Two-Way Wrist Communicators on J-6 Wish List

May 14, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman
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The JIE will open the door to major changes in mobile communications.

The future soldier, sailor, airman, Marine and coast guardsman may be communicating with a mobile device attached to his or her wrist, if the vision of the nation’s top uniformed communicator comes to pass. Lt. Gen. Mark S. Bowman, J-6, The Joint Staff, emphasized the importance of mobile devices during his luncheon keynote address on the final day of AFCEA’s three-day Joint Information Environment (JIE) Mission Partner Symposium being held in Baltimore May 12-14.

“We need mobile devices that replace GCCS [Global Command and Control System] and other applications today,” Gen. Bowman declared. “It needs to fit on the wrist of a person that is deployed, whether a soldier, sailor, Marine, coastie or airman.”

The general continued that the military needs to change significantly the way it provides communications systems. He cited a pilot program in which 300 tablets were divided between cadets at West Point and signaleers at the U.S. Army Signal Center in Fort Gordon. On the basis of the supportive comments received from users, the Army will be equipping every student at West Point with a tablet next year. Adoption of these devices will speed the innovative capabilities that the JIE will bring to the force.

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