U.S. Military Moves Toward Networked War Model

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2005-10-09 Print this article Print

Improved information management will mean more effective military action and disaster relief efforts, according to a speaker at the RoboNexus conference. (PCMag.com)

SAN JOSE, Calif.—All branches of the U.S. military are well into the process of designing their future combat systems to connect every soldier and piece of mobile equipment into a mammoth network-centric system in order to enable better coordination of resources, a former Army general told a conference audience Friday.

"About 360 companies and about 6,000 employees are currently working on our Joint Warfighters/Best Capability projects right now," said Daniel Zanini, a former Army lieutenant-general now serving as senior vice president and program manager of SAIC (Science Applications International Corp.), one of the federal governments largest defense contractors.

Zanini spoke in a keynote session on Day 2 of the second annual RoboNexus conference, billed as the largest robotics event in North America.
About 2,000 robotics engineers and enthusiasts have gathered at the downtown Marriott Hotel here for the four-day conference.

Click here to read about Wal-Marts tests of robots designed to assist blind shoppers. Zanini said advancements in information technology will eventually make "each soldier, each tank, ship and plane, just another node on a huge integrated, interoperational network system."

Robotics also will play a major role in these new fighting forces, Zanini said, operating drone aircraft, submarines and land vehicles.

"As a former officer commanding ground forces, I spent much of my time on the phone asking three basic questions: Where are you? What are you doing? and "What is the enemy doing?" Zanini said.

"With a connected fighting force, you eliminate most of those questions, because all you need to do is look at a computer screen and see the answers to what you need to know," he said.

"In this way, the soldier becomes an output agent rather than an input agent, and only has to worry about doing his job correctly—not about spending time reporting information."

Read the full story on PCMag.com: U.S. Military Moves Toward Networked War Model Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis of technologys impact on government and politics.
Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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