Biometric Access Card Project Underway for Iraq
Small business qualifier Ideal Innovations Inc. in Arlington, VA received an $8.2 million time-and-materials contract for Biometric Support and Multi-Purpose Access Card Support.
It appears to be part of a $75 million biometric identification system that the U.S. Defense Department has been fine-tuning of late, in order to improve force protection at U.S. military bases in Iraq. At a recent system demonstration, DoD officials said the state-of-the-art system will use biographical data, facial photographs, fingerprints and iris scans collected from Iraqis and other non-U.S. citizens who want to work on U.S. bases in Iraq to develop ID cards that can’t be counterfeited as easily.
Work on the new biometrics-based system began in late January, when then-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz pushed for an improved base-access system to provide better protection for U.S. troops in Iraq in the wake of the Dec. 21, 2004, bombing of a military dining facility in Mosul. Further investigation of the Mosul bombing pointed to the likelihood that a suicide bomber had infiltrated the base — and possibly set off the explosion.
Biometrics is defined as measurable physical or behavioral characteristics that can be used to identify people. Base employees who are issued new biometric ID cards will be required to pass through security-control points where the badges will be electronically checked. Project managers are now working closely with U.S. Central Command officials who attended the briefing to resolve any remaining issues.
Work on this contract will be performed in Arlington, VA (30%), Fort Belvoir, VA (30%), and Iraq (40%), and is expected to be complete by Nov. 30, 2006. This was a sole source contract initiated on April 19, 2005 by the U.S. Army Contracting Agency in White Sands, NM (W9124Q-05-C-0250). The new system will be implemented in Iraq as soon as possible, officials said.
- American Forces Press Service (May 17, 2005) – DoD Readies Biometric ID System for U.S. Bases in Iraq