EL PASO, Texas - (Nov. 2012 story)
Fort. Bliss is one of the select army bases used in Network Integration Evaluations. Soldiers are testing new military technology and providing their feedback. Based on the results, certain products could be sent to Afghanistan as early as next year.
It's like a futuristic fighting scene from Call of Duty, but it's real.
"It is pretty cool. It's like a giant game of laser tag with a bunch of computer stuff," said one soldier.
Army leaders say capabilities of military technology has reached it's highest level in history.
"It's the ability to have network connectivity down to the individual soldier level," said Army Spokesman Paul Maehney.
The U.S. army can now build advanced mobile satellite infrastructure in the barren deserts of Afghanistan, equipping individual soldiers with cell-phone like devices that send voice, text and GPS data. Back at base camp army leaders look at tactical holographic photos showing them the inside of enemy fortresses, and with the GPS location of each soldier platoon, company and battalion available, they can see the detailed battleground in real time.
Nett Warrior technology allows the brigade commander to communicate all the way down the chain of command to the individual who can convey what he sees on the ground right back up to the commander.
"Therefore increasing situational awareness, therefore increasing the ability to communicate and connect across the battlefield. And that's critical in the types of fights we're fighting in Afghanistan today and as we begin to draw down in Afghanistan and lose the fixed infrastructure commanders can take their network assets with them on the move across the battles-pace," Maehney said.
We're way past the days of walkie-talkies. Communication between troops hundreds of miles apart is rapid, secure, and visual.
"To see these future systems and having a hand in making them better on the ground, it does give each soldier a sense of worth," said one soldier.
(Nov. 2012 story)