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Critical Infrastructure News

Walter Reed Medical Center Placed on Lockdown After Report of Suspected 'Shooter'

The Walter Reed National Military Medical Center campus near Bethesda, Maryland, placed a shelter-in-place (code white) order this morning [July 6] following a report of a suspected active shooter around 11 am.  Montgomery County Police officers responded but could not confirm the initial report of a gunshot heard on campus. There are no confirmed shots and no reported injuries following an initial sweep of the facility, sources said.

Some responding federal agents were subsequently told to stand down, a federal law enforcement official told ABC News. Stand down meaning that no other emergency personnel is needed at the location.

The Navy originally confirmed the lockdown in a statement, saying: "All base personnel are sheltering in place as a result of unconfirmed reports of an active shooter," the Navy's statement added. "DOD Security Force, NIH Police Force and County EMS and Medics have responded and searching the area."

Bomb sniffing dogs will check buildings once police finish a sweep of the buildings.

This, just days after the Washington Naval Yard was shut down for about two and a half hours after a report of possible gunshots at the Navy Yard triggered a massive law enforcement response in the area. There was no evidence of a shooter or shooting were found.

Just after 7:29 a.m., an official at the Navy Yard called D.C. police for assistance after someone reported hearing gunshots. A Navy Yard employee had reported internally "she may have heard gunshots in the facility," D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said.

Multiple agencies, including the Metropolitan Police Department, the FBI, U.S. Park Police, Homeland Security, and the ATF responded.  Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier said a sweep of the Navy Yard showed "no signs of a shooter, no shooting and no injured," She said authorities do not believe it was a hoax.  Authorities said that the quick response are attributed to exercises conducted after the 2013 killings.

Source: Multiple Reporting Sources

Drone Helps Firefighters Rescue Two from River in Maine

Two boys were stranded on a rock in the middle of the Little Androscoggin River in Mechanic Falls, Maine and a drone helped get a life jacket to one of them before rescue teams went in the water, officials told ABC News.

A teen and a young boy were tubing down the river when current was so intense they were knocked off the tube and were stranded, Poland Fire Chief Mark Bosse said.

“I guess they didn’t realize how strong the current was but they were able to get to a safe place on a rock,” he said.

Dramatic video footage from the drone shows the pair surrounded by quick-moving water and only the younger boy had a life jacket on.  As the rescue team set up to go in the water, Auburn Fire Chief Frank Roma flew his personal drone – with a rope line attached – to the teen in the water. He was then able to pull a blue life jacket to himself on the rock.

“The drone just happened to be in my vehicle and it was one of those times where the application fit the moment. Our first priority was getting the older boy a life jacket in case he slipped into the water,” Roma said.

Firefighters went out in a rescue boat and brought the younger boy to shore before going back for the teen. Roma said the duo was cold from the two-hour rescue, but had no injuries.

Source: ABC News

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Press Release

For Immediate Release

July 6, 2015


Peter Neffenger sworn in as sixth TSA administrator

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson welcomed Peter Neffenger today as the sixth administrator of the Transportation Security Administration in a ceremony held at TSA headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.

Neffenger was confirmed by the U.S. Senate June 22, 2015, following his nomination by President Barack Obama. He now leads a workforce of approximately 60,000 employees, the security operations at nearly 450 airports throughout the United States, the Federal Air Marshal Service, and shared security for highways, railroads, ports, mass transit systems and pipelines.

“TSA’s mission is critical to the safety and security of our nation. I am deeply honored to continue serving our country, particularly alongside the dedicated men and women of TSA,” said Neffenger. “I look forward to applying my years of leadership experience, law enforcement background and security skills to protecting our nation’s transportation systems.”

Neffenger recently retired from the U.S. Coast Guard, where he held many operational, staff and leadership positions during his 34-year career. Before joining TSA, he served as the 29th Vice Commandant, a position held since May 2014. Prior to this post, Neffenger served as the Coast Guard’s Deputy Commandant for Operations, where he directed strategy, policy, resources, and doctrine for the employment of Coast Guard forces globally. He is a recognized expert in crisis management, port security, and oversight of the commercial maritime industry. He most notably served as the Deputy National Incident Commander for the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the largest and most complex in U.S. history.

Neffenger officially took the oath of office as administrator on July 4, 2015.

Anne Arundel County crews repair water main break


Tens of thousands of water customers in the Russett neighborhood of Anne Arundel County lost service for hours Friday [July3]. County officials said crews found the break around 2 a.m. Friday in a wooded area near Lost Creek and Bayou Bend boulevards.

Because the water didn't flow into the streets, it was difficult for crews to find the source of the problem. The 20-inch water main break occurred in three 20-foot segments and was caused by erosion along the Little Patuxent River bank, DPW officials said. The erosion washed away the protective soils around the pipe and exposed it to damage, sending about 1.5 million gallons of water into the river. Heavy equipment was brought in build an access road, make repairs to the pipe and restore the riverbank.

"The riverbank eroded apparently from the high storm events we've had over time, and ... it exposed about 60 feet of pipe, and when that got exposed, it floated and separated those joints, so three joints separated," Public Works Director Chris Phipps said.

About 30,000 customers were affected in the 20724 ZIP code, officials said.

The lack of water also affected area businesses, which posted signs explaining why they were not open. A Burger King restaurant brought in a water tanker so it could serve customers.

Laurel Park canceled simulcasts and live racing. Friday was to be the start of its summer racing season.

"Obviously, we're extremely disappointed that we won't be able to run our opening-day program and our first twilight program of the summer," Maryland Jockey Club President and General Manager Sal Sinatra said in a statement. "We were looking forward to a big day, a great crowd, and the start of an exciting summer program, but our first priority is the safety and health of our horses and our fans.


Source: WBAL TV

Honeywell and Intel Security Team to Secure Critical Infrastructure and Industrial Internet of Things -

Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) and Intel Security today announced they will collaborate to help bolster protection of critical industrial infrastructure and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Intel Security's McAfee® technologies will be integrated with Honeywell's Industrial Cyber Security Solutions, providing Honeywell customers with enhanced security software to protect their control systems from malware and misuse.

HPS is a leader in the industrial automation space, and its Industrial Cyber Security Solutions group has a dedicated global team of industrial cyber security experts that provide products, services and technologies to help protect industrial automation and control systems against cyber threats. The collaboration between Intel Security and HPS will combine the latest advances in cyber security technology with Honeywell's unique industrial process domain knowledge to provide tailored security solutions for the industrial environment.

"The threat of cyber attacks on industrial and critical infrastructure targets is growing rapidly and our customers are demanding effective cyber security to assist them in protecting their assets and people. Working with Intel Security expands our capabilities to enhance the availability, reliability and safety of customers' industrial control systems and plant operations," said Jeff Zindel, global business leader for Honeywell's Industrial Cyber Security Solutions group. "Our collaboration with Intel Security will enable integrated, validated solutions for our industrial process customers to more rapidly deploy and better protect their investment. This approach is critical to enable the productivity potential of Honeywell automation solutions and the Industrial Internet of Things."