Tobyhanna assists testing of encryption solution
Depot personnel and Communications Electronics Command (CECOM) technicians test a universal manager using hundreds of inline network encryptor devices. From left, CECOM Research, Development and Engineering Center Engineers Brian Gugel and Zachary B... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. -- Tobyhanna is assisting the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) to provide the Army with universal network encryption in the ongoing effort to eliminate the risk from cyber threats.

Technicians from the C4ISR Directorate's Communications Security (COMSEC) Branch here worked with technicians from CECOM's Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC) to facilitate a scalability test for a data management interface for secure networks. The interface is called the Common High Assurance Internet Protocol Encryptor (HAIPE) Interoperable Manager for Efficient Remote Administration (CHIMERA).

In the past, each original equipment manufacturer developed their own data managers for their HAIPE encryptors and these various managers did not work with other original equipment manufacturer devices.

CHIMERA, developed by CERDEC engineers, is a government-developed/government-owned solution that is replacing the need for multiple managers.

According to Sean Namlick, chief of the Production Management Directorate's C3 Project Management Branch, CERDEC's solution allows the user to configure, monitor, troubleshoot and inventory all modern HAIPE devices while operating on the latest versions of host software.

"This eliminates risk from cyber threats and is designed to shorten lead time for new features, as well as bug and vulnerability fixes, from years to weeks," he said.

Inline network encryption devices (INEs) meeting the National Security Agency's HAIPE specification are used in all Department of Defense secure communication networks. Tobyhanna and CERDEC technicians are establishing a network with hundreds of INE devices to ensure functional operation and interoperability. This effort includes stress testing, also known as scalability testing.

"Tobyhanna was also chosen to participate in this mission because the depot offers the ability and authorization to handle controlled cryptographic items," said KimOanh Le, acting Assistant Product Manager for PEO C3T's Program Management Office Network Enablers. Tobyhanna provided a secure facility, technicians, and logistics support for this large scalability test. "They have the quantity of INEs needed, as well as the space and power necessary for this mission."

"INE assets are stocked in Tobyhanna's COMSEC facility," added Mike Colleran, Tobyhanna COMSEC account manager.

The initial testing lasted two weeks and was successful despite some challenges.

Le noted that when large numbers of INEs are powered up, they trip the circuit.

"The problem was resolved by slowly increasing the amount of units that needed to be turned on," she said. "Also, the INEs used in this test produce a lot of heat, which can affect the devices. Tobyhanna personnel set up fans at each station to disperse the heat and keep the test running."

Test data will be reviewed to determine if the CHIMERA is ready for full Army fielding.

Colleran noted that the CHIMERA training and education the Tobyhanna technicians received has prepared Tobyhanna for future testing requirements to sustain the mission.

Tobyhanna Army Depot is a recognized leader in providing world-class logistics support for command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems across the Department of Defense. Tobyhanna's Corporate Philosophy, dedicated work force and electronics expertise ensure the depot is the Joint C4ISR provider of choice for all branches of the Armed Forces and industry partners.

Tobyhanna's unparalleled capabilities include full-spectrum logistics support for sustainment, overhaul and repair, fabrication and manufacturing, engineering design and development, systems integration, post production software support, technology insertion, modification, foreign military sales and global field support to our Joint Warfighters.

About 3,200 personnel are employed at Tobyhanna, which is located in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. Tobyhanna Army Depot is part of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command. Headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, the command's mission is to research, develop, acquire, field and sustain communications, command, control computer, intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors capabilities for the Armed Forces.