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Military

U.S. Defense Department Expands Biometrics Technologies, Information Sharing

October 2010
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Magazine

The U.S. Biometrics Identity Management Agency, an Army agency tasked with coordinating biometrics efforts across the Defense Department, is expanding capabilities and broadening data sharing with other government agencies and coalition partners. The agency, which also operates the department’s premier biometrics database, is coordinating with the departments of Justice, State and Homeland Security to share biometrics data between the three primary databases used by the various departments.

Handshakes on the High Seas

September 2010
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine

The U.S. Navy is investing significant time and effort to secure the waters that surround Latin America and the Caribbean, but not through force or interdiction. Instead, the military branch is embracing the idea that “together we can do more” by reaching out to countries in the area. This effort involves exchanging information and delivering necessary aid through an annual event designed to improve relations among nations. By participating in these activities, personnel forge long-lasting connections and provide immediate help to those who need it.

Tapping the Power of Partnerships

September 2010
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine

The most prevalent perils facing the mainland United States may come not from the east or the west, but from the south, an area of the globe often overlooked in the talk about global security. Unlike other U.S. geographic combatant command theaters, the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility has no wars and no major military-power threats. It does, however, encompass hundreds of billions of dollars worth of illicit trafficking every year. But those troubles are only part of the story. The command also serves as a model for the power of interagency collaboration and neighbor-to-neighbor support, as many countries in the region have been able to grow their democracy, reduce the size and influence of terrorist groups and offer aid to nations hit hard by natural disasters. Relationships and technology can hold the answers for bringing stability to an area that historically has been unsettled.

Waging an Unmanned Hunt

September 2010
By Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Magazine

In the war against illicit drug trafficking, the U.S. Southern Command is employing unmanned weapons that are disrupting the operations of drug-running organizations. By combining remotely controlled air, surface and subsurface vehicles to monitor criminals moving drugs from South America northward, the United States and local law enforcement agencies are shutting down the avenues drug traffickers once dominated. The result has been a mixed blessing. While the flow of drugs has been disrupted, the use of unmanned assets to scrutinize air and sea transport has forced these criminals to move their product via land through countries that must deal with the consequences.

Robots Hunt for New Role as Man's Best Friend on Battlefield

September 2010
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Magazine

Based on technology being developed through the U.S. Army’s Robotics Collaborative Technology Alliance, unmanned systems of the future could become trusted companions on the battlefield—much like canines have been for thousands of years.

Cool App-titude: Patriot Crew Drill

August 3, 2010
By Rachel Eisenhower

Controlling an anti-missile system? There's an app for that. A mobile program developed for the U.S. military serves as a refresher tool for troops assigned to the Patriot anti-missile system.

One for the Money, Two for the Foe

August 2010
By Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Magazine

A seemingly dead program now has new life as the basis of a U.S. Army tactical communications system. Building on extensive past funding, the service is excerpting pieces of the past and crafting them into a network for the future. This time around, the Army is drawing the users into the design process sooner so that the results are likely to pay big dividends.

Cool App-titude: U.S. Armed Forces

June 29, 2010
By Rachel Eisenhower

An iPhone app receiving high ratings could prove to be a one-stop shop for users serving in the U.S. military, their families, veterans and anyone interested in the topic.

Great Green Fleet Prepares to Set Sail

July 2010
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Magazine

U.S. sailors are protecting the ocean blue as they ride the waves, but they also are thinking green. The Navy is making great strides as caretaker of the waters and the air it requires for its operations while never forgetting that its primary mission is to win wars. The establishment of a Green Strike Group, a unit of powerful ships and assets that will operate at least part of the time on biofuels, reconciles the need for a healthier Earth along with the needs of enhanced security and mission effectiveness. The alternative fuel sources that the Green Strike Group will use meet specific criteria that save energy and benefit the American people.

Live and Virtual Assets Train Jointly

June 2010
By John S. Kostoff, SIGNAL Magazine

An emerging virtual training solution will mitigate the challenge many small-unit joint operators face when preparing for deployment from various locations. The Tactical Joint Training and Experimentation Network addresses live-asset training gaps by extending a strategic joint training network. This network links disparate aircrews located in a simulator with live, small-unit ground forces to rehearse joint tasks.

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