Coast Guard to test TWIC waters

The Coast Guard is seeking to buy up to 300 readers so it can begin testing the technology prior to the full-scale rollout of its Transportation Workers Identification Card program later this year.


The service plans to deploy the readers at some of its 3,200 facilities and aboard 10,000 vessels. The final rules for TWIC — released in January — did not include requirements for card readers at ports, but the Coast Guard wants to procure handheld readers for on-ship card scanning.

The readers must be capable of verifying identities based on three factors: the card itself, a password or personal ID number and digital fingerprint and facial data. The readers must be able to scan the card without contact. They must also operate independently of equipment such as laptop PCs and servers as well as the service's network.

The indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract will also cover technical support for the handheld readers and training for Coast Guard inspectors. Under a separate contract, Lockheed Martin will manage the TWIC System, help desk, and the enrollment and the issuance of the cards.

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