The U.S. Army has linked military radios and chat systems with cell phones, instant messaging and other commercial products that can facilitate communications among the U.S. military and NATO allies. Using Lync 2010, a Microsoft collaboration product, the capability will enable warfighters in command posts or on patrol to know who is online and the best way to reach them-either by computer, radio, chat or phone.
The Blinded Veterans Association (BVA) is a group of blinded veterans who help other blinded veterans. It was established to help veterans and their families overcome the challenges of sight limitations. The organization offers service programs, regional groups, resources and government advocacy to improve life for blinded veterans, whether they incurred the disability during or after active military service. The BVA also helps encourage and support blinded veterans. The services of and membership in the organization are free, and becoming a member is not a prerequisite for obtaining assistance.
Ahhhh, February. A time when thoughts naturally turn to love or at least to the need to buy tokens of that love and hand them out on the 14th. The Internet is full of sites selling cards, diamonds and everything in between, but it also offers more substantial materials. Anyone looking to learn about the history of, unique takes on or international customs celebrating the holiday need look no further than their favorite browser. For all those who are separated from their loved ones because of military deployment or other reasons, the Web also offers ways to stay connected now and all year long. And those who want to send gifts to deployed service members--without paying shipping--can find that too.
A new capability called TactiCell will enable secure cell phone use in harsh environments. Warfighters will be able to text, talk and send video knowing their communications are reliable and protected. Maryann Lawlor's article Cell Phones on the Front Lines, in this month's issue of SIGNAL Magazine, dials in on the military's efforts to develop the TactiCell capability. The Joint Special Operations Command, a component of the U.S. Special Operations Command, began pursuing the capability through the U.S.
When it comes to military technologies, it's all about the warfighter. The men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan know firsthand their greatest technological needs, and their counterparts back home are striving to provide them as quickly as possible. The combat experience also is providing grist for the design mill as engineers plan for the future. SIGNAL looks at the efforts underway to develop new warfighter technologies as well as what may lie ahead. The laboratory is the birthplace of many technologies, and the U.S. Army's Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, or CERDEC, is developing a range of new systems.