Secrecy News

DoD Biometric Collection, and More Military Doctrine

Department of Defense procedures for collecting biometric data are presented in a newly updated manual, which also provides some insight into the military and intelligence applications of such data.

“Biometrics are the measurable physical and behavioral characteristics that can establish and verify an individual’s identity,” the manual explains.

“Operators currently collect facial images, fingerprints, iris images, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) samples, palm prints, voice samples and associated contextual data (i.e. elements of biographic data and situational information) from individuals encountered during operations.”

The data are stored in multiple databases, including the Biometric Identity Intelligence Resource, or BI2R. That system “is designed to provide the DOD, intelligence community, and coalition communities with authoritative, high-pedigree, biometrically base-lined identities, and advanced tools and technologies necessary to analyze, collaborate, produce, disseminate, and share biometric identity intelligence.”

See Multi-Service Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for Tactical Employment of Biometrics in Support of Operations, ATP 2-22.85, May 2016.

The challenges of mountain warfare are explored in another newly updated doctrinal manual. Mountainous terrain and cold weather can “negate U.S. technological advantages in information collection and firepower.” And 16 of 20 “states of interest” identified as potential areas of instability have regions with elevations greater than 8,000 feet. A chapter of the manual discusses the “specific effects of mountainous environments on intelligence operations.”  See Mountain Warfare and Cold Weather Operations, ATP 3-90.97, U.S. Army, April 2016.

Intelligence support for space operations is addressed in a new U.S. Air Force publication. “Intelligence roles within the space domain encompass multiple mission areas with varied and unique mission needs,” including defensive and offensive space control. See Space Unit Intelligence Procedures, Air Force Instruction 14-2SPACE, May 12, 2016.

“Offensive space control” means “the negation of adversary space capabilities through deception, disruption, denial, degradation, or destruction.” The most expansive official discussion of the subject may be this 2012 Air Force document (which is part of an Air Force annex to JP 3-14 on Space Operations).