Soldiers as sensors

DENVER — Army officials will turn to technology to improve the collection and transmission of intelligence gathered by soldiers on the battlefield to commanders in command centers and officials in intelligence agencies.

The Army's new Every Soldier is a Sensor program hinges on training all soldiers to watch for enemy tactics and movements and providing technology to get that information quickly to officials in command centers and national agencies, said Collin Agee, director of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) integration in the Army's Office of Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence. He spoke Sept. 30 here at the Government Symposium on ISR Transformation: Showing the Way Ahead.

Out of 400,000 patrols conducted in Iraq, only 6,000 reports on intelligence gathered by soldiers on the battlefield made it to the brigade level, Agee said. "We are not well postured to digitize human intelligence," he said.

Some officers in Iraq now carry commander digital assistants, a steel-encased handheld computer for mobile voice, video and data communications, Agee said. Army acquisition officials shipped 140 of the devices last year to the 82nd Airborne Division, which was deployed to Fallujah, the Iraqi city regarded as the base for foreign terrorists and insurgents.

The Every Soldier is a Sensor program aims to give soldiers personal digital assistants to make the reporting of intelligence from the battlefield quick and simple. The handheld computer will use the Force XXI Battle Command Brigade-and-Below system to digitize intelligence at the point of origin for use at all levels, Agee said.

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