Gary Winkler

Next-gen biometric ID system helps combat terrorism

C4ISR insight from Gary Winkler

Editor’s Note: The evolution of C4ISR initiatives was affected by a variety of decisions this year. At the same time, efforts to improve upon the technologies that support the warfighter, including command, control, communications and computers and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems, gained new urgency.

Defense Systems asked a number of senior military officers and Pentagon personnel to answer the question: What was the most important C4ISR development of the past year and why as part of a broader year-end assessment on C4ISR developments. Following is the response from Gary Winkler, program executive officer of the Army's Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems.

“From a Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems perspective, there have been several developments that have significantly impacted the performance of C4ISR capabilities and systems. We've made great strides in the use of biometric technology over the past year. Improvements in DOD's repository of multimodal biometric data are enabling us to capture, retain and match facial images, palm prints and iris scans, in addition to fingerprints."

“The Next Generation Automated Biometric Identification System processing time is 1,400 percent faster than the previous system with increased accuracy and interoperability with Navy, FBI and other federal agency systems. NG ABIS is making the world safer for our soldiers as they ferret out suspected terrorists."

“DOD's ban on the use of thumb or USB drives due to security issues had a profound effect on performance. Users became dependent on these removable media, knowing they could transfer their data to any computer. We found out the hard way that these devices are the source of multiple types of vulnerabilities. Not only do removable media carry malware from system to system, they are easily misplaced, lost or stolen."

“Users are resorting to alternative methods with AKO/DKO becoming a virtual thumb drive with users securely accessing AKO mail and files from any computer."

"AKO is also extending services, applications and data to secure, [Common Access Card]-enabled PDAs and smart phones via the Go Mobile solution. Go Mobile gives users a complete mobile office, including pocket-sized printers, projectors, solar chargers, a dumb-terminal and viewing goggles, providing a 50-inch equivalent display. Essentially, a user can take his or her office in a backpack and access portal e-mail, calendar, address book, contacts, video, documents, portal pages and other network services anywhere in the world. We are an Army on the move, and AKO is helping to make that happen.”

About the Author

Barry Rosenberg is editor-in-chief of Defense Systems. Follow him on Twitter: @BarryDefense.

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