Biometric data includes measurable physical or behavioral characteristics used to uniquely identify an individual, such as handwritten signatures, iris scans,
fingerprints, facial recognition, voice recognition, thermal signatures and DNA samples. The value of biometric systems lies in their ability to reliably and consistently identify an individual – thereby denying a terrorist or enemy the power of anonymity. To date, more than 16,000 individuals have been placed on the Department of Defense (DoD) Biometrics Watchlist (a list of identities of interest to the Department), including more than 1,800 high value targets; more than 1,600 insurgents have been placed on ‘security hold’ – significant milestones in force protection.
Urgent warfighter needs gave rise to a number of pilot programs, Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrations (ACTDs) and Rapid Equipping Force (REF) projects, which have proven their value in supporting the Army’s ability to capture, transmit, store, share, retrieve, exploit and display biometric and related information from multiple targets. The DoD collects, references and analyzes biometric data for timely individual identification or verification in support of mission goals such as force protection, intelligence, logical/physical access control, identity management, credentialing and interdiction.
In order to strengthen and improve DoD biometric capabilities and promote interoperability across biometric systems, DoD selected the Army’s Project Manager DoD Biometrics, under PEO EIS, to serve as the focal point for developing materiel solutions for biometrics. PM DoD Biometrics’ mission is dual: to support today’s warfighter by improving and enhancing current biometric systems; and to develop future enterprise biometric systems that will meet emerging warfighter needs.
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