The Software Engineering Directorate, under the Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center, has been appointed one of only 12 "Agents of the Certification Authority" within the Department of Army.

The appointment, made by the Army's Chief Information Officer G-6 Certification Authority, LeRoy Lundgren, approves the SED to perform third party independent evaluation for automated information systems.

"I am very proud of this recent appointment and of the information assurance support we've been providing our program managers for some time now," SED Director Dr. Bill Craig said. "Our enterprises and Soldiers depend more and more on information systems and the ability to send and receive information securely. SED will continue leading from the front in the area of information assurance."

Responsible for supporting more than 50 million lines of tactical and system support code, the SED establishes the software sustainment environment to include project specific hardware, software and documentation, and performs software analysis, sustainment, configuration management, quality assurance, testing and fielding.

"All DoD architectures, including warfighter, intelligence, business process, and enterprise management architectures are part of the Global Information Grid architecture. Systems no longer operate in isolation, and as a result, developing a comprehensive and effective approach to information assurance is more critical than ever and validation is now required by DoD policy," Craig said.

SED provides IA system-owner support for multiple products within the Joint Program Executive Office Chemical and Biological Defense, Missile Defense Agency, U.S. Army Europe Office of the Provost Marshal, AMRDEC SED Software Integration Labs, Utility Helicopters Project Office, and PM Aviation Systems.

In addition, SED continues to support the Non-Line of Sight Launch System Project Office, Integrated Air and Missile Defense Project Office, PEO Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation, and the AMRDEC Aviation Systems Integration Facility.

"As an approved ACA, SED intends to extend the offer of C&A (Certification and Assurance) support to all DoD system owners," Craig said. "This ACA appointment and SED's broader IA service offerings are central components of our strategic plan that also includes partnerships with academic institutions.

"SED is currently teaming with the University of Alabama in Huntsville to enhance and capitalize on each agency's strengths to form a larger Huntsville IA Center of Excellence."

Most project managers fund their system-owner support locally and fund an ACA from outside of Huntsville for their validation work. Now, as an ACA, SED can serve as an independent third party system validator and a one-stop-shop for all system-owner IA requirements.

"SED's ACA appointment could be attractive to system owners in the Redstone community for several reasons," Craig said. "First, PMs who select SED as their ACA will enjoy the advantages of close proximity to their system validator. Second, as a longstanding agency at Redstone, SED has a wealth of organic expertise familiar with most local systems.

"Lastly, PMs can gain efficiencies by avoiding travel costs for their ACA support, as well as getting that support from an entity that is largely already familiar with the PMs systems and technology."

SED has long been a leader and innovator in the IA domain and boasts a world-class government and contractor team.

"In April 2000, the SED's software development process was assessed at Level 4, based on the Software Engineering Institute's Capability Maturity Model for Software. At that time, this Level 4 rating placed the SED in the top 7 percent of all organizations assessed and one of only five government organizations to be assessed at Level 4 or 5," Craig said.