The U.S. Army is speeding next-generation imaging systems to the field in response to experiences gleaned in Afghanistan and Iraq. Adversaries waging asymmetric warfare have impelled the Army to improve existing technologies and to seek innovative new capabilities in the field of electro-optics.
Electronic bloodhounds that quickly and reliably detect dangerous substances in a closed environment will begin replacing current sensors in military facilities in the near future. The final elements of a program borne out of the need to defend warfighters against biological and chemical agents will enter the transition stage later this year. The goal is to expand protection to the rest of the military work force. This added security is part of a two-year effort to develop extremely fast and accurate sensors that are so cost-effective that they can be used on a large scale.
Researchers are developing a portable sensor to detect hazardous biological materials more rapidly than current methods allow. The sensor has applications for government and private organizations and could be used to reduce the impact of biological weapons of mass destruction and to identify contaminants in health-related concerns.
The Defense Intelligence Agency is meeting the global threat head-on by moving from its traditional decentralized information technology framework to a consolidated, enterprise-centric environment. As part of a transformational effort called the Department of Defense Intelligence Information System Way Ahead, the agency is replacing its stovepiped environment with regional service centers that have global reach. The centers facilitate all-source data access and enable worldwide availability of information, and the consolidation will correct inefficiencies, decrease costs and improve user productivity.
The U.S. Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory undertakes a busy agenda for the next two years and beyond after releasing its 2006 Experimentation Campaign Plan. The 41 initiatives in the plan fall into seven categories: command and control, maneuver, logistics, fires, intelligence, force protection and mine countermeasures.
U.S. Marine Corps units soon may be equipped with manportable electro-optic sensors that will help augment security during operations. The devices form part of a prototype suite of automated reconnaissance systems that will permit warfighters to control more territory and to have better situational awareness.
The wealth of information available worldwide from open sources has impelled the U.S. intelligence community to establish a new center dedicated exclusively to exploitation and dissemination of valuable unclassified products. This center will scour the world's environment of readily available information for snippets of data that could complete a vital intelligence picture as well as for messages among enemies that travel in the open through the global village.
The U.S. Army is synchronizing its information technology efforts for the future by increasing and improving communication among senior leaders. The primary vehicle for this effort is the service's Office of the Chief Information Officer/G-6 500-Day Plan, which was revealed last fall. In addition to outlining the Army's vision, mission, goals and objectives, the strategy calls for regular reporting from high-level personnel in charge of achieving the initiatives it sets forth and measuring progress.
Italy is partnering with its local industry to develop a next-generation radio family similar to the U.S. Joint Tactical Radio System. The United States and several other nations will offer significant input in the radios' development.
The complexity of the command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance environment has increased significantly during the diverse operations the U.S. military has supported in recent years. From the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq to the devastation in the Gulf Coast region, the ability to share information has been instrumental in saving lives and carrying out effective operations. However, the fast tempo of activity within such a short period of time has brought to light the challenges that still exist in sharing data among organizations.