WASHINGTON - The United States has launched a global program to catch terrorists who are transiting between countries by coordinating exchanges of data such as biometric markers, the Department of State announced in a press release on Thursday.

“The Terrorist Travel Initiative will bring together national and local governments, law enforcement and border screening practitioners, and international organizations to share expertise on how to develop and implement effective counterterrorism watchlisting and screening tools,” the release said.

The initiative was announced on the sidelines of a United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, the release added. One of the most effective ways to counter terrorist travel is by accessing data bases such as Advanced Passenger Information (API), Passenger Name Record (PNR), as well as biometric markers, the release said. The program will be run by the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), a multilateral organization founded in 2011 by the European Union and 29 nations, including the United States and Russia.

The initiative will convene a series of four regional workshops in 2018 and 2019 to develop recommendations, to be endorsed by a GCTF ministerial in 2019, according to the release.

Meanwhile, nearly 500 US Army close combat tactical simulators will be modernized under a $356 million contract, defence contractor Lockheed Martin announced in a press release on Thursday.

"The Close Combat Tactical Training (CCTT) Manned Module Modernization (M3) contract, worth up to $356 million, modernizes training while increasing sustainability in support of emerging Army training requirements and systems," the release said.

The CCTT system is designed to immerse soldiers, who operate equipment such as Abrams tanks and Bradley troop transport vehicles, in real-world battle scenarios through computer-based simulations, the release explained.

Since 1992, Lockheed Martin has developed and delivered nearly 500 CCTT systems, the release noted.