David Zolet, Northrop Grumman Corp.

It was also a personal success for DavidZolet, who had been named Northrop Grumman’s vice president forhomeland security in September.

“We’re focused on taking a ‘system of systems’ approach to this marketplace. There are no silver bullets,” Zolet told HSToday.“Homeland security is a very complex problem that took a significantamount of time to come to a head, and it’s going to take some time toresolve.”

LInX tackles one aspect of the problems facedby first responders by creating a data warehouse to be shared by theregion’s state and local law enforcement agencies. The initial 18-monthcontract was worth $1.25 million, although its value may extend to $10million should Northrop Grumman be called upon to maintain and supportit for several more years. The goal of LInX is to produce adata-sharing system that first responders can access securely throughany standard Web browser.

It’s the kind of project Northrop Grummanwill increasingly take on as it forges its way into the homelandsecurity marketplace under Zolet’s leadership. His endorsement of asystem of systems approach means that the customer has a transparentview of different options within a larger program, as the companyapplies an engineering perspective to the entire challenge and eachphase of it.

Producing results

Zolet started his career in TRW Inc., wherehe worked for 20 years before its acquisition by Northrop Grumman.There, he was named vice president and general manager of NorthropGrumman Mission Systems’ civil systems division before the companycreated the position of vice president for homeland security.

In his new role at Northrop Grumman, Zoletheads the Homeland Security Council, a body encompassing the differentNorthrop Grumman business sectors that touch on homeland security.While Zolet oversees the HS effort for the entire corporation, he’salso aligned directly with Northrop Grumman Information Technology,based in Herndon, Va., where the company houses its homeland securityoperations. It was this division that won the Navy award.

Zolet’s many hats reflect an effort to keepthe corporation’s executive leadership lean and focused. “We’reattacking this market with the total depth and breadth of thecorporation—trying to put a single Northrop Grumman against it—withouthaving to reorganize the company.  This is really an activityin focusand integration from the market perspective.”

The company’s HS efforts have yieldedsignificant results to date. Beyond the LInX award, the largestactivity in this portfolio is the Coast Guard’s Integrated DeepwaterSystem contract, an FY 2002 award that Northrop Grumman shares withLockheed Martin Corp. The companies are under contract to create a newfleet of ships and aircraft with advanced command and controlcommunications systems over a 30-year period.

Northrop Grumman also works directly with theDepartment of Homeland Security (DHS) on the Technology EnterpriseAutomation Management Support (TEAMS) contract, which aims to implementcutting edge information technology infrastructure for the componentsof the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).

The Biohazard Detection System (BDS) for theUS Post Office is another Northrop Grumman project. BDS uses technologydeveloped in-house to detect anthrax in the mail, while it’s stillbeing processed.

The company is also adapting militaryanti-missile technology to thwart shoulder-mounted anti-aircraftmissiles that could be used against commercial aircraft.

First responder focus

Zolet feels that programs to aid firstresponders on a local level have the most immediate impact on providingsolutions for homeland security challenges. For example, NorthropGrumman is implementing a program in Santa Clara County, Calif., toprovide interoperable communications for first responders and for DHS.

“From a near-term perspective, interoperablecommunications are a big deal to [DHS] from a first responderperspective as well as an interagency perspective,” Zolet said.“Looking at data-sharing activities as they pertain to collection andanalysis of data, that’s really a big deal for the department.”

“We feel the real problems that this countryfaces as it pertains to this area are very, very complex in nature andreally require a holistic approach to solving them,” Zolet said. “Itreally requires a company that has depth and breadth both from atechnical perspective as well as from a market presence perspectivelike Northrop Grumman. We are up to the challenge. We are committed tothis marketplace.”  HST

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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