The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has accidentally revealed the whereabouts of a future “urban warfare” training facility that is expected to include “hyper-realistic” simulations of homes, hotels and commercial buildings in Chicago and Arizona.
On Tuesday, ICE published an acquisition form for the procurement of “hyper-realistic training devices” for a new training facility for its expanding Special Response Team (SRT) program on the Federal Business Opportunities website.
The immigration agency had sought to redact the location of the new training facility, but failed to do so properly. The agency, which has made this kind of mistake previously, appears to have a systemic information-security problem.
In this case, Newsweek was able to simply copy and paste the document’s contents into a word processor and quickly establish that the facility would be built at the Office of Firearms and Tactical Programs’ (OFTP) Tactical Operations Complex (TOC) at Fort Benning, Georgia, a U.S. Army post used to prepare soldiers for combat.
In addition to revealing Fort Benning as the location of the training site, ICE also failed to properly redact information indicating that the Army post would be getting an expansion, with up to 50 buildings expected to be added to the site.
“A Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) vehicle will be competed among GSA Federal Supply Schedule holders for additional training buildings and interior/exterior outfitting in the first quarter of Fiscal Year 20,” ICE states in a portion it did not attempt to redact from the document.
In a following partially redacted line, it states: “OFTP plans to expand the Training Site at Ft. Benning to include up to 50 additional buildings and add additional U.S. city layouts and designs.”
Throughout the document, areas that were meant to be withheld were not redacted properly, including signature lines at the bottom of the document. Instead of names, these would-be redacted lines contain what appears to be placeholders, such as “ijunynyhhjhjhjjjjjjj,” “hnjumgfrdddfffffff” and “BHMKKOOOOOO.”
ICE’s new training facility is expected to include,”at a minimum,” a “multitude of basic, intermediate and hyper-realistic training devices, a tactical training warehouse, classroom facilities and vehicle assault training area.”
Among those training devices will be a “hyper-realistic props/design” that simulates “residential houses, apartments, hotels, government facilities and commercial buildings,” along with other training configurations.
It’s disturbing how much our democracy continues to rely on utter incompetence by the fascists.