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Defence Fellowship recipient presents findings on battlefield forensics

Dr Lauren Wilson’s battlefield forensics research has led to the proposal of a forensic and technical exploitation system within Defence. 

Dr Wilson has managed forensic science in DST's National Security Science and Technology Centre, and applied for the fellowship because she "wanted to seek the most effective framework for Defence to manage its important battlefield forensics capability".


"One of the main reasons I wanted to undertake this fellowship is because the current system is complex – it's a set of divergent capabilities that aren't integrated at a joint or whole-of-government level," Dr Wilson said.

Dr Wilson is currently serving as DST's counsellor defence and national security science and technology in Washington, and effectively showed that forensic science is a subsystem within larger systems of the criminal justice system, law enforcement and military and intelligence systems.

Dr Wilson recommended to Australia's Secretary of Defence Greg Moriarty that battlefield forensic science should be managed using a system of systems framework at a "whole-of-government enterprise level", in order to ensure Defence does not end up with siloed forensic and technical exploitation capabilities.

After consideration with stakeholders, and the approval of Dr Wilson, the proposed way forward is for the Joint Force Authority of the Joint Counter Improvised Threat Task Force (JCIT TF) to handle the responsibility for forensic and technical exploitation.

The solution meets Defence's First Principles Review objectives of a more unified and integrated capability with a centralised authority, a clear strategy and a structure that enables efficiencies.

Outputs from Dr Wilson's fellowship includes seven publications, a plenary address to the Australian and New Zealand Forensic Science Society Symposium, and on-going collaboration with the US to produce the Five Eyes Forensics and Technical Exploitation Handbook, with the US Defence Biometrics agency also notifying Dr Wilson that it will be implementing a system of systems design to synchronise their enterprise, as a result of her research.

Defence Fellowship recipient presents findings on battlefield forensics
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