Maybe I’ve been missing something, but I think THIS falls into the “Holy Shit!” category. The fact that they landed it by remote is interesting enough, but the really hair-raising part is this: A pilot and a flight officer were in the cockpit in case human intervention was needed, but the landing was “hands-free” – controlled by a linked computer network on the ship and the plane. The idea of unmanned naval aviation is intriguing– and not least because there are no bonuses or flight pay involved.
Good article over at DoD Buzz on the whether the Army’s desire to provide SmartPhones to every soldier will survive the coming budget reductions or whether Congress will go along with its plan. There is a link in the DoD Buzz article to the Army Web Site and the CSAs comments on SmartPhones.
” …and my mom said all those years of playing video games would never pay off!” Great quote from a soldier trying out the latest in Army tech, robots that can fire weapons, remove ordinance, and perform ISR tasks, keeping troops out of harm’s way. Soldiers from the 519th Military Police Battalion, 1st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, watched futuristic technology turn to reality during a demonstration at Range 9, here, Aug. 5. The presentation, by Foster-Miller Defense Technology Solutions, showcased the latest in Soldier-saving technology for the battlefield and urban environments. “These robots can replace Soldiers in dangerous situations,” said Adrian [...]
No, that title is not breaking news from 1984. Over at Popular Mechanics, they outline 6 “hot spots” where US/Russia weapons are still pointed at each other. PM explains: …equipment designed by the two nations remains on opposite sides of 21st-century battlefields. This isn’t surprising: America is the top vendor of major conventional weapons, and Russia ranks number two. Both countries share a legacy of making military equipment to counter the other’s capabilities and a long history of parlaying arms sales into geopolitical influence. These deals, sanctioned by both national governments, are extensions of foreign policy. A resurgent Russia wants [...]
Wired.com has an interesting piece by David Axe on the Air Force’s decision to ban access to many blogs, and how the Army has worked around it to use the Internet to encourage the free flow of ideas. He expounds a bit more in The Washington Independent. I don’t know if I’d go so far as to call it an Internet “civil war”, but I think it is demonstrative of the intellectual flexibility that the Army has acquired in recent years. The Army cleverly dodged the bans, setting up its own versions of popular Web 2.0 sites, but hiding them [...]
Yeah, apparently: I guess the $4 a gallon gas price is hitting the Pentagon too…
First high altitude air defense unit formed at Fort Bliss FORT BLISS, Texas — The Army’s first unit to use a new missile defense system that can knock down missiles and other ballistic weapons inside or outside the atmosphere was officially formed at Fort Bliss on Wednesday. Alpha Battery, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, will be the first unit to manage and use the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, weapons system. The missile defense program is more than 15 years in the making. Program commanders said one of the largest benefits to the new technology, to be housed [...]
I’ve often written about the divide in the military over the focus of our mission: to fight and train for the next “big war” or to prepare to fight the many “small” wars (which we currently find ourselves in.) That is a bigger question than it seems, because the type of war you plan to fight trickles down to the equipment that is purchased by the Pentagon, the training that troops receive, and the strategic focus that force employment entails. Here’s a relevant example of this debate in real time: The Osprey vs. the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, or the Marines’ [...]
UAVs are getting bigger and better, with the Reaper now carrying the same combat load as the F-16. As remote combat systems mature in theater, who knows what is next? Air Combat by Remote Control The airman who fired that missile was 8,000 miles away, here at Creech Air Force Base, home of the 432nd air wing. The 432nd officially “stood up,” in the jargon of the Air Force, on May 1, 2007. One year later, two dozen of its drones patrol the skies over Iraq and Afghanistan every hour of every day. And almost all of them are flown [...]
So you’re back from your first (or second) (or third) deployment, and returning home… only to have your next assignment orders a couple hundred miles away for a training course. This has been a minor issue in retention for a while, but the Army seems to have devised a way to get ahead of it. Distance learning (online classes) have been used for years in the civilian sector -you can now take college courses online, in addition to a litany of corporate training that many companies have put online to lesson their training budgets. Now the Army has caught on. [...]