Kit Up! participated in a round table interview this morning with Lt. Gen. Mike Vane, the head of the Army's Capabilities Integration Center. What he basically does is come up with technologies that will help the Soldier of 2020.
Interestingly, the interview revolved mostly around the Army's move to integrate smartphones into the force. Sure there's all kinds of network issues (Vane said most conflicts of the future will be in areas where GSM cell coverage is available, but admitted that the service is testing options for a portable network that could make up for a lack of one, or as in Afghanistan's case after about 1900 each day, denial of one); security issues; hardware issues; Army App Store issues, etc.
Still, there's little doubt the Army is moving more solidly toward either giving each Soldier a smartphone or letting him use his own to do Army things. Thing is -- as many of you have mentioned here -- why pay millions for Nett Warrior when much of what Nett Warrior can do can be done on a smartphone?
Vane admitted the Army smartphone could be a Nett Warrior killer.
Connecting Soldiers to the digital applications of smartphones challenges a lot of traditional radio programs (including WIN-T, Nett Warrior and the rifleman's radio). ... Smartphones could be the answer to the Nett Warrior requirement. Smartphones could be the answer to the rifleman's radio requirement.Look, everyone understands -- including the Army -- the security implications and network pitfalls of smartphones and their application in a military environment. But Vane was realistic in his assessments of how difficult these challenges are and made clear the Army is working on ways to confront them.
He did mention that a "portable network" solution was being experimented with in Afghanistan and Fort Bliss. Anyone have any gouge on that?