Thursday, 17 Mar, 2011 Technology
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U.S. Paratroopers Use Smartphones in Tactical Exercises

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The U.S. Army decided to use smartphones in its latest field exercise. Paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division carried out special exercises at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, using smartphones.

By making use of custom handsets and custom applications, the paratroopers attempted to swarm a mock village and capture a high-value target.

The results of the experiment were quite impressive and it seems that in the near future smartphones could be widely used in battlefields.

It would be interesting to note that the troops used ruggedized smarphones built specifically for the project. the devices were connected to the soldiers' tactical radios. The phones ran 2 applications - Join Battle Command-Platform, or JBC-P Handheld, and Tactical Ground Reporting, or TIGR Mobile.

The former app shows a map of the battlefield, making use of GPS in order to point out the positions of friendly forces, enemies, and landscape hazards in real time. The latter app allows soldiers to transmit images back and forth, as well as exchange historical data relevant to the operation.

In addition, the handset allowed the paratroopers to better coordinate their movements, omitting the need to scream their current positions to one another.

"I don't have to radio back to the truck to see where another squad is at and where they're moving to. I can just pull out my phone and look at it," outlined Specialist Randy Fite.

The devices made use of WIN-T secure terrestrial network for communication. The network was offered by the soldiers' HMS Manpack and Rifleman radios and allowed the troops to exchange data both in the field and with the battalion tactical operations center, reports Gizmag.

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