US Special Ops Forces Test Rapid DNA Readers for ‘Juicy Missions’

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“It’s a groundbreaking, game-breaking technology,” said Michael S. Fitz, manager of the Sensitive Site Exploitation Special Reconnaissance, Surveillance & Exploitation program at US Special Operations Command.

The operators feed in a DNA sample, and the reader compares it against a database that matches DNA to identities. They can return a result in 90 minutes, a process that used to take weeks.

“In the past, when we captured DNA, the guy would put it in an envelope, send it back to the States and two or three weeks later, he would get a result on who it was that he had. By then, he moved on to other missions and he had forgotten who the guy was,” Fitz said.

The devices will be used for verifying the identity of targets, either before raids or after the fact. But because the program is so new, Fritz said, “we’re saving it for the juicy missions.”