In our mission statement, “With honor and integrity, we will safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values,” the key word is “WE.”
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is instrumental in developing programs for multiple DHS components and first responders through collaborative technology. This teamwork is critical to our mission, and WE provide those on the front lines of national security with efficient and effective tools and technologies.
For example, S&T developed ScreenADAPT, an advanced X-ray image analysis training technology in collaboration with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The use of this technology has resulted in a 45 percent increase in overall efficiency (the ability to clear bags without any loss in threat detection).
Fifty ScreenADAPT systems have been deployed at seven airports. It uses innovative eye-tracking technology to give trainees real-time feedback that improves their overall performance. It allows screeners to clear bags faster and increases screeners’ confidence in their decision making. These efficiencies, once the program is implemented nationwide, could result in faster throughput at checkpoints for a safer and more satisfying traveling experience.
And WE aren’t just using this technology with TSA. WE have built upon our collaboration successes with TSA to develop Eye-dentify, a capability on the same ScreenADAPT platform in collaboration with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). This use of the technology results in similar improvements regarding imposter detection training conducted at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC). Eye-dentify will assist officers in authentication of travel documents and identification at our nation’s borders.
In another effort to maximize performance, DHS S&T is collaborating with both FLETC and TSA to develop technology solutions to assist in the training of officers and agents on proper pat-down procedures and techniques. The Pat-down Accuracy Training Tool, or PATT, is a full-sized mannequin equipped with force-sensing technology that will provide previously unavailable information to trainers on the coverage and sequence of a trainees search. Ultimately, this will lead to more consistent and thorough operational pat-downs, increasing national security as well as officer and public safety.
S&T is leveraging the sensing technology built into the mannequins to meet needs in first aid training, which is also common task across the Homeland Security Enterprise and first responder community. S&T has developed the Medical Mannequin Training Tool (M2T2) in collaboration with FLETC’s Physical Techniques Division. M2T2 is a medical training mannequin intended to improve skills in some of the most common critical tasks such as initial injury assessment, addressing sucking chest wounds, packing joint wounds and properly applying tourniquets. The medical mannequin will provide vital feedback to trainers and trainees, ultimately saving lives with more efficient and effective injury care.
S&T is collaborating across operational components of DHS and the first responder community, to combine the subject matter expertise of our workforce with emerging technology to increase safety, preparedness, resilience and national security. WE are greater than the sum of our institutions. By working together with our DHS partners and first responders, WE are a force multiplier in homeland security.