Intercepts

Tracking System Working Overtime; DOD's Ray Guns?

Tracking System Working Overtime

The Army's Movement Tracking System, which was designed to enable the logistics community to track and communicate with vehicles on the move, is proving to be one of the main communications devices in the field and has soldiers clamoring for more.

In recent weeks, the system has been used to call a MedEvac helicopter into Iraq to aid a wounded soldier, and "another time, [base commanders] saw where a unit was going and knew the enemy was there, and they were rerouted," retired Army Sgt. Maj. Jimmy Broyles, the system's program management office representative from Fort Lee, Va., told the Interceptor during a March 30 interview at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.

The system consists of a mobile unit mounted on a vehicle and a control station that monitors the vehicle's location. The components use the same basic communications software and hardware, including a rugged laptop computer loaded with digital maps and Global Positioning System technology.

Developed by Comtech Mobile Datacom Corp., the system has been installed on more than 200 vehicles in southwest Asia so far, and there are plans to equip another 1,600 regardless of how long the war in Iraq lasts, Broyles said.

"It's 'blue force' tracking for logistics units, not against the enemy," said Maj. Forrest Burke, chief of logistics information management for the Coalition Forces Land Component Command at Camp Arifjan. "An operator in a vehicle has GPS and [digital] maps and can see where his buddies are."

Wounded Soldier Data in Real Time

A soldier is wounded on the battlefields of Iraq, removed from danger and transported back to a Defense Department medical facility in Kuwait.

Normally, that soldier's commander would wait hours or even days to get an update on his or her status, but the Patient Accounting and Reporting Real-Time Tracking System (PARRTS) delivers information almost immediately, said Army Lt. Col. Eric Radford, medical regulating officer for the 3rd Medical Command, Atlanta.

"It provides the commander with a real-time response to get reports about soldiers taken out of the theater," Radford said during an April 3 phone interview from Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.

Army hospital administrators and staff use the Web-based PARRTS to enter clinical data on wounded personnel and then quickly respond to requests for information from commanders in the field. Because the system deals with confidential patient records, commanders cannot access it directly, but "they contact us and we tap into the system," Radford said.

Bandwidth constraints are the biggest challenge the system faces in southwest Asia because nonsecure lines are quickly being gobbled up as the war progresses, said Radford, 48, a reservist from Aiken, S.C.

DOD's Ray Guns?

Rear Adm. Jay Cohen, chief of naval research, told a subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee last month that DOD is just three years away from having "weapons-grade lethality" with electronic weapons. Such weapons could include lasers or an electrocution device similar to a stun gun. They would deliver a concentrated form of energy to the intended target and destroy it instantly.

James Engle, deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for science, technology and engineering, mentioned a weapons program called the Vehicle-Mounted Active Denial System — a directed-energy device that emits a nonlethal, nondamaging beam that heats the skin of a potential enemy who is in close proximity to the system. The resulting temporary pain causes the person to flee. Engle said the system has a range greater than that of small arms.

He offered to test a smaller version on members of the House committee to demonstrate its effectiveness, but no one took him up on the offer.

Intercept something? Send it to antenna@fcw.com.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.