United States military forces stationed in Iraq will soon utilize surveillance technology and methods adapted from those used by police departments to track and investigate gang activity. Lockheed Martin, in conjunction with Chicago and Los Angeles police departments, is employing counter-insurgency (COIN) surveillance technology to support urban operations conducted by the US Marine Corps in Iraq. The COIN technology will allow the military units to utilize video surveillance and other police investigative methods to track and identify persons of interest to learn their patterns, characteristics and associates, as well as help them to better predict when and where insurgents might strike.

“The COIN technology will save the lives of US Marines in Iraq,” said battalion commander lieutenant colonel Nick Marano. “The approach will enable our troops to target specific areas, observe people behaving in ways that they disguise when they see a marine and collect and link investigative data to identify patterns and key insurgent locations. This data will be available to the tactical unit in the field, as well as command and intelligence centers.”

Lockheed Martin’s COIN technology augments military procedures with proven police investigative methods and enables troops to act with greater accuracy and conduct round-the-clock surveillance from a safer distance. This police surveillance and investigative technology is modified and integrated to suit the needs of the US Marines who will employ the technology. By identifying potential insurgents and their networks, the COIN technology will also help protect Iraqis and US troops against suicide bombers and improvised explosive devices (IED).

In addition to deploying cameras and other devices to track suspicious activities, Lockheed Martin will create an investigative database that will store information about Iraqi insurgents collected by US military forces patrolling the area. The database is a customized version of a police investigative database developed by the Chicago Police Department for its anti-gang, counter-drug operations.

The effort will also include hands-free intelligent recorders developed by Lockheed Martin that automatically translate the Marines’ spoken words into formatted text and precise location information which is then securely transmitted into the database.

“These devices will allow our military men and women to record information and location into a secure database by simply speaking aloud,” said Gordy McElroy, Lockheed Martin vice president of Intelligence and Homeland Security Systems. “This enables our deployed Marines to collect the information they need while keeping their hands on their weapons and paying attention to their surroundings. With information in the database, our forces and analysts will be better able to search and retrieve information on persons of interest in specific areas.” Currently, the COIN technology is a part of a pilot program that Lockheed Martin is testing to be used in Iraq. Following testing in desert situations, the corporation plans to deliver the surveillance architecture in early 2006.

“The technology helps extend what the individual Marine sees and senses,” said lieutenant colonel Marano. “Using this police work model, we will be able to solve several problems earlier by surveillance.”

The Chicago Police Department (PD), who developed the capabilities to investigate urban gangs, has used these methods and similar technology with great success. The Chicago PD is providing its expertise and lessons learned in an effort to help the Marines in Iraq.

“Our officers and detectives use Illinois Citizen Law Enforcement Analysis and Reporting (I-CLEAR) on a daily basis to track crime trends and check criminal backgrounds of wanted offenders,” said Philip J. Cline, superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. “This technology has expanded as a model for law enforcement agencies across the country, and now, we look forward to sharing some of these same concepts with the military.”

The Los Angeles PD is assisting by bringing their urban and counter-terrorism operations experience to the program, helping to coordinate how US Marines in Iraq will use the COIN technology.

“This is another step the LAPD is taking to help our military in any way possible,” said Ralph Morten, LAPD detective supervisor. “Our LAPD SWAT and bomb disposal units are currently working with the Marines to prepare them to handle situations in Iraq that are similar to what our officers handle here.”

The COIN contract is valued at an initial $2.5 M and may grow if adopted by other forces operating in Iraq. Lockheed Martin has additional counter-IED contracts underway across the corporation, primarily focused on capabilities to address specific aspects of the IED problem — such as area surveillance, prediction, convoy training and the explosive devices themselves.