NSA El Paso Intelligence Center Trip Report 2008
May. 29 2019 — 3:00p.m.
CONFIDENTIAL //REL TO USA , AUS , CAN, GBR, NZL/ /20391123 SUBJECT: NSAT Trip Repo1i WHERE: El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) WHEN: 20 Feb 2008 WHO: NSAW: COL Barbara Trent-RT-RG Program Office; Mr. Lany Foster- S33;11 - S2F -FT S3; -FT S2; NSAT liaison at EPIC; DEA HQ : Mr. Douglas Poole, DEA Office of National Intell; Mr. DEA, Liaison to NSA W/S2F; Mr. , DEA/SOD; Ms . DEAOGC; JIATF-S: Ms. Sandy Brooks -JIO C; Ms . Ila Sutton-DeAbreu - DEA Liaison to JIATFS; Mr. Hany Petrey - JIATF-S EPIC: Mr. Aliy Doty, EPIC Chief (DEA); Mr. EPIC D/Ch (CBP); various EPIC technicians and briefers; PURPOSE: (U//FOUO) Discussion of deployment of RT-RG capabi lities to EPIC. Senior officials from agencies with personnel at EPIC - DEA, DHS, CBP -- have recently engaged with senior NSA officials regarding the possibility of deploying RT-RG capabi lities to these agencies. Most of these discussions have focused on EPIC as the most logical place for the system given its real time tactical mission . While NSA SID has not included this deployment in its list of priorities for 2008 , if these agencies provide funding, NSA will suppo1i the deployment of RTRG capabiliti es to them . Discussions centered on issues regai·ding the deployment, vai·ious aspects of EPIC mission and the infrastm cture and data flows at EPIC. DISCUSSION/KEY POINTS: 1. (U//FOUO) DEA is ve1y enthusiastic about and anxious to move ahead smaiil y on the acquisition of an RT-RG capability located at EPIC . DEA identified four areas needing resolution in order to move fo1wai·d. These ai·eas were: Funding ; Staffing; Polices and Authorities and a Timeline. a. (U//FOUO) Fundin g -DEA has requested ODNI to provide up to $10 Million for RTRG and is ve1y optimistic that the request will be approved. If not, however , the project will end unless other funding sources can be identified. As of the 20th, the request was still pending . DEA did express concern that other agencies possibly were seeking fundin g for this same project. DEA felt having "multiple threads" requesting funding for the same project possibly could be a showstopper for all. Sandy Brooks was of the opinion that the "funding will shake loose ," because the DNI, DIRNSA and Charli e Allen were all in accord about the "value of sharing interagency data." Ms . Brooks also indicated that funding was included in FY-09 and future POM cycle plannin g. b. (U//FOUO) Staffing - DEA has not as yet identified any resources to staff an RT-RG capability. With out clai·ification of policy and auth orities questions, it is difficult for DEA to know what staffing will be requir ed. Ms. Brooks made some recommendations Derived From: NSA/CSSM 1-52 Dated : 20070108 Declassify On: 20391123 CONFIDENTIAL //REL TO USA , AUS , CAN, GBR, NZL/ /20391123
CONFIDENTIAL//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL//20391123 regarding the formation of an RT-RG team at EPIC and the kind of personnel who should be part of this initiative. c. (S) Policies and Authorities – DEA and EPIC agreed that there is great uncertainty as to not only whether, but how the differing legal authorities can and will be addressed, and a lack of understanding or clarity about if/how RT-RG can or will be able to bridge, or if policies will allow such a bridge, between the different authorities, Title 21 vs. Title 50. There were lots of questions and uncertainties, but no clarity about or answers to the various questions that arose. There was general agreement that policies would need to be put in place to allow the intelligence to be released at usable levels for the various customers. EPIC’s Art Doty commented that “real-time distribution and dissemination authority was absolutely essential” and that anything classified above Law Enforcement Sensitive would be unusable for the law enforcement customer set. COL Trent commented that these same issues were being worked in the RT-RG deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan and part of the solution is the representation of data at the level the operator needs vice providing access to actual data streams. d. (S) Timeline - DEA favored a timeline following funding approval of 90 days to have RT-RG underway. However, RT-RG installation, practically speaking, will require several levels of effort beginning with the basic challenges of assessing the communications infrastructure and resolving or improving connectivity and bandwidth requirements. Additionally, all acknowledged that current priorities for the RT-RG program office are for the Afghanistan deployment and timeline for other deployments would be based on progress made with that effort. The timeline was not delineated further except to agree it would be a crawl-walk-run process at best. 2. (U//FOUO) DEA indicated that the RT-RG capability in whatever form it exists at EPIC would have to respect and incorporate Special Operations Division’s (SOD’s) role as the coordination and deconfliction center for DEA law enforcement operations, meaning that SOD would have to be included in any new information flows that might result from the RTRG deployment. DEA will take on the task of defining the operational concept for RTRG to ensure this is addressed. This does not apply to the DHS components at EPIC that would also be supported by RTRG. 3. (C//REL) Linkage between the law enforcement and SIGINT worlds is the ultimate goal, but there are multiple policy issues to be addressed before that can be realized. According to Art Doty, analysts assigned to EPIC, from whatever Agency they originate, have access to myriad EPIC databases. Whether that same access can be granted to NSA integrees is one of these issues. As part of the crawl-walk-run strategy, all agreed that the initial RT-RG deployment would focus on EPIC data only and increasing their analytic capabilities with more efficient and effective use of current datasets. Concurrently, NSA will continue to develop and implement the Southern Defense Strategy that includes deployment of NSA civilians and contractors to EPIC to achieve increased intelligence sharing. NSA OGC has approved the initial phase of this effort in which NSA’ers will provide technical assistance to EPIC. While not tied exclusively to RT-RG, the intent is to use these personnel to support deployment of RTRG to EPIC. CONFIDENTIAL//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL//20391123 2
CONF IDENTIAL //RE L TO USA , AUS , CAN , GBR , NZL/ /20391 123 4. (U//FOUO) DEA asked exactly what the RT-RG fundin g was going to "buy them ." The answer was that they wo uld be getting "an appliance and comm s upgrades between EPIC and NSAT . There was uncertainty about whether EPIC wo uld need/ge t a full RT-RG capab ility resident on site or conne ctivity to a more robust capabi lity at NSA T. 5. (U//FOUO) The nam e for this project will be RT-RG EPIC. POCs for this projec t at the vari ous agencies are as follows: COL Barb Trent , USA CONCLUSION/RECOMMENDATIONS: (U//FOUO) NSA will continue to work with DEA to resolve several of the issues raised. The following actions were agreed on: • Coord inate an RT-RG demo at NSAW for various DEA HQ , DEA SOD EPIC and NSAT analysts; NSA W IDEA , NSAT - o • UPD ATE: Perthere have been at least two reque sts via REMEDY ticke ts to IT to activate connectivity , but no fundin g sponsor was identified therefore no action has been taken . There have been discussions with the NCR has DHS and S2F on sponsoring this conne ctivity requirement. contact ed NSA Wa n d made the detennination that any infr a~mi ght have been in place is no longer active and ther efore the process will need to begin with submission of the requirement via a REMEDY ticket from the NSA sponsor to NSA IT. NSAT personnel involved wi ll discuss soonest and identify next steps for action, the primaiy being getting resolu tion on fundin g the conn ectivity. Provide DEA & EPIC details of what needs to be purchased and how much fundin g required; NSA W RTRG - COL Tren t; 3 CONF IDENTIAL //RE L TO USA , AUS , CAN , GBR , NZL/ /2039 1123