Posted : Tuesday Jun 15, 2010
The Army’s Ground Soldier System is no more. In commemoration of the service’s 235th birthday, the computerized command and control ensemble will now be known as Nett Warrior.
The system is named in honor of Col. Robert B. Nett who was awarded the Medal of Honor for leading a major assault in the Philippines in 1944 during World War II.
The high-tech system is designed to connect soldiers with the Army’s tactical network, but program officials say they chose to name the system after Nett because, “We wanted it to be named after a maneuver leader,” said Col. William Riggins, head of Program Manager Soldier Warrior.
“This is a system for leaders, to make them more effective than they have ever been before,” he said at a ceremony at the Pentagon on June 14.
Nett, who retired as a colonel in 1973, was a young lieutenant leading E Company, 305th Infantry Regiment on Dec. 14, 1944. While leading an assault on the island of Leyte, he killed seven Japanese soldiers with his rifle and bayonet. He was wounded three separate times but refused to relinquish his command until the unit had captured the objective.
Nett died at the age of 87 on Oct. 14, 2008.
Nett Warrior is the next generation of Land Warrior, a controversial program that made history in the spring of 2007, when 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, decided to take it to combat in Iraq after Army budget officials earlier that year cut $300 million from Land Warrior earlier that year, essentially killing the program.
The system is still not perfect, but its performance in Iraq prompted Army leaders to allow the 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team to take it Afghanistan. Land Warrior allows combat leaders to track the locations of their men and view maps and other tactical information through a tiny, helmet-mounted computer screen. The system features a microcomputer processor for storing maps, mission-specific imagery and graphics. The navigation system allows a leader to track his subordinate leaders’ positions, which appear as icons on a digital map. The digital voice and text radio lets leaders send e-mails and talk to anyone wearing the system.
Nett Warrior is scheduled to be ready for fielding to an infantry brigade combat team by 2012. The next step will be a limited-user test scheduled for this fall when infantry units will evaluate three separate prototypes made by General Dynamics, Raytheon and Rockwell Collins.