Army tech adaptable for homeland

The Army has identified numerous technologies that can be used to support the nation's first responders, according to one service leader.

Gen. Paul Kern, commander of Army Materiel Command, outlined eight solutions that could be used by federal, state and local agencies responding to a natural disaster, terrorist attack or other contingency. He was speaking today at the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association's TechNet International conference in Washington, D.C.

The solutions he cited include:

* Adapting the Land Warrior technology, which features a 12.5-pound wearable ensemble of equipment and software. The gear includes elements of wireless communications, weapon-mounted sensors, Global Positioning System-based navigation and computers that integrate soldiers into a networked fighting team.

* A mobile command post command and control (C2) unit.

* Secure, wireless local-area networks.

* Position location, or blue force tracking, in buildings and wider areas.

* Emergency notification with feedback.

* National emergency support center "push packages" (emergency caches of medical supplies).

* Fixed and mobile communications gateways.

* Re-supply and training.

Kern described an innovative solution that officials in Iowa used to connect local, state, federal and defense communities by adapting an existing network used by the state's schools.

Furthermore, the Army is using the Defense Information System Network, the Army Guard Network and the Army Reserve Network to enable its worldwide units to communicate and share information, Kern said.

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