Ledford to represent all Tribal Nations in new Classified National Security Information Program
By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
President Barack Obama issued an executive order several weeks ago establishing the Classified National Security Information Program which is charged “to safeguard and govern access to classified national security information shared by the Federal Government with State, local, Tribal, and Private sector (SLTPS) entities .”
Gary Ledford, an EBCI tribal member and director of EBCI Public Safety, is one of three people chosen in the country to serve on the SLTPS Policy Advisory Committee. He will represent all of Indian Country on the Committee.
Ledford’s Air Force background was instrumental in his being chosen for the position. From 1999-2006, he served as an analyst in the U.S. Air Force Lead Human Intelligence (HUMINT) for Air Mobility Command and U.S. Transportation Command as well as a planner in Lead Psychological Operations for AMC/USTRANSCOM.
“This is an unbelievable honor for me, and I am truly proud to represent the EBCI, as this is an opportunity to stand up a capability, never before realized in Indian Country,” Ledford said. “In these days of growing and evolving threats, it is imperative that we share data, and absolutely be on the same page when we address those threats.”
The 8-page executive order outlines how the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, will help SLTPS entities deal with the sharing of classified information with the federal government.
“Our mission will be to develop techniques and procedures that will implement the Executive Order, and put into place a complete architecture by which classified data will be shared between the stakeholders,” said Ledford. “This will include, by definitely not be limited to, expedited security clearances for those chosen work with the data, implementation of advanced data paths and networks, and access to information that could provide invaluable indicators and warnings.”
He said the Advisory Committee will work closely with many other federal agencies including the Department of Defense, the Office of National Intelligence, the CIA, the FBI, the Department of Justice, and others.
According to the Executive Order, the Committee is established immediately and the rest of the order will take effect in February.