USMC's Nally Applauds Innovation

November 9, 2011
By Max Cacas

Imagine the lives that could be saved in a combat zone if we could eliminate even one important item that needs to be resupplied almost daily.

Brig. Gen. Kevin Nally, USMC, told a panel on Tactical Networking at the MILCOM 2011 conference that he wants industry to speed development of green IT products of all kinds. In one recent example he described, Marines stationed in Afghanistan went on a two-week patrol in which they did not require a regular resupply of batteries.

Instead, he said the Marines took with them newly developed portable 3' by 5' solar panels, which became the only electrical source to recharge radio, and other electrical equipment.

Gen. Nally said such a development saves lives, because that means one less important product in the supply chain for which a Marine needs to risk his or her life to provide others on the front lines.

The general also talked about development of the Cobra 2, a satellite-based network that can be based in a forward-deployed vehicle. Nally says three of the vehicles are currently deployed in Afghanistan, giving a commander the ability to move in a 100-yard radius of the vehicle while maintaining constant contact with its networking capabilities.

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