June 4, 2012 -
Recently, the 17th Infantry Brigade, which is part of the First Army Division, completed a seven-day biometrics training course. The weeklong program was intended to help integrate biometric technologies into the mobilization program of the U.S. Army (http://www.army.mil/). The military believes that biometrics is an important tool that can separate friend from foe in the field. Biometrics will be a key technology for deployed personnel engaged in future urban terrain operations.
The brigade engaged in a 40-hour training program focused primarily on how to operate the biometric equipment. Soldiers were taught how to correctly enroll and identify individuals, along with the proper management of their data files. A team comprised of military and civilian experts taught the course.
The fielding of military grade biometrics equipment is currently occurring in Afghanistan. Forward operation personnel will see their old handheld Interagency Detection Equipment replaced with the Secure Electronic Enrollment Kits. The kit, which is called SEEK II, has been extensively tested.
The kit not only enrolls an individual but also launches a simultaneous search to determine if a person is on a watch list. The new hardware also has improved fingerprint recognition and iris image capture capabilities. Soldiers at the ground level are expected to collect not only usable biometric data but also enroll civilians who are willing to submit themselves.
Leaders in the military ranks believe that they have a better chance of fighting the enemy through biometrics than firing a gun. By painting a picture on a hard to identify enemy, soldiers are more focused on the persons they should be watching.
Will the introduction of biometrics to the battlefield help limit collateral damage and improve solider safety?