The Army’s Biometric Identification System for Access (BISA) Tier II

On December 21, 2004, a bomber using false credentials intruded into a military base dining facility near Mosul, Iraq and detonated a device. This was the single most deadly suicide bomb attack on U.S. Forces in Iraq. As a result, an initiative to provide a biometrically enabled base access system was started.  


BISA provides a biometrically enabled smart card that is virtually tamper proof via the use of PKI encryption. It is a base access system designed to work in a warzone. BISA is DIACAP accredited. BISA shares its information with other systems and facilitates the sharing of information from ABIS to other systems. Over a period of seven years, I3 provided program management, design, system development/integration, testing, information assurance, training development/training, acquisition, logistics, operations and maintenance for BISA. At its peak, I3 provided 115 staff on two task orders across the globe to provide support for the system.

In the late winter of 2006, CENTCOM issued a Joint Urgent Operational Needs Statement for expanding BISA to many Forward Operating Bases or smaller installations in Iraq. I3 worked with PM DoD Biometrics to analyze and meet the requirements of this expansion. I3 provided a white paper describing a concept that dovetailed with the existing Tier I systems, but would meet the requirements to be rugged and easily transportable to austere locations. The subsystem needed to be easily packed, moved, and re-established as operational needs required. The new system variant became known as “Tier II” in which I3 performed the following:

  • Designed and developed the Tier II system
  • Performed First Article Testing (FAT) and conducted a pilot project in Iraq
  • Purchased the components, kitted the components into a system and performed operational checks before shipment
  • Developed needed training materials and implementation plans
  • Shipped equipment to the warzone and executed set-up to over 60 locations in-theater