Nations seeking to enable information exchange among international coalition partners face several daunting tasks for laying the groundwork for vital interoperability. Many of these efforts involve individual national commitments to build interoperability into their systems and practices, while others require consultation and consensus before proceeding along equipment deployment paths.
Nowhere does the battle for or against outsourcing rage more fiercely than in the halls of the Pentagon, seat of the most powerful military in the world. The U.S. Defense Department is finding itself in the throes of a debate that might, over time, cause it to cede its hegemony to commercial forces and lose the tools it will need to fight on distant battlefields.
The U.S. Pacific Command is cultivating a variety of technological tools that would bring coalition partners into permanent wide area networks and support the numerous partnerships in the vast region. Enhanced connectivity within the U.S. military forces and improved links for foreign nations will support the United States' primary mission in the Asia-Pacific region-ensuring security in an area of the world that continues to build up its armaments.
U.S. military forces on the Korean peninsula are mobilizing the power of technology to nurture a partnership that has been more than 50 years in the making. The unique nature of the Korean theater of operations has prompted the combined and joint commands in that area to fine-tune information systems to meet their distinct requirements.
The Australian army is taking advantage of technology that consumers recognize as a faster way to connect to the Internet. To enhance their communications capabilities in the field, the service is collaborating with industry to design equipment that meets its specialized needs. The system has broad applications across a spectrum of other fields, including transportation and energy resources.
Forced to go its own way in technology and weapon system development because of a peacetime nonalignment policy and wartime neutrality, Sweden suddenly finds itself the focus of international business attention. Extensive changes are taking place in Sweden's defense and aerospace industries as foreign interest centers on investment, acquisition, merger and multinational consortium arrangements.
As businesses increasingly turn to visual methods of interaction, the demand for software programs that support multiple connectivity requirements has fueled growing technological research. The ability to tap the virtually limitless resources of voice, video and data services for use in real-time collaborative communications between companies has attracted interest in the ways these companies can maximize their Internet capabilities.
A research pipeline between biologists and engineers has led to a new class of microrobotics, spawning a paperclip-sized mechanical flying insect that will weigh one-tenth of a gram and will measure 1 inch from wing tip to wing tip. The result will be applied in search and rescue missions, mine detection and even planetary exploration.
The third and final day of West 2005, the annual conference and exposition sponsored by AFCEA International and the U.S. Naval Institute, featured speakers and panels covering topics ranging from homeland security to support for military personnel.