Leadership: March 12, 2003


A new command and control system is getting it's first battlefield test if there is a war in Iraq. The FBCB2 (Force XXI Battle Command, Brigade and Below) is a battlefield Internet project that has been in development for a decade. This technology is to work with two decade old project to equip each armored vehicle and small infantry unit with a small electronic device that would locate each friendly unit to all other friendly units. Many experiments have been conducted, with shortcomings fixed each time around. The system isn't quite ready for combat use, but many elements (the radios, networking hardware and lots of the software) are. Maybe. In fact, to reduce the possibility of fratricide (friendly units shooting each other), the U.S. is giving some of its radios to allied units to improve communication. Because the U.S. Army has adopted the "train as you fight, fight as you train" approach, the 4th Infantry Division, which has been used for most of the battlefield Internet experiments, is familiar with the equipment and is in Kuwait, will probably try and use as much as the new stuff as possible. 


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