Talk about an evolution
Unattended ground sensors that provide surveillance and robots that clear buildings without putting soldiers in harm’s way are just two small pieces of the Army’s overall plan to modernize its forces.
Those two technologies, recently tested in a live-fire exercise, illustrate how the Future Combat Systems program is trying to build a cohesive system of systems. In conjunction with the fledgling tactical communications backbone — the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical — the FCS program is a road map of how the Army and other U.S. forces plan to evolve in the next decade.
Technology companies that want to work with the Army and its systems integrator partners should pay close attention to FCS and WIN-T so they stay relevant to the two modernization efforts.
A NEED FOR SPEED When a TeleCommunication Systems Inc.’s intelligence customer wanted a briefcase-size satellite communications system that integrated a credit card-size encryption card, the company built the system in weeks rather than years.
The speed of that project illustrates the pace at which technology is evolving and how quickly government customers want to deploy it, said Michael Bristol, senior vice president of the company’s Government Solutions Group.
The company was one of six that won the Army’s $5 billion World-Wide Satellite Systems contract in 2006. The program is jointly managed by WIN-T and the Defense Communications and Army Transmission System.
The Defense Communications and Army Transmission System provides long-haul connectivity for soldiers. The program provides the bandwidth required for the Global Information Grid.
"The technology is constantly attacking three or four different variables: size, cost and throughput," Bristol said. "More capable equipment that requires less logistics, is easier to transport and gives you more throughput is what you’re working for."
The technology is changing so quickly that the World-Wide Satellite Systems contract is designed for rapid acquisitions. That’s something systems integrators must pay attention to, Bristol said.
"You’ve got to be very fast," he said. "You’ve got to be able to rapidly prototype and build quickly. And the new technology has to be downwardly compatible with what already exists."
THE 85 PERCENT SOLUTION Compatibility is one of the cornerstones of the Combined Endeavor exercise that brings together more than 40 countries annually to see how well their systems interoperate (cont..)
Noise, traffic during APEC safety drills
Sydneysiders can expect noise and military traffic in coming weeks as the Australian Defence Force conducts training ahead of the coming APEC summit.
Counter-terrorist units will carry out a number of exercises in the CBD and in skies over Sydney, including use of Black Hawk helicopters, and joint land drills with the NSW Police.
NSW Police Commander Peter Lennon said the training was an important part of security preparations for APEC.
"ADF training operations of this nature will cause a slight increase in military traffic for specific periods with some increased noise associated with the training," Comm Lennon said.
"Just as the police presence in Sydney increases in the lead-up to Leaders Week, the presence of the ADF will assist us in making sure APEC07 is both safe and successful."
Navy gives Alion war-games contracts
Alion Science and Technology Corp. has been awarded three contracts worth up to $86.6 million from the Navy to help with the development of war games (cont..)
Philadelphia authorities to close roads Monday for disaster drill
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Police will barricade streets around the Philadelphia Museum of Art tomorrow evening (Monday) to conduct an emergency preparedness drill. During the drill, the Fire Department will work with ambulance companies to save hundreds of, quote, "victims" of a simulated disaster on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Big events are regularly held on the parkway. One of the largest was the Live 8 concert in July 2005, which drew close to one million people (cont..)
Anthrax training comes to life with volunteers in East Providence
EAST PROVIDENCE – A mock Medical Emergency Distribution System (MEDS) drill was conducted Wednesday, August 1, at Martin Middle School by East Providence Emergency Management and members of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). The drill was held to judge how efficient the City of East Providence, as well as the Rhode Island Department of Health, Center for Disease Control, and other local authorities, would be in distributing portions of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) of medicines in the event of an outbreak of Anthrax in East Providence. (Cont...)
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