Throughout history, armed forces have faced the challenge of working together effectively. In the United States, the Defense Department has been working to make joint operations more effective since the origins of its armed forces, but the government institutionalized joint requirements in 1986 with the introduction of the Goldwater-Nichols Act. In Europe, NATO was created in the wake of World War II, built on the premise that the member nations were stronger together than individually and that an integrated joint approach was necessary.
Members of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) recently spent a year in what is arguably the most dangerous place on the planet for a U.S. service member—Helmand Province, Afghanistan. During the deployment, combat communicators were tasked with the normal duties of equipment operations and data transmission security. But by the time they came home, they had celebrated other noteworthy accomplishments, employed technology new to the Corps and identified several challenges as well as ways industry could help overcome them.
China has departed from tradition with a new naval ship design that may be the vanguard of an entirely new class of littoral warships. These corvette-type vessels feature modernized systems that offer China unprecedented flexibility in a range of sea missions.