In the coming months, the U.S. Army will begin fielding components of its first integrated mobile network to units headed to Afghanistan. The equipment package known as Capability Set 13 will provide integrated voice and data throughout the brigade combat team. It also will offer on-the-move and beyond-line-of-sight communications, which could transform combat operations.
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The wind-down of U.S. Army combat operations, along with the re-balance in national military priority toward the Asia-Pacific region, is forcing a shift as well as a surge in Army networking. The service must continue to modernize the network to meet growing capability demands, but it also must adapt its architecture to accommodate major changes in force deployments and missions.
The shifting winds of geopolitical change are forcing government and industry alike to take a new tack in ensuring safe passage through the Earth’s oceans. From criminals plying their trade on the high seas, to nation-states seeking to deny access to other countries, the challenges are growing. To counter the problems, militaries and businesses are engaged in overcoming both new and resurgent dangers that threaten navigation over waterways.
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 future of coalition operations may be unfolding within a NATO command in Afghanistan. The Eurocorps, a multinational corps that is barely two decades old, is focusing on building a capability that will allow a coalition force to respond rapidly to urgent operational needs.
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.