DOD, Army testing biometrics

The Defense Department's Biometrics Management Office (BMO) and the Army's Communications-Electronics Command (Cecom) are partnering to test the integration of fingerprint technology into the Army's tactical Network Operations Center-Vehicle.

The NOC-V provides network management for classified and unclassified data and voice networks used by warfighters in the field. It is designed to provide network management in a small package, which reduces airlift and manpower requirements for brigade combat teams, according to the Army.

The Biometrics Fusion Center — the BMO's test-and-evaluation facility in West Virginia, near the FBI's fingerprint laboratory — will collaborate with Cecom to conduct integration performance and harsh-environment testing of the fingerprint authentication system within the tactical NOC-V.

The goal of the biometric test, which is scheduled to begin before the end of this fiscal year, is to improve information security and uncover potential synergies with the BMO's other tactical biometric efforts, according to Linda Dean, the office's director.

Dean said the test would help enhance "information security procedures for brigade combat teams in the field" and also would benefit DOD as a whole because it encourages "feedback from warfighters regarding the use of biometrics in a tactical environment."

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