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Tactical Operations

Units Connect Any Time, Anyplace

November 2000
By Henry S. Kenyon

U.S. Army rapid deployment forces will field an advanced communications management system that will provide its units with a more efficient data conduit than is available with legacy equipment. The vehicle-mounted platform consists of mobile switches and routers that feature integrated commercial and government hardware and software designed to provide voice, video and data service in a tactical environment.

Aerospace Experts Refocus the Tactical Picture

November 2000
By Robert K. Ackerman

The next air combat operation may feature command and control as a distinct warfighting element. U.S. Air Force planners are working to move information processing and decision making directly into the flow of combat.

Defense Information Increasingly Flows Two Ways

November 2000
By Robert K. Ackerman

The information assets inherent in strategic connectivity may soon extend down to the individual soldier in the foxhole. Not only will combatants be able to provide their own slant on theater operations, they also may be able to tap the massive data resources of the entire U.S. Defense Department.

For Tankers, The Eyes Have It

November 2004
By Maryann Lawlor

U.S. Army tank commanders now are looking up at information the same way fighter pilots do: through a helmet-mounted ocular. The head-up device allows tank crew members situated outside of the hatch to view the same information that is displayed on computers inside the tank. The equipment was introduced with troops in operation Iraqi Freedom.

Bowman Hits the Mark

November 2004
By Adam Baddeley

Even the most vocal advocates of Bowman would accept that the program's lengthy history has led it to become a synonym for procurement delay. Nonetheless, Bowman's in-service date was declared in March when the first unit, the British Army's 12 Mechanized Brigade, successfully completed a formation-level operational field trial using two mechanized battle groups and a brigade headquarters.

Iraqi Communications Transition From Tactical to Practical

November 2004
By Maryann Lawlor

Construction of a new tactical communications infrastructure is underway in Iraq that will support tens of thousands of troops and eventually benefit the Iraqi people as it is turned over for their use when the U.S. military leaves the country. With the help of commercial capabilities and industry expertise, the infrastructure will improve tactical operation coordination between multiple sites by increasing the speed at which information can be shared from kilobytes to megabytes.

Information Adds Lift to Air Force Wings

November 2004
By Robert K. Ackerman

A successful future U.S. Air Force tactical operation may end with both a bang and a whimper. Traditional munitions-based operations employing kinetic weapons increasingly are sharing the airspace with information-based nonkinetic measures. The result soon may be an air strike that neutralizes an adversary with only minor damage, if any, to enemy assets.

Challenges Loom for Network-Centric Warfare

November 2001
By Robert K. Ackerman

Several key impediments must be conquered if network-centric warfare is to achieve its potential for revolutionizing military operations. Long-standing concerns such as interoperability and cultural resistance are joined by issues of understanding human behavior and research and development investment. These elements threaten to slow or even derail efforts to incorporate the full advantages of network-centric warfare into U.S. forces by 2025.

Aerial View Sharpened By Data-Sharing System

Novemer 2001
By Maryann Lawlor

The U.S. Air Force is examining technology that would enhance a B-1B Lancer crew's situational awareness while in the air and simultaneously record data that can be shared with other mission commanders or used to train future aircrews. The capability would provide pilots with information about existing threats, which would allow them to execute appropriate threat avoidance maneuvers.

Dressing the Wired Warrior

November 2001
By Henry S. Kenyon

Warfighters soon may be wearing clothing with built-in radio antennas and global positioning system receivers. These items would be embedded in uniforms and equipment harnesses laced with internal wiring and circuitry that connect personal communications devices, computers and power supplies to form a single network.

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