Army Leads Biometrics Integration in DoD as Executive Agent

Wednesday May 9, 2007

What is it? Biometrics refers to the process of using automated methods of recognizing an individual based on measurable biological (anatomical and physiological) and behavioral characteristics. The DOD Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) is the authoritative biometric repository for fingerprint matching. Future ABIS capabilities include facial recognition and iris, palm print, and latent fingerprint matching. The following are currently deployed biometric systems that submit biometric data to the ABIS.

- Biometrics Automated Toolset. This is a self-contained searching and matching system that collects fingerprints, iris images, and facial photos. The primary source of theater-collected biometric data, it enrolls, identifies, and tracks persons of interest and builds digital dossiers for intelligence purposes.
- Biometric Identification System for Access (BISA). This system provides a biometrically- or PIN-enabled secure credential for persons requiring access to U.S. facilities and installations. BISA is currently fielded at 10 sites in Iraq.
- Detainee Reporting System (DRS). The National Detainee Reporting Center's DRS is the primary accountability tool for detainees in theater, creating the biometrically linked official detainee records for the DoD and the U.S. government.

What has the Army done? The Secretary of the Army is the DoD Executive Agent for biometrics. The Army DCS G-3/5/7 established the Biometrics Task Force (BTF) to accomplish this mission. The Biometrics Force Center in Clarksburg, WV, is an operational element of the BTF. The BTF is responsible for the following:

- Synchronizes and integrates biometric technologies into the greater identity management framework and strategy for the DoD, while also performing requirements management, test and evaluation, product assessment, and standards development activities, among other technical functions to achieve this goal.
- Maintains a joint focus that delivers biometric capability to all Services, COCOMs, and agencies. Works with Program Manager-Biometrics in developing a program of record that reflects all joint biometric requirements. Partners with Joint and Army training and doctrine entities to leverage existing documentation to help establish a formal program. Has detailed Service liaisons and is working toward adopting a Joint Manning Document for the organization.

- Operates and maintains the authoritative DoD biometric repository. This database provides storage, search, and match functions and submits results to the user such that operational decisions can be made regarding the individual in question. The database will be enhanced with added functionality for matching various biometric modalities and reduced response times. FBI, DHS, and other agencies have exchanged data with the BTF, leading to numerous matches.

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