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August Focus: U.S. Army Technologies

August 5, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

As if the past eight years weren't enough, the U.S. Army is undergoing even greater changes as it retools to fight conventional and unconventional conflicts. Its Future Combat Systems program, which was to define the Army for the coming decades, is going back to the drawing board. The use of kinetic force is yielding some quarters to digital operations, and new specialties are changing the way soldiers prepare for new missions.

The August issue of SIGNAL Magazine examines some of these new technologies. Leading off is Information Technology Drives Army Acquisition Changes, an article that looks at the challenges the Army faces as it tries to procure the latest information technologies for its warfighters on the battlefield. This article taps the expertise of Maj. Gen. Nick Justice, USA, program executive officer-command, control, communications tactical (PEO-C3T).

Many changes already have taken place within Army programs, and perhaps none is greater than the dismantling of the Future Combat Systems (FCS) program. Business Editor Henry S. Kenyon gives a good accounting of where the information technology elements of the FCS effort are headed in Army Modernization Takes Three Paths. He follows that piece with Army Readies for Electronic Warriors, an article about the Army's new professional path for electronic warriors. And, News Editor Rita Boland steps up with Guidelines for Battle Preparation Become Virtual, an article on how the Army training community can find a Web 2.0 welcome wagon online.

All military operations depend on proper intelligence, and the Army is striving to improve its forces' access to that vital asset. Sharing the Wealth Key to Army Intelligence describes two key Army programs that are designed to improve both access to intelligence data and processing by analysts.

Combating improvised explosive devices (IEDs) requires leaving no stone unturned in finding new solutions. In Scientists Search for Soldiers' Sixth Sense, Boland writes how some researchers are looking at the human factor-why some people just seem to know where IEDs are hidden without benefit of any technology.

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