The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) worked with United States Border Patrol (USBP) and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) to research and develop training content and methods to enable USBP agents to leverage knowledge, skills, and abilities of the expert trackers in their workforces. This new training solution, called Signcutting and Tracking, officially transitioned on November 9, 2018, has been tested at the U.S. Border Patrol Academy and will be deployed to locations along the U.S. southern border in 2019 to allow the capability to be utilized by both new hire agents and those already on the front lines in national security.
S&T’s new Signcutting and Tracking training package is a three-part solution combining 2D and 3D training videos, a 90-minute computer-based training course, and innovative commercial off the shelf (COTS) augmented reality technologies identified through technology scouting. The three components were combined to deliver a solution to USBP that maximizes the efficiency and effectiveness of border patrol agents in executing tracking (also called signcutting) along our nation’s borders, explained DHS S&T Program Manager Darren Wilson. The training content was also transitioned to FLETC to be leveraged in their backcountry tactics and tracking course for those federal, state, and local organizations developing skills for search and rescue, crime scene investigation, and fugitive capture operations.