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Interagency Operations Centers


The Web-based WatchKeeper, a port-level command and control system, is now operational and accessible at 37 port locations in the United States. The end of acquisition activities and transition to sustainment occurred Oct. 2, 2014.

 Program Information




Interagency Operations Centers bring together federal, state, local, tribal, international, public and private stakeholders in a multi-agency cooperative environment. An IOC is a matrix organization conducting joint planning and assignment of resources to mission demands supported by – but not dependent upon – a brick and mortar watch floor.

Why this program?

The Security and Accountability for Every Port Act of 2006 mandated the establishment of IOCs in all high-priority ports to better plan, coordinate and execute operations among interagency partners, primarily in the context of maritime security. The Secretary of Homeland Security delegated the authority to establish IOCs to the Commandant of the Coast Guard.

o accomplish the IOC objective, the Coast Guard established the IOC acquisition program in 2008 to design, develop and deploy an information management system, WatchKeeper, to support the functions of the IOC and to improve multi-agency maritime security operations at 37 U.S. ports.

WatchKeeper enables IOCs to:

  • Collaborate with port partners for joint planning and operations through risk-based assignment of resources to mission demands
  • Share targeting, intelligence and scheduling information to improve situational awareness, uncover gaps in planned and ongoing operations, and reduce duplication of effort among agencies
  • Develop real-time awareness, evaluate threats and deploy finite resources to the right places through active collection of port activity information
  • Minimize the economic impact from any disruption, whether natural or manmade.

How this program was implemented:

The acquisition program for IOC was chartered March 28, 2008, to develop WatchKeeper. WatchKeeper was incrementally released to the field as a technology demonstrator; IOC Charleston, South Carolina, was the first sector to receive WatchKeeper in 2010. The acquisition program’s final major software build, Version 2.0.1, was delivered to the field in February 2014.