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[infowar.de] "If We Run Out of Batteries, This War is Screwed."
Und hier das Original aus Wired, das die Vorlage für den TP-Artikel war.
Issue 11.06 - June 2003
"If We Run Out of Batteries, This War is Screwed."
By Joshua Davis
It's early April, days before the fall of Baghdad, and a convoy of
trucks from the 11th Signal Brigade is rolling through southern Iraq.
The mission: establish a digital beachhead in central Iraq. Without this
advance node and a handful like it, the Army's Third Infantry Division
cannot receive the precise targeting information it needs to fight its
way into the capital.
About 9 am, soldiers in the convoy see something that fills them with
dread: four dead sheep by the side of the dusty road. Within a mile,
they spot two more and quickly pull the convoy to a halt. What many had
feared since arriving in the Middle East now looks to be a reality:
chemical attack. The convoy leader does two things, one in keeping with
well-established military protocol and one entirely new. First, he makes
a lot of noise. He lets out three long blasts on the horn - the low tech
signal for a chemical attack. Then, after donning his own protective
gear, he turns to a computer terminal bolted to the dash of his vehicle.
Suspect chemical attack, he types into a Microsoft Chat session running
on the tactical Internet, the military's battlefield communications
Multiple dead sheep by side of road. Pls advise.
Two hundred miles away - in a warehouse at Forward Command - Lieutenant
Colonel Norman Mims, the intelligence officer for the 11th, sees this
curious message appear in the chat room and replies, How many sheep over
how much distance?
6 sheep. Approx. 1 mile.
A veteran of Desert Storm, Mims has learned that sheep in the region
regularly die and are simply dragged to the side of the road. The number
and distance are typical.
Unless air quality is degraded, chemical attack unlikely.
If this had been Gulf War I, the convoy would have lost a full day -
calling in the incident by radio, describing it to three or four rungs
up the command ladder, and waiting for a crew of specialists to arrive,
test the air, and give the all-clear. But this war is different. An
email gives the sheep's coordinates to a chemical investigation team,
and the convoy just keeps moving.
The history of warfare is marked by periodic leaps in technology - the
triumph of the longbow at Crécy, in 1346; the first decisive use of air
power, in World War I; the terrifying destructiveness of nuclear weapons
at Hiroshima, in 1945. And now this: a dazzling array of technology that
signals the arrival of digital warfare. What we saw in Gulf War II was a
new age of fighting that combined precision weapons, unprecedented
surveillance of the enemy, agile ground forces, and - above all - a
real-time communications network that kept the far-flung operation
connected minute by minute.
Welcome to the so-called revolution in military affairs, the new theory
of war that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has been promoting
since he arrived at the Pentagon in 2001. Generals at Central Command,
in Qatar, put the concept into practice as they sent troops racing
toward Baghdad, hopscotching across Iraq, and sidestepping enemy
assaults. If rear units were attacked, if supply lines were threatened -
so the theory went - the technology would allow soldiers to spot the
problem quickly enough to dispatch defenders, who would swarm to the
rescue. Information would take the place of a massive troop presence on
the ground. Dead sheep could be safely ignored. In short, the war was a
grand test of the netcentric strategy in development since the first
At least, that's the triumphal view from the Pentagon briefing room. But
what was it like on the ground? As Wired's war correspondent, I tracked
the network from the generals' plasma screens at Central Command to the
forward nodes on the battlefields in Iraq. What I discovered was
something entirely different from the shiny picture of techno-supremacy
touted by the proponents of the Rumsfeld doctrine. I found an unsung
corps of geeks improvising as they went, cobbling together a remarkable
system from a hodgepodge of military-built networking technology,
off-the-shelf gear, miles of Ethernet cable, and commercial software.
And during two weeks in the war zone, I never heard anyone mention the
revolution in military affairs.
Within days of the first air strikes, I arrive at US Central Command,
just outside the capital city of Doha. Centcom is the headquarters for
General Tommy Franks and his JOC - the Joint Operations Center, where
the air, land, and naval campaigns are controlled. At today's press
briefing, commanders defended their war plan, which appears to be bogged
down at the moment. Critics back home and even some commanders in the
field are complaining that the ground forces moved too quickly, that
they're outrunning the supply lines, and that there aren't enough boots
on the ground. Franks' reply: We're sticking with the plan.
I'm here to find out why he's so confident. After being subjected to two
pat-downs, multiple x-rays, and the inquisitive snout of a bomb-sniffing
dog, I'm escorted across the camp, a featureless grid of tan warehouses.
We stop in front of one of the buildings, which is guarded by three MPs
armed with machine guns and grenade launchers. A sign posted on a
folding picnic table outside the door reads, "the beatings will stop
when morale rises."
Inside, truck-sized steel shipping containers dot the perimeter of the
sprawling warehouse. In the middle, a chain-link fence topped with
concertina wire surrounds a series of khaki tents. Two more
flak-jacketed MPs guard the gate to this inner sanctum - the JOC itself.
A ruddy Texan sticks his hand out at me: "Lieutenant Colonel Caddell.
Glad to meet you." Tymothy Caddell is in charge of wiring the JOC. He
manages the 65 servers and 50 Army, Navy, Marine, and Air Force network
administrators who keep the control center's generals connected to the
war. "In October, this was an empty warehouse," he says. "It takes most
big companies years to bring 65 servers online. We did it in three
Caddell leads the way to one of the shipping containers. Inside, two
soldiers baby-sit three rows of Sun servers. "This is where the Global
Command and Control System lives," Caddell says. GCCS - known as "Geeks"
to soldiers in the field - is the military's HAL 9000. It's an umbrella
system that tracks every friendly tank, plane, ship, and soldier in the
world in real time, plotting their positions as they move on a digital
map. It can also show enemy locations gleaned from intelligence. "We're
in a whole different ball game from the last Gulf war," Caddell says.
"We had a secure network back in '91, but the bandwidth wasn't there and
the applications weren't there. Now they are."
The prime example, he says, is a portal called the Warfighting Web.
Launched just nine months ago, it lets military personnel access key
data - battle plans, intelligence reports, maps, online chats, radio
transcripts, photos, and video. Caddell sketches out a typical scenario:
A Special Forces unit in northern Iraq attacks an Iraqi irregular unit.
The firefight is recorded with digital video, which is uploaded to GCCS
via secure satellite. JOC intelligence officers fire up the Warfighting
Web, click through to "Latest Intelligence," watch the fight, write a
summary, and post follow-up orders to the unit. The soldiers either
download the orders directly or receive them by radio from the nearest
Tactical Operations Center, the most forward command post on the
We leave the GCCS container and head past a row of large refrigerated
metal boxes. Caddell steps up to one and leans on a 3-foot metal lever.
The thick front wall swings open, revealing two rows of Compaq servers.
A blast of cool air hits me; the temperature here is about 20 degrees
lower than in the warehouse. "Welcome to Siprnet," he says. GCCS runs
over Siprnet - the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network - in the same
way that Web applications run over the public Internet. The difference
with "Sipper" is that it's basically a far-flung local area network. To
maximize security, it doesn't connect with the Internet proper. But it
links Centcom to the battlefield and, among other things, allows Franks
to talk to Rumsfeld and President Bush via two-way videoconference every
Caddell has one more important piece of Centcom to show me. "How would
you like to see the JOC help desk?" he says, motioning me out of the
container. We head toward the far end of the warehouse, where Specialist
Adam Cluff - a heavyset, droopy-eyed kid from Utah - stands at attention
when he sees Caddell. It looks like he'd been taking a nap. I ask him
what he does here.
"If a general has a problem with his Web browser, then I fix it," Cluff
"How do you fix it?" I ask.
"I consult Microsoft online help," he replies. "We have Premier help,"
he adds, referring to the live operators available to subscribers only.
"But most of the time it's something as simple as telling them they have
to plug in so the battery doesn't run out." And then, with complete
seriousness, he adds, "Without me here, I don't think that we'd be where
we are today."
The US Forward Command is a half hour due east of Kuwait City,
approximately 75 miles from the Iraqi border. I've flown here from Qatar
to learn more about the 11th Signal Brigade, the soldiers tasked with
wiring the battlefield. They tote M16s, but their job is to jump out of
helicopters and set up packet-based wireless networks. Their unofficial
motto: Connecting the foxhole to the White House. Without these guys,
Lieutenant Colonel Caddell's Warfighting Web would have no war to fight.
For the 11th, the epicenter of the campaign is here at Satellite Park,
where a dozen dishes are spread across a patch of dirt enclosed by razor
wire. The operation is monitored by four men and a woman, each with a
laptop and a secure digital telephone. They are the controllers. Each
oversees the health of one of the brigade's five networks. That means
all of the Army's battlefield communications flow through these five
Their laptops display icons representing a web of nodes and switches.
When the icons are green, everything is running fine. But when a link
turns red, panic sets in. "A link went red yesterday," says Sergeant
Danny Booher, one of the controllers. "One of my guys came under mortar
fire near Basra and the satellite got hit." Booher got on the phone with
his nearest unit, and, minutes later, there was a humvee racing through
the desert, towing a satellite dish on wheels.
Lieutenant Colonel Mims - the officer who made sense of the dead sheep -
chimes in. "If it's a question of the network going down, we get
helicopters, air support, tanks - whatever we need," he says. As the
brigade's intelligence chief, Mims is in charge of knowing where the
enemy is and positioning forward signal units in secure locations. In
the first Gulf war, Mims was a junior intel officer. "Signal has become
a lot more complicated in the Internet age. We used to only have to
worry about radios. Now it's about providing enough bandwidth to power
streaming video and monitor real-time troop and vehicle movement."
The improvement in communications is the real innovation in this war, he
explains. He grabs my notebook and a blue ballpoint pen and draws an
obtuse angle. "When we attacked in the last Gulf war, we basically had
our vehicles lined in a wedge," he says. "We had five divisions moving
across the desert like that. As they went through, they'd sweep an area
clear - if there's a problem, the other unit can see and hear it, and,
more important, the unit is close by and can arrive quickly to help. In
that model, once you move through, the rear zones are secure. There's
not much left back there."
Now Mims draws a bunch of small circles spread out on the page. This is
Rumsfeld's theory of swarm tactics. Because technology allows soldiers
to keep track of each other, even when they're out of one another's
sight, they can now move in any formation. "We may not always know
exactly where the enemy is," Mims explains, "but we know where we are.
When the enemy engages us in this spread-out fashion, we send air cover
to protect the unit until the support forces arrive."
Swarm theory holds that you move fast and don't worry about securing the
rear. The benefits to this are many. First, you need fewer troops and
less equipment. War becomes cheaper. Second, it's harder for the enemy
to attack a widely dispersed formation. Third, units can cover much more
ground - they aren't forced to maintain the wedge by slowing down to
accommodate lagging vehicles. Fourth, swarming allows you to go straight
for the heart of the enemy's command structure, undermining its support
from the inside out rather than battling on the periphery.
Swarm theory is also moving online - into chat rooms, an application
Mims is pioneering for military purposes. When a problem develops on the
battlefield, a soldier radios a Tactical Operations Center. The TOC
intelligence guy types the problem into a chat session - Mims and his
colleagues use Microsoft Chat - and the problem is "swarmed" by experts
from the Pentagon to Centcom. Not only is the technology changing the
way we maneuver, Mims notes, it's changing the way we think.
But the system is not without problems. Because anyone on Siprnet who
wanted to could set up a chat, 50 rooms sprang up in the months before
the war. The result: information overload. "We've started throwing
people out of the rooms who don't belong there," Mims says.
"What's funny about using Microsoft Chat," he adds with a sly smile, "is
that everybody has to choosean icon to represent themselves. Some of
these guys haven't bothered, so the program assigns them one. We'll be
in the middle of a battle and a bunch of field artillery colonels will
come online in the form of these big-breasted blondes. We've got a few
space aliens, too."
The next morning, I'm headed north toward the Iraqi border in the
backseat of a Mitsubishi Pajero, the radio blasting Al Green's "Love and
Happiness." Forward Command is chronically short of humvees and has
rented a small fleet of soccer-mom SUVs in Kuwait to fill in. The
flak-jacketed soldiers look ridiculous crammed inside.
Their task is to deliver a satellite dish to the next node in the
communications web: a desert relay station that receives battlefield
transmissions from Iraq and beams them via satellite back to command
centers in Kuwait, Qatar, and Washington.
The Pajero speeds 60 miles north through the desert to a 10-foot dirt
berm topped by razor wire. On the other side is Camp Udairi, 15 miles
from the Iraqi border. In addition to being a staging ground for troops
and tanks, the northernmost edge of the camp is cordoned off for the
11th. Dozens of antennas and satellite dishes are assembled. Cables from
each of these snake into a single green tent in the middle of the array.
Four soldiers guard a checkpoint leading to the tent, which is
stiflingly hot inside - somewhere around 100 degrees, though it's only
85 outside. Corporal Joshua Murray, the 28-year-old in charge, is
clearly worried. His 8-foot bank of Cisco switches and routers is hot to
the touch and covered in a thick layer of sediment. "The
air-conditioning is breaking down," he tells me. "And the dust is
As we talk, Private First Class Michael Boone sweeps the switches with a
canister vacuum much like the one I use to clean my linoleum back home.
"This equipment was never meant to be run in this kind of environment,"
Murray says. "When a dust storm comes through here, the tent is totally
useless. I wouldn't be able to see you, that's how bad it is." I'm
standing two feet from him. "We'll have people vacuuming the switches
and servers around the clock, which helps," he says. "But none of it's
going to matter if it gets hot."
"You're in the desert," I say. "It's going to get hot."
He turns away and nervously scratches his head. These servers were built
for climate-controlled rooms in Silicon Valley. The military is already
pushing them to their limit, running a network that fast becomes
unstable whenever the temperature pushes past 100 degrees. By next
month, daytime highs will hit 125. If the war were to drag on, the
system could crash.
The further down the line I go, the easier it is to see the holes in the
system. "Who the fuck do we look like, Lewis and Clark?" Private Jared
Johnson blurts out when I ask him how we ended up lost in the Iraqi
desert. I'm headed north again, this time with a 97-vehicle convoy whose
mission is to deliver missile launchers and set up a Tactical Operations
Center just south of the Baghdad suburbs. But there's a problem; the
convoy makes two massive U-turns in search of a side road that leads to
a much-needed fuel stop.
"We're lima lima mike foxtrot in Iraq," says Sergeant Frank Cleveland,
who's riding shotgun in the truck where I've hitched a ride.
"What does that mean?" I ask from the backseat.
"We're lost like a motherfucker," he says.
Theoretically, the commander of the convoy should know its position.
This guy hasn't been able to figure it out. But even without human error
the system can break down. One soldier I talked to said the screen icons
representing the convoy and all other forces disappeared when we crossed
the border. All that was left was a map of Iraq.
There are other problems. "When we were deployed from the States," says
Lieutenant Marc Lewis - the commander of the convoy's 27 heavy equipment
trucks - "they told us that we would be given encrypted, military-issue
radios when we got here. When we arrived, they told us we should have
brought our own."
What Lewis brought was four Motorola Talkabouts, each with a range of
about 1,000 feet. In the half-dozen convoy trips he's made since
arriving in country, Lewis has taken to distributing a Talkabout to the
first and last trucks. The other two go to vehicles at strategic points
in between. It's hardly secure. Anybody with a radio could monitor the
Lewis is improvising as best he can. Before leaving the States, he
bought a handheld eTrex GPS device, which he uses to track each of his
forays into Iraq. In essence, he's created a map of Iraq's charted and
uncharted freeways and desert roads. He just has no way to share it with
anybody. But he is able to navigate as well as any of the tank or
missile commanders he transported. I notice that at least four other
soldiers in the convoy have brought their own store-bought GPS
handhelds. These devices keep the convoys on track in lieu of having
proper systems. "If we run out of batteries," Lewis says when showing me
his map of Iraq, "this war is screwed."
We have plenty of batteries. But at the moment, that doesn't matter.
Though Lewis is in charge of the heavy-equipment transports, the
lieutenant colonel leading the missile launchers to the front lines is
the ranking officer in the convoy and therefore has final say over all
aspects of its movements. Lewis has already led six trips into the
desert, but the lieutenant colonel - who has never set foot in Iraq -
runs the show. Even with his access to GCCS and a fully functioning
encrypted radio, he's missed the turnoff twice. Lima lima mike foxtrot.
The sound of gunfire is still reverberating in my head. Later that day -
after we'd finally spotted the side road and were rolling again - Iraqi
irregulars, camouflaged on a hill near the road, let loose with
small-arms fire. I immediately dove for the floor of the cab and
positioned my butt in the direction of the gunshots. If I was going to
get hit, I reasoned, better my ass than my head.
I'm starting to identify with the troops in the field. Rumsfeld's new
theory of warfare leaves the common soldier feeling exposed. Swarm
tactics make a lot of sense, but the flip side is that each individual
is more isolated on the battlefield or in the supply lines. In previous
conflicts, you kept your comrades in sight. Now soldiers have to take
their comfort from a blip on a GCCS map - if they have one. About a
quarter of the trucks in this convoy have GCCS, but the one I was riding
in didn't. And even if Centcom or Forward Command were alerted, it still
would have been demoralizing, because the message is, "You're on your
own until help arrives."
In essence, the security of one small group of soldiers is sacrificed
for the good of the whole. The isolated unit draws enemy fire, exposing
the location of the force without risking an entire company. The
individual soldier has to trust that the technology will come through.
The heavy equipment trucks unload the missile launchers on a desert
plateau 60 miles from Baghdad. Sergeant Cleveland promises that the
convoy won't return to Kuwait without me, so I catch a ride on a humvee
headed for the battalion's Tactical Operations Center, a bouncy
10-minute trip across scrub brush and sand.
Thirty soldiers stand in a 400-foot circle, creating an armed perimeter
around the battalion's communications guys, who stand near the center
feverishly setting up the TOC's network. "Once the battle begins," says
Lieutenant Nick White, the soldier in charge of wiring the setup, "we
can relax a little. The launchers can't begin until we've done our job,
so for the comm guys, what's happening right now is our battle."
The fight at this moment involves the double-time setup of dozens of
pieces of networking gear. In a few minutes, White is talking on a
satellite phone connected to an antenna that looks vaguely like a
Charlie Brown Christmas tree. "We're coming online," White tells a
systems operator at Forward Command.
This is the edge of the network. Missile launchers roll past me, deaf,
dumb, and nearly blind until White gets the system running. But once he
does, it's frighteningly lethal. Analysts at Forward Command and at the
Pentagon review aerial and satellite surveillance. The analysts post
potential target locations to an artillery chat room accessible in the
field. Spotters assigned to infantry units on the ground confirm the
location of the target via radio connection with the TOC. When the intel
is validated, fire orders are transmitted to a launcher in the desert
via White's wireless network.
While White and his team continue setting up, I walk over to one of the
vehicles that delivers missiles to the launchers. It's a two-man truck
equipped with GCCS and piloted by Specialist Tom Fox. I ask him to show
me how the system works, and he offers me a seat in the cab. A
ruggedized computer is bolted onto the dash and displays a map of the
surrounding area. I can see each of the missile launchers and ammunition
supply trucks moving around the desert, including the one I'm sitting
Someone asks Fox a question, and I realize this is my chance to try out
the software. I right-click and am given the option of zooming in and
out. One zoom out and I'm looking at the entire Baghdad region. Another
zoom out and I see all of Iraq, with forces dotted in the north and
heavily clumped around the capital in the center. One more click and I'm
looking at the entire sphere of Central Command, from the edge of Libya
to Pakistan. I see forces in Turkey, and clustered in Iraq and Kuwait. I
feel like a four-star general. I'm sitting in the Iraqi desert looking
at troop movements across 25 countries.
"It's pretty neat," says Fox. In the intensity of my discovery, I didn't
notice him watching me. For a second, I worry that he'll slam the system
shut. Instead, he shows me the chat application. He points to a
horizontal window running across the top of the screen above the map. A
few messages are visible, one highlighted in red.
"This one's new," he says, double-clicking on it.
Guess who? it reads.
Is this Sergeant Lopez? Fox types in.
No, comes the reply.
Is it Sergeant Walker?
"What do you normally use the system for?" I ask, wondering about the
use of my tax dollars.
"Not much yet," he shrugs. "We just got it installed last week."
Fox explains that the battalion used chat on the drive up to verify
positions. It was their first field test. Theoretically, it would also
be possible to contact anybody in the GCCS system, from General Franks
to the vehicle 10 feet away. But you have to know screen names. Fox
doesn't know any screen names outside his battalion. Nor does he have a
"If GCCS goes down, I'm screwed," he says.
"Why didn't they give you a radio?"
"Because they gave me GCCS."
I ask Fox why they gave him a computer that allowed him to look at what
was happening in Uzbekistan. He didn't know, nor did he care. He said he
didn't look at anything other than the positions of the vehicles in his
What happens if the enemy manages to capture his vehicle?
"That won't happen," he says. "I'm not going to get caught."
In fact, the standard procedure in case of capture is to turn off the
engine, which shuts down the password-protected system. Soldiers are
also taught to destroy their vehicle, if necessary, with an incinerator
grenade, to make sure it will be no use to the enemy.
I walk back to check in with White, glancing at the horizon to make sure
my convoy is still there. It is. When I find him, I ask what happens if
the network goes down, whether from heat, dust, or enemy attack. "We
have all been trained in the basics," he says. "Everybody here knows how
to do things the old-fashioned way. We're soldiers first. If GPS goes
down, we've all been taught how to navigate using a compass and paper
map. The Army has a backup for everything."
We talk for a minute about the movement into Baghdad, and then I ask the
whole comm group to point in the direction of the Iraqi capital. Three
of them point in different directions.
No matter. In the war to change the way war is fought, the techies seem
to have won the first battle. Despite the heat and the glitches and the
holes in the communications network, Rumsfeld's great experiment is
being hailed a success. The revolutionaries now have plenty of
ammunition for their drive to change the military. But the success
papers over the uncertainties that remain. The next enemy - North Korea?
Syria? Iran? - may be better prepared and better equipped, and will
certainly have learned from Saddam Hussein's experience. Perhaps more
likely, the next enemy won't be a nation-state at all but an adaptable
terrorist organization much less vulnerable to swarming tanks and
White and his men have almost finished setting up their operations
center, and I realize I've been here longer than I planned. I look up in
time to notice the last of the heavy trucks disappearing over the
horizon. My ride back to Kuwait is leaving without me. For a second, I
am unable to breathe, and then my heart starts racing. I quickly shake
White's hand, run to the nearest humvee, and beg the guy sitting in the
driver's seat to chase after the convoy. He tells me I'll have to ask
his superior. I race to find the superior, plead my case, and am told to
talk to someone else. I don't want to end up stuck with a bunch of
navigationally challenged missile jockeys in a war zone. I beg a third
"Jump in," he says.
We tear off across the desert and reach the paved road. Within 15
minutes, we catch up with the last truck, but the road is too narrow to
come alongside and the humvee doesn't have a horn. So I lean out the
side and start flailing my arms frantically. Nothing happens. They
aren't looking in the rearview mirror. I'm choking on the dust and don't
think I can last much longer.
"Stop you goddamn motherfucking bastards!" I finally scream. It's good
old-fashioned Army communication.
It works. Somebody leans out the passenger side of the truck and it
begins to slow down. In two minutes, I'm headed out of Iraq.
How the War Was WiredCommunications played a pivotal role in Gulf War
II, the first full-scale deployment of the information age. Here's a
look at the network behind the new tactics.by Joshua Davis
The network in action: In the middle of a sandstorm, a surveillance
aircraft 1 spots an Iraqi tank battalion moving outside Baghdad. An
unmanned drone 2 assigned to cover the area picks up the thermal
disturbance and posts an infrared image on the Warfighting Web, either
by satellite or line-of-sight relay stations. Analysts at Central
Command 3, the Pentagon 4, and Forward Command 5 evaluate the terrain
and form a battle plan via chat session. Nearby helicopters 6 download
email instructions to swarm the target, and a US tank battalion 7
receives attack orders by videoconference.
1. JSTARS The Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System is a
Boeing 707 flying at 36,000 feet and outfitted with high-resolution
radar that can spot moving vehicles 150 miles away. Data is beamed to
2. Predator An unmanned drone flying at 15,000 feet transmits real-time
video and thermal images of targets identified by JSTARS.
Line-of-Sight Relay Stations Data from Tactical Operations Centers in
the field skips along an encrypted, packet-based wireless network
carried by undirectional antennas.
Border Relay Station Satellite dishes set up before the war receive
battlefield communications and pass them to a Milstar satellite.
Milstar Orbiting 25,605 miles overhead, the satellite receives data and
distributes it to Forward Command, Central Command, and Washington.
3. Centcom Top brass in the Joint Operating Center communicate with US
leadership and field commanders via video, voice, email, and chat.
4. Pentagon Experts working 24/7 troll network chat rooms and review
satellite imagery, supplying analysis and advice.
5. Forward Command Networking specialists monitor every node in the
battlefields and oversee rapid repair of damaged assets.
6. Apache Longbows Hovering helicopters are ready to fly to hot spots on
orders sent from Forward Command via email or radio.
Tactical Operations Center Dozens of quick-setup TOC's - command tents
pitched between armored personnel carriers - upload reports, photos, and
video. Positioned near battle zones, their omnidirectional antennas
establish wireless coverage over a 50-mile radius.
7. M1-A1 Abrams Tanks Combat forces file battle reports to field
commanders using SINCGARS - radios operating on the 30- to 80-MHz bands.
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