Flexible coalition wide area networks, the Navy/Marine Corps Intranet, and miniaturized mobile wireless systems are key areas for successful warfighting, said military and industry leaders at the 16th annual TechNet Asia-Pacific conference in November. The three-day event, "Pacific Technology: Leading the Way in the Digital Future," covered interoperability issues and new technologies. Top U.S. Defense Department leaders came to share their visions and describe their technical requirements for the future.
A software analysis tool allows military and civilian managers of government facilities to evaluate vulnerability to terrorist attacks quickly. Now being installed at all U.S. military installations, the program calculates the risks that a variety of extremist organizations pose to a base or building, taking into account known tactics, methods of attack, preferred weapons and capabilities. This data is converted into graphics and three-dimensional models that can be stored and incorporated into reports.
The U.S. Army has actively entered the distance learning arena with two programs that allow soldiers to earn college credits or improve their military occupational skills online from their primary bases or while deployed.
Professionals often find solutions that repeatedly prove successful. By documenting these best-of-breed approaches, experts are now able to develop working taxonomies of patterns of success. Known as knowledge patterns, these resources will result in an array of tools to help conduct audits, develop strategies and make decisions.
The U.S. Army is putting the power of Web technology behind its transformation into a knowledge-based force. The effort aims at improving the decision dominance of individual soldiers and the Army as a whole by sharing information and making its cumulative expertise a powerful instrument.
The solution to information overload may lie in one of the key contributors to the phenomenon. Recently developed software now can address the complementary issues of managing data and making it more useful. Personnel at the U.S. Joint Forces Command Joint Experimentation Directorate are exploring systems that could transform military engagement methodology and usher in decision-based operations.
Technology is liberating the U.S. Defense Department from the chains of a single location by enabling it to become a network-centric department. The initiative to create a virtual Pentagon calls for taking advantage of advances in networking, Internet protocol, videoconferencing, mass storage and data transmitting technologies. These capabilities would allow military personnel to continue to collaborate and communicate in emergency situations even if systems within the Pentagon are damaged.
The NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency is exploring the use of digital video broadcast technology in both satellite and terrestrial versions. The technology would support the organization's requirement for a system that can distribute large volumes of information to strategic, deployed and mobile nodes simultaneously at very high transfer rates.
Military space activities increasingly are resembling their more terrestrial counterparts as their presence grows in military operations. The aboveworldly realm now has its own specific communications networks, surveillance and reconnaissance sensors and even weather reports. Soon, it may feature new reusable transport systems and weapons designed to maintain supremacy in the highest frontier.