "With the console, one operator can do the same job it used to take five or six to do," says Moore. "This is one of the best and most modern systems in the world. It's fully integrated and interactive. Essentially all of the security automated data processing functions report to the console. So one person can run a large part of the whole show."

A police force of 200, dog teams, SRTs, and a sophisticated array of computerized and automated security devices are still only part of the security arsenal that Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory can deploy at a moment's notice. Other features are kept secret to ensure their effectiveness. But even if the full arsenal could be known, it would remain an expression of the equilibrium between security and good science that the protective forces division and other parts of the safeguards and security department work so hard to achieve.

Lee Sanford, head of the protective forces division and with responsibility for a large proportion of the security operation, feels the pressure of these competing forces acutely. But as he sums up his mission, it's obvious that his goal is to keep those forces in balance. "We are," he says, "what has to be a paramilitary organization, functioning in the midst of what has to remain a research and development organization."

As Lawrence Livermore enters the 1990s, the paramilitary organization continues to enhance its counterterrorism and other special response capabilities. And over in the R and D organization, scientists and engineers are still able to maintain the flow of visits and information required for creativity in nationally important research.

David McDougal is a free-lance writer who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
COPYRIGHT 1991 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:security measures at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Author:McDougal, David
Publication:Security Management
Date:May 1, 1991
Previous Article:Providing unrestrained care.
Next Article:Managing security around the world.

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