The US Marine Corps is upgrading its current forensics exploitation capability with new computing technology that can differentiate between allies and enemies on the battlefield.

The Expeditionary Forensics Exploitation Capability (EFEC) is a portable forensics lab, which recognises, collects, analyses and stores data collected in battle by law enforcement battalions.

The US Marine Corps’ Identity Operations Team is attempting to integrate the EFEC with other intelligence systems to provide marines with real-time insight and information with immediate tactical value.

EFEC project officer Major David Bain said: “We want to improve the lethality of marines in the battlespace by collecting and sharing data faster than we were previously able to.

“Marines want more expeditionary, rugged and lightweight equipment with fewer pieces, and we are making that happen with the EFEC.”

The EFEC is capable of exploiting forensic material to support forensically enabled evidence. It can analyse device and digital media, latent and patent print, DNA, and other forensically related elements.

US Marine Corps Systems Command’s Identity Operations Team lead Sarah Swift said: “We’re making the IT equipment more adaptable for today.

"Marines want more expeditionary, rugged and lightweight equipment with fewer pieces, and we are making that happen with the EFEC."

“EFEC complements and integrates with the other Identity Operations capabilities, such as Identity Dominance System-Marine Corps (IDS-MC) and the Marine Corps Intelligence Agency Identity Intelligence Analytical Cell, or MCIA I2AC.”

The MCIA I2AC can review data submitted by users of the IDS-MC and EFEC and pass it on to marines on the battlefield. The I2AC can rapidly analyse data and produce a report for the Defense Forensics and Biometrics Enterprise.

The Marine Corps Systems Command is hoping to develop and deploy the new EFEC capabilities by 2021. The EFEC was delivered in 2013 and contains a chem kit, a lab kit, a mobile kit and a site kit.

The chem kit is used for the detection of hazardous or forensically relevant chemicals, while the lab kit helps to process digital evidence.

Marine Corps forensics teams use mobile kit is used for analysis and recovery of information stored on mobile phones. With the site kit, marine forensics teams gather traditional forensics evidence on site, such as fingerprints and liquids.

Bain added: “Together, the kits enable marine operators to gather important forensic information on site to determine if a person of interest is a suspect or an ally.”