New Bombmaking Materials in Africa Spur SOCOM Acquisition
Mike Fitz, the program manger for sensitive site exploitation at USSOCOM briefed a small group of industry representatives that one of capability gaps his shop is currently contending with is finding and acquiring better battlefield forensics gear. The requirement for tactical biometrics equipment has been filled until the next solicitation in several years time, so forensics—everything from pulling information off cell phones and computers to identifying bombmaking materials—is at the top of his acquisitions list.
He said that he is interested in seeing small, portable equipment that will allow operators on the ground to rapidly collect DNA and identify latent fingerprints on site, and to have the ability to more effectively pull data off cell phones and computers and be able to analyze it while on an operation.
“We’re trying to find something that will help our guys on site analyze what they get off of cell phones,” he explained. “We need something to help the operator evaluate that very quickly, on site. And we’re looking for something that does a little better job at tracing explosives,” he said. The explosives tracing system that SOCOM is fielding right now “does ok with nitrates,” Fitz added, “but we’re looking to do chlorates and bromates and those types of things—we’re finding more and more of those, especially as we get in to Africa.”