Marking a sharp departure from recent conflicts, the future of U.S. military action likely includes enemies equipped to deny forces the ability to enter and carry out missions within areas of operations.
The Defense Information Systems Agency is helping to ensure that military branches can field technology more quickly and less expensively as it simultaneously initiates its own rapid-deployment programs.
U.S. government departments may be facing deep budget cuts, but companies could end up on top if they listen closely to agencies' priorities. At the top of the list are cloud computing, cybersecurity, mobility and information sharing between government and industry.
Solar energy could help reduce the $4 billion annual electricity bill at U.S. military bases worldwide, with an output of power equivalent to seven nuclear plants possible using the land at just four bases.
Any aggregation of computers, software and networks can be viewed as a “cloud.” The U.S. Defense Department is actually a cloud consisting of thousands of networks, tens of thousands of servers and millions of access points. The department’s fiscal year 2012 spending for information technologies is $38.4 billion. This includes the costs of civilian and military payroll as well as most information technology spending on intelligence. The total Defense Department cloud could be more than $50 billion, which is 10 times larger than the budget of the 10 largest commercial firms. So, the question is: How efficient is the Defense Department in making good use of its information technology?
When U.S. Marines of the future come under enemy fire, they may be able to use a tablet or smartphone to call for ammunition, other supplies, or for air casualty evacuation by an autonomous helicopter smart enough to avoid hostile forces and safely land itself.