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U.S. military completes test of biometrics system


The upgraded biometrics database repository at the U.S. Department of Defense, known as DOD ABIS, recently completed an internal test, and will now move on to an operational test, the final testing phase before implementing a fully upgraded system.

The Department of Defense Automated Biometric Identification System (DOD ABIS), is the military’s authoritative biometrics data repository, allowing combatant commanders, DOD agencies, and other federal and international partners to use fingerprint, palm print, iris, and facial data to positively identify known or suspected adversaries.

In 2013, there were more than 500,000 identities matched to terrorists, criminals, and other persons of interest using the DOD ABIS 1.0 database. DOD ABIS 1.2, as the upgrade is known, is designed to provide more record storage and to process more daily transactions.

DOD ABIS 1.2 was planned as a replacement for DOD ABIS 1.0 and put into operation in August 2013. During the activation of DOD ABIS 1.2 however, deficiencies were identified through internal feedback. DOD Biometrics, the agency in charge of DOD ABIS maintenance, has been testing and implementing changes to address those deficiencies.

To assure the quality of DOD ABIS 1.2 and the ability of the system to meet user’s needs, numerous stakeholders participated in the recent internal test process.

Among the participants were U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, Capability Manager – Biometrics and Forensics (TCM B-F), the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Biometric Identity Management Agency (BIMA), the National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC), U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

These agencies all utilize DOD ABIS for tracking and sharing biometrics data on persons deemed a threat to U.S. national security.

Results of the internal test assessed the technical readiness of the upgraded DOD ABIS 1.2 system. The operational test, currently being planned for this autumn, will determine if DOD ABIS 1.2 is can be deployed effectively. If it is determined that the system can be deployed successfully, ABIS 1.0 will be phased out.

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