U.S. Army to Issue Smartphones to All Soldiers

December 16th, 2010

You’ll love this.

Via: USA Today:

The Army wants to issue every soldier an iPhone or Android cellphone — it could be a soldier’s choice.

And to top it off, the Army wants to pay your monthly phone bill.

To most soldiers, it sounds almost too good to be true, but it’s real, said Lt. Gen. Michael Vane, director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center (ARCIC). He said the Army would issue these smartphones just like any other piece of equipment a soldier receives.

“One of the options potentially is to make it a piece of equipment in a soldier’s clothing bag,” Vane said.

Efforts are underway around the Army to harness smart phones to revolutionize the way the service trains and fights.

Army-issued smartphones are already in the schoolhouse and garrison, or on post, in the hands of some students at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.; Fort Lee, Va.; and at Fort Sill, Okla., under an Army program called Connecting Soldiers to Digital Applications. CSDA’s next step, already underway at Fort Bliss, Texas, is testing for the war zone.

In February, the Army plans to begin fielding phones, network equipment and applications to the first Army brigade to be modernized under the brigade combat team modernization program. That test will not be limited to smart phones but will include any electronic devices that may be useful to troops.

“We’re looking at everything from iPads to Kindles to Nook readers to mini-projectors,” said Mike McCarthy, director of the mission command complex of Future Force Integration Directorate at Fort Bliss.

The Army plans to roll out wireless Common Access Card readers for the iPhone in January and for Android phones in April. This would give soldiers secure access to their e-mail, contacts and calendars.

At war, smartphones would let soldiers view real-time intelligence and video from unmanned systems overhead, and track friends and enemies on a dynamic map, officials said. But the Army must first work through the complex task of securing the data and the network before it sanctions smart phones on the battlefield.

The goal is for soldiers to get information when they need it, wherever they are.

One Response to “U.S. Army to Issue Smartphones to All Soldiers”

  1. williamspd Says:

    General: We must do more to secure cyberspace.

    Major: Sir, why don’t we issue every soldier with a device that taps directly into our intelligence network?

    General: That’s brilliant.They’ll never fall into enemy hands…

    Major: …and if they did we’d make sure that they were encrypted or something.

    General: I’m liking this, keep it coming.

    Major: Er, we could put all of our battle plans up on Facebook and Twitter?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.