Army Special Operations surveys industry for the latest in fieldable tactical biometric devices

MacDILL AFB, Fla., 5 Oct. 2012. Tactical biometrics experts at U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., surveying industry for the latest technologies to conduct facial, fingerprint, and iris recognition in the field during sensitive military operations.

SOCOM officials are scheduling tests of tactical biometric devices from a variety of different manufacturers for this December at Fort Bragg, N.C., to learn about potential qualified sources and to explore industry capabilities.

Tactical biometric devices refers to systems rugged enough for warfighters to take into the field during military operations that can identify people by fingerprints, facial features, or unique patterns in the iris in the eye. Among the uses of tactical biometrics is to help identify terrorists and terrorist collaborators.

Planning for the tactical biometrics industry survey is contained in a request for information (H92222-RFI-BIOMETRICS) that SOCOM officials issued Thursday entitled Next Generation Biometric Device Testing Request for Information.

Data that SOCOM officials learn from the tactical biometric device industry survey may help the SOCOM Special Operations Research, Development and Acquisition Center (SORDAC) Program Executive Office for Special Reconnaissance (PEO-SR) to develop an acquisition strategy, technology goals, and performance specifications, officials say.

Companies responding may be chosen for testing at Fort Bragg from 3 to 8 December at Fort Bragg involving next-generation multi-modal biometric devices. Although SOCOM officials prefer production devices, they will accept fully functional prototypes, as long as they can produce exportable images of fingerprints, facial photos, and eye irises that comply with the Electronic Biometric Transmission Specification (EBTS).

Tests will be in two phases that involve technical data collection to measure the quality and accuracy of sensors, and operator evaluations to determine usability and ergonomic factors.

Companies that would like to participate in the Fort Bragg tests of tactical biometric devices should respond no later than 15 Oct. 2012 -- just 10 days away -- with existing or near-term mature capabilities or products.

E-mail responses to SOCOM Contracting Specialist Eric Fairley at, with copies to Contracting Officer Allison Hutchens at, program contact Michael Fitz at, and Test Director James Carter at

More information is online at

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