Significant changes lie ahead for U.S. Army forces as communicators move into the next era of battlespace communications. Smartphone technology is opening the door for individual networking devices for which signaleers already are laying the groundwork. And, the promise of cloud computing would enable large amounts of data to be moved among the battlefield without mobile databases.
Command and control is undergoing an evolution spawned by the information technology revolution. These changes may be both desired and immutable, as no military commander can either neglect new capabilities or turn back the technological clock when it comes to managing forces in the battlespace.
It is no secret that the Pentagon process for acquiring technology can be a long, cumbersome slog. But sometimes warfighters need something, and they need it now to save lives or gain an advantage over the enemy. In those cases--hundreds of cases--the rapid acquisition process can deliver capabilities weeks, months or even years quicker than the traditional routine.
By July 2012, NATO officials expect to have established three new agencies as part of a major reform effort that will reduce the number of agencies from the current 14. NATO now is in the process of implementing agency reform, as well as overhauling its command structure.