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US deploys high-tech tracking system in sensitive regions

US: The US Department of State installed a classified security system, the Blue Force Tracker (BFT) System, in Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen to monitor its staff movements. The system has been developed by Thermopylae Sciences and Technology (TST), an Arlington-based company.
The BFT system uses a small transmitter mounted on a vehicle, an aircraft or an individual that sends continuous signals to a GPS satellite and back to a computer in a secure command post. The command post computer shows precise locations within a 10-foot radius of tracked individuals, vehicles or aircraft on ever-changing map displays.
“This critical technology provides department personnel with the confidence to travel into highly dangerous areas, knowing there is an over-watch and a reaction capability to help them at the push of a button,” according to a State Department fiscal 2012 budget document presented to Congress. About USD 9.4 million was being sought to support the tracking system in Iraq next year.
According to the Washington Post report, the State Department officials have been prohibited to discuss the systems on the record. Four highly secure modular metal buildings are being built in Louisiana under a USD 23.1 million non-bid contract. When shipped to Iraq, they are to become the temporary operation centres holding Blue Force Tracker systems for two new embassy branches in Mosul and Kirkuk and two other facilities in Baghdad.
The new system will have “three-dimensional geospatial imagery and the ability to rapidly overlay analytic information onto maps,” according to State Department budget documents. 
In a press statement, TST mentioned that the system would allow the receipt of one-way messages, including distress calls. It will also allow users to “create and manage intelligence reports or incident reports and easily import and export this information,” which will permit “data-driven route analysis, threat assessments, trend analysis and intelligence summaries.”
In addition, a USD 15 million classified facility to hold the tracking system is being assembled on the U.S. Embassy grounds in Islamabad, Pakistan. An advertisement posted in June by Olgoonik Development seeks a security specialist to work there for the Blue Force Tracker programme. Similar Olgoonik advertisements sought security specialists to work on Blue Force Tracker systems being put in Yemen and Afghanistan. 
The State Department’s fiscal 2012 budget document calls the system “critical to the life safety of COM [chief of mission] personnel by allowing the security officer to monitor their location within three meters [10 feet] and respond to any incident with pinpoint accuracy.”  Source: The Washington Post