BIMA Works With Air Force on Identity Management Initiatives
The U.S. Air Force has been using biometrics in the field overseas in Europe and the Pacific for several years to augment identity management. Recently, this effort expanded to include the installation of the Defense Biometric Identification System (DBIDS) registration station at 70 Air Force sites in the continental U.S. (CONUS) by October 2011.
BIMA Director Dr. Myra Gray has supported and expedited the installation of 13 of these systems as well as 23 pre-installation site surveys. To facilitate the project, Dr. Gray asked the Air Force to take two actions: investigate multimodal biometrics for base access and work toward integration with IDProTECT (Identification-based Decision Process to Enable Confident Transactions). As a result, the Air Force funded a yearlong joint project to implement various biometrics pilots at Air Force bases around the country, including the Base Decision Support System and the IrisGate system.
DBIDS is the largest physical access system in DoD, providing theater-wide physical access at military bases worldwide. It was developed as a force protection and identity management program for personnel, property and installation access. This scalable system uses existing DoD-issued identification credentials, including digital photos and digital fingerprints, to draw from and store data to some of DoD’s largest stores of biometrics data. DBIDS supports the addition, retrieval, updating and display of information for individuals who require military installation access and enhances the military law enforcement mission by helping to provide a safe and secure community. Additionally, the rules-driven system is configurable by local authorities to meet their access requirements, allowing the level of authentication to vary by threat level or local commander’s discretion.
The Air Force, like any organization, needs to have a policy in place for the use of biometrics and then an enterprise network to connect users with all of the available entities, including computers, networks and cyberspace.
The Air Force has been focusing on the policy piece for the past year, working with BIMA to establish an office for managing biometrics within the Air Force and completing the Air Force Biometrics Strategic Plan. Other policy documents drafted include:
- Road Map and Visualization Tool to communicate the way ahead to those at the headquarters level
- Proposals for “to be” and “as is” architectures, which garnered an award and has been lauded for being extremely usable
- Gap analysis to find Air Force requirements
- Drafted an Air Force Policy Guidance Memorandum, which will become an Air Force Instruction
- Provided input to the Air Force Policy Directive
- Is currently drafting an Air Force Policy Manual, which details how biometrics will be integrated into the Air Force
As of 2010 with the policy in coordination, the team has been streamlined for sustainment. The next goal will be to put a network component into place.