The Marine Corps Systems Command is giving its Marines in the field the ability to pick out the bad guys from the good with a new biometric enrollment and screening device.
An Urgent Statement of Need was issued six months ago and the Marine’s Force Protection Systems team along with Marine Air-Ground Task Force Command, Control and Communications, collaborated with the Army to provide the biometric devices to personnel in Afghanistan.
The biometric enrollment and screening devices, dubbed BESD, is a lightweight, rugged, handheld device that collects and stores biometric data. Once enrolled, the device can then compare and match fingerprints, iris images and facial scans against an internal biometric database in the hopes of positively identifying individuals encountered on the battlefield.
The BESD is expected to facilitate Marines in detainee management and questioning, physical access to bases, counterintelligence screening, border control and law enforcement.
“The BESD provides Marines the ability to identify friendly or neutral individuals’ true identities while denying the enemy anonymity,” said Ilich Bello, FPS senior program analyst. “It supports the biometric enterprise requirement to capture forensic-quality rolled fingerprints, and meets Department of Defense and FBI standards.”
The Marine Corps is already hard at work training its personnel to use the BESDs. More than 2,000 Marines and coalition personnel have received BESD training, enrolling between them some 19,000 persons of interest – 300 of whom have been placed on a watch list.
The BESD solution was officially approved by Marine Corps Systems Command on May 30, making the biometric devices fit for field use. Since its approval, the biometric devices have been issued to I, II and III Marine Expeditionary Forces as well as the Command and Control Training and Education Center of Excellence at the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Va.