Jan 9, 2011

Intel for the individual

Smart phones offer soldiers potential for specific ISR in the field
By Lance M. Bacon - Staff writer
Posted : Saturday Jan 8, 2011

A weapon is in the works that will change combat as you know it. It will not be a machine gun, aircraft or up-armored vehicle.
This weapon will be a smart phone, just like the one you use to call home and share texts, with one difference: This one will deliver battlefield intelligence to the soldiers who need it most.
Smart phone applications already are used at some training bases. Lt. Gen. Michael Vane, director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center, has said he would like the Army to issue smart phones just like any other “piece of equipment in a soldier’s clothing bag,” suggesting the Army might provide soldiers with a budget for apps and call time.
The challenge will be going from practical to tactical. Many Army leaders want to use this technology to provide real-time intelligence for soldiers on the battlefield, and will field phones, network equipment and applications in February under the brigade combat team modernization program.
If done right, the technology can protect soldiers from falling prey to ambushes like the one Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, the recent Medal of Honor recipient, encountered in Afghanistan, said Brig. Gen. Peter Fuller of Program Executive Office Soldier. Fuller shared his vision for greater lethality and survivability during an exclusive interview with Army Times in late December.
He questioned why soldiers are ambushed when intel exists that could alert them to the enemy’s location.

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