Support: July 22, 2003

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Department of Defense has noted that more and more combat commanders are using PDAs (Personal Digital Assistant, like the Palm or iPaq) in the field. So there is an effort to develop special software to be used on the PDAs for purely military missions. Currently, troops are using their PDAs in the field just to keep track of things (how much fuel, ammo or MREs does my unit have, personnel rosters, names of key people and current radio signs used by them, and so on.) But what the troops want is satellite access. Combat unit officers would love to have a PDA or text capable pager that could access one of the satellite phone networks (like Iridium, which the Department of Defense already uses extensively) so they could quickly and easily send important text messages (and maybe slip one out to the folks back home, although that is forbidden) The Department of Defense doesn't want to go into the PDA manufacturing business, so there is a search for existing PDAs that can meet the requirement. Most senior people in the Department of Defense are convinced that PDAs are on the battlefield to stay, as officer (combat and support) have been using them since the late 1990 and many units buy them with government funds.

 


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