The America's Army comics from the U.S. Army, designed to highlight the reality of being a soldier, are now available for the iPad and Android tablets. The free app features the first two issues of the comics, which follow the saga of courageous U.S. soldiers deployed to the fictional war torn region of Czervenia.
Readers can enjoy the story through animated panels, authentic sound effects and musical scores.
The app was developed by the same team that created the successful America's Army PC game—the Software Engineering Directorate of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command's Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center. While the America's Army game is more than a decade old, the app is a relatively new offering and will continue to be updated with new issues and features.
"Comic books and the Army have been around for a long time," Marsha Berry, Army Game Studio public game director, explains. Both the game and the comic include the latest Army technology and emphasize that there is more to being a soldier than just guns.
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At no time has information technology (IT) modernization and its role in protecting our nation been more important than it is today. The defense IT community has a full plate—from mandated efforts to consolidate data centers by migrating to the cloud by 2015, to improving IT security, to responding to the growing pressures and implications of mobility (not to mention sequestration, budget cuts and political pressures everywhere). The modernization of government IT systems needs to happen quickly.
What often stalls IT innovation has very little to do with technology and a lot to do with leadership. As government leaders need to increase productivity, functionality and return on investment from their IT networks, it is important to look at technology as an enabler of leadership and transformational change. Common challenges include:
- Understanding how to invest in IT tools, systems and infrastructure with declining budgets
- Managing the increasing cost of current IT infrastructure
- Dealing with the high rate of IT systems that miss original intent or service level agreements
- And, of course, responding to increasing security threats
The Defense Department spends more than $40 billion annually on IT, more than $250 billion in the last seven years or so. That’s a quarter of a trillion dollars—a lot of money. Modernizing IT systems and infrastructure, like most change or transformational agendas, comes down to leadership. There is an opportunity right now for a more aggressive leadership platform as it relates to the modernization of IT by the Defense Department, especially around the network.
Aggressive thought leadership and action can help in today’s complex environment. Examples of this involve following commercial best practices, the use of open standards, the OpEx vs. CapEx debate and more aggressive training around IT acquisition models.
iRobot Corp., Bedford, Mass., is being awarded a $28,776,935 modification to previously awarded contract for the procurement of Man Transportable Robotic System production systems, depot level repair parts, spare kits, depot repair services, parts supply, training, engineering enhancements, configuration management and approved accessories. The Man Transportable Robotic System is a small robotic vehicle used by Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians to conduct remote reconnaissance, render safe, and/or dispose of explosive devices. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Division, Indian Head, Md., is the contracting activity.
Argon ST Inc., Fairfax, Va., was awarded a $9,632,695 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to provide services in support of the Joint Unified Multi-Capable Protection System research and development program. The Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., is the contracting activity.
L-3 Communication, San Diego, Calif., was awarded a $10,505,889 firm-fixed-price, foreign military sales contract to procure high frequency transceivers and components for RT-1606 systems and accessories in support of Egypt. The Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., is the contracting activity.