Information Warfare: September 9, 2005


The U.S. Armys big success with its Blue Force Tracker (the land based system, using satellite communications, that tells army commanders where all suitably equipped army vehicles, aircraft and units are at all times) in 2003, that there is tremendous pressure to make wider use of the technology. These tracking devices are actually quite common outside the military (for tracking trucks and other commercial vehicles.) The air force, navy and marines, and allied armed forces, can easily buy and use these devices, but the only thing lacking was a way to bring all the information together, with maps, so that commanders can quickly size up the situation and make decisions. So the army developed and tested new software that tied it all together. The Department of Defense had not planned to have  widespread use of Blue Force Tracker until 2010, but the exceptional usefulness of Blue Force Tracker in 2003, and the maturity of the tracking hardware, provided an opportunity that was jumped on. By the end of the decade, commanders will always have computer maps of where all friendly, and many enemy, forces are at all times. 


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