"Commanders in the field have acknowledged two tactical 'game changers': constant surveillance from advances in manned and unmanned aircraft, and the application of law enforcement forensic and biometric techniques on the battlefield. These capabilities remove violent extremists' greatest defense - anonymity."

- Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero (Ret.), Director,
Joint IED Defeat Organization, 2011-2013


Enhancing Readiness Through Identity Activities

DFBA carries out the DoD Executive Agent responsibilities for both forensics and biometrics on behalf of the Secretary of the Army and the Provost Marshal General.* In this role, DFBA leads, consolidates and coordinates forensics and biometrics throughout the DoD in support of Identity Activities across the range of military operations.




Unique Identities


Watchlist Hits

A Versatile Tool

The ability to identify individuals using biometric technologies and forensic exploitation enables and enhances many different mission areas, including:

Prosecution Support

Forensics supports host nation rule of law through the provision of warrant-based targeting and criminal prosecution by providing material evidence linking, or denying linkage of, a person to a hostile act or crime.


Terrorists, foreign fighters, and insurgents utilize anonymity to shield themselves from U.S. Forces. Biometric information collected through screening operations and through forensic exploitation are critical to separating threatening individuals from the general population, identifying potential adversaries at border crossings and other transit points, both abroad and within the United States-while also authenticating credentialed individuals.

Support to Civil Authorities

The DoD ABIS helps protect U.S. borders through biometrics support to joint, interagency, intelligence, and international partners. DFBA's ability to share biometric information collected abroad enables the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to identify hostile actors should they arrive in U.S. territory.

Credentialed Personnel

Biometric technology increases the effectiveness of physical and logical access control. Approved individuals can gain access without cards or badges, while unauthorized persons are flagged when they present their biometrics. DFBA supports biometric access control implementation throughout DoD.

An Enduring Asset

In a fast-changing world, forensics and biometrics offer an assured means of identifying friend from foe. While the technology may change, individuals' biometrics remain. Adversaries encountered years ago will be denied anonymity for years to come, protecting the border, preventing attacks and enhancing national security.

A Critical Capability

The wide and varied use of forensics and biometrics, from gathering fingerprints left on the battlefield to enrolling individuals seeking base access, enables multiple mission sets and results in increased security through the ability to identify individuals.

Enable the Mission

U.S. Forces apply forensics and biometrics to a multitude of combat and peacetime missions, from compiling watchlists of known and suspected terrorists to enabling base access for cleared individuals.

Protect the Nation

The DoD stands as the United States' first line of defense against nefarious actors and their activities globally. Threat actors, such as known or suspected terrorists, transnational threats, and international criminal organizations, are increasingly determined and adaptive, using advanced technology to avoid U.S. surveillance, reconnaissance systems and precision munitions across many different areas of responsibility. DFBA works to mitigate these challenges by providing proof of identity through military and business mission area biometrics and forensics, sharing information with its interagency and international partners. These capabilities and the information sharing process enable the U.S. to deny anonymity, ensure greater threat deterrence and defeat U.S. adversaries before they even reach the border.

*Ref: DoD Directives 5205.15E and 8521.01E and DAGO 2016-08