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GSN Awards Announced: Coast Guard’s Thad Allen recognized at gala dinner for his Gulf disaster recovery leadership

GSN 2011 awards

Federal, state, county and municipal government officials, along with 30-plus tables of government contractors, systems integrators and vendors of IT and physical security products and solutions, gathered together the evening of November 14, 2011, in a packed ballroom at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington to honor their best at the GSN 2011 Homeland Security Awards Dinner.

Those gathered in the audience and on the presentation dais at the hotel were treated to an evening of inspiration and surprises, as they dined on filet mignon and halibut. The awards dinner was sponsored by luminaries in the homeland security constellation, such as HP ArcSight, Behavioral Recognition Systems (BRS Labs), General Dynamics C4, Mutualink and Raytheon’s Network Centric Systems’ Security and Transportation Systems division.

During the awards ceremonies, Admiral Thad Allen (USCG-Ret.) received the first GSN/Raytheon Award for Distinguished Leadership and Innovation for Public Safety and Security. Allen was recognized for his work in heading up the federal response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Brian Seagrave, Raytheon vice president of homeland security, presented the award.

During a video presentation, Allen said the continuing work of technology companies and first responders was key in any disaster. He urged everyone to become a “lifelong rapid learner” to better cope with disasters, both man-made and natural. He said “reconciling opportunity and competency” when disaster strikes is essential to any effective recovery. Being on top of the latest, most effective technology is a product of being a lifelong rapid learner, he said.

He also said clear communications is also a key to effective response and amplified his call for a nationwide interoperable first responder radio network. “The problem is not technologywhen it comes to such a network, he said, but conquering the social and cultural issues surrounding it. “No single agency can solve big problems like disasters,” he said. It takes partnering and collaboration, he added.

The GSN / Raytheon award, which Government Security News managing partner Adrian Courtenay says will become an annual tradition, was sponsored by the Raytheon Company, a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world that is headquartered in Waltham, MA.

According to Courtenay, the 2011 awards dinner also unveiled some exciting new categories, including “Most Notable Emergency Response Implementation -- Federal, State or Local” and “Most Notable Law Enforcement Interdiction, Arrest, Counter Terrorism or Crime Prevention Program” in the Government Excellence group.

Courtenay also pointed out that the IT Security Vendors category were offered new awards for “Best Certificate Management Solution” and “Best Privileged Access Management Solution,” while the Physical Security Vendors group will offer new trophies for the “Best Smart Card Solution” and “Best Platform for Physical and Logical Access.”

Some notable government excellence award winners included the Bastrop County, TX, Unified Command, for its work in evacuating homes ahead of the raging wild fires that swept through central Texas this summer. It, along with partners Texas Forest Service, Boise NIMO Team and Southern Area Red Team, won the award for Most Notable Emergency Response Implementation – Federal, State or Local -- Operational Emergency Response Deployment.

The Most Notable Law Enforcement Interdiction, Arrest, Counter Terrorism or Crime Prevention Program Operational Interdiction or Arrest award went to the U.S. Border Patrol, Detroit Sector, for its work along the Northern border using video surveillance towers to track down and arrest smugglers in the Lake St. Clair/Lake Huron region.

A complete list of the winners is below.

Category 1



Best Anti-Malware Solution

RSA NetWitness


Best Identity Management Solution

Centrify Corporation


Best Certificate Management Solution

Entrust, Inc


Best Compliance/Vulnerability Management Solutions

Core Security


Best Data Security/Loss Management Solution

Dane-Elec Corp


Best Endpoint Security System

Belkin International


Best Forensic Software

Guidance Software, Inc


Best Intelligence Data Fusion and Collaborative Analysis Solution



RSA NetWitness


Best Intrusion Detection/Prevention Solution

TextPower, Inc


Best Network Security/Enterprise Firewall



Best Privileged Access Management Solution



Best Real-Time Dynamic Network Analysis and Forensics

Narus, Inc, Division of Boeing


Best Rugged Computers

Gamma Tech Computer


Best Security Incident and Event Management (SIEM)

HP ArcSight, Inc


Category 2



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