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Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward
but which are also designed for expansion to full-spectrum analyses. The Defense Forensic Network connects all DOD forensic operations virtually and synchronizes worldwide DOD forensic operations. A Forensic Training and Research Academy is responsible for all DOD forensic examiner training and serves as DOD’s certification authority. In addition to conducting its own research, DOD partners with academia, industry, and other federal agencies. It is collaborating with the National Forensic Science Technology Center to leverage its work in deployable forensic instrumentation and technologies and with NIJ on technology transfer strategies.
National Bioforensic Analysis Center (NBFAC), DHS
NBFAC is a component of the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC), which is operated by a contractor on behalf of DHS, with a proposed budget of $28.3 million for FY 2009. NBFAC and NBACC are not federal agencies. Their prime customer for their services is the FBI. They do not perform complete forensic analyses on evidence from biocrimes and bioterrorism; they do perform or direct the performance (by one or more of their affiliated laboratories) of analyses targeting biological materials and biotoxins. NBFAC provides the laboratories and training for FBI Laboratory examiners in several disciplines to safely and effectively conduct their standard examinations on contaminated traditional evidence. It is also charged with establishing and maintaining reference collections of biological agents.32
National Counterproliferation Center
The National Counterproliferation Center, a policy and program oversight organization within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, is seeking to bring a unified, strategic perspective to microbial forensics (bioforensics) research and development and its application to intelligence purposes. Microbial forensics is a “developing interdisciplinary field of microbiology devoted to the development, assessment, and validation of methods to fully characterize microbial samples for the ultimate purpose of high confidence comparative analysis.”33
J. Burans, Bioforensics Program Manager, National Bioforensics Analysis Center. Presentation to the committee. September 21, 2007.
C.L. Cooke, Jr., Office of the Deputy Director for Strategy and Evaluation, National Counterproliferation Center. Presentation to the committee. September 21, 2007.