A tour of the Deployed Technical Analysis Laboratory (DTAL) is like something out of a movie. But DTAL is very real.
This fully stocked, highly advanced lab is one of two laboratories that can be deployed anywhere around the world and be operational within 24 hours.
The technicians’ work, says the lab’s Officer in Charge Lieutenant (Navy) K.P. McNamara, is the “application of scientific principles in a tactical environment.”
The lab analyzes items ranging from cell phones, to narcotics, to improvised explosive devices. This analysis can reveal biometric information including facial, retinal, and fingerprint images, which the team can run against authorized databases and records.
“He went to trial, was convicted, and therefore was prevented from doing further harm.”
Canada’s two DTALs are considered by our NATO allies to be the “gold standard” in technical exploitation capability. The labs sit in eleven twenty-foot containers and can be shipped by road, rail, ship and aircraft. They can change size depending on the need. While the labs and teams are Army-sourced, they will eventually support the entire Canadian Armed Forces and other Canadian and international agencies.
For full-sized photos of the DTAL, visit us on Flickr.
Article by Ryan Ferrara, Army Public Affairs, Ottawa
Photos by Cpl Philippe Archambault