Cross-Atlantic data sharing?

MONTEREY, Calif. — Officials in the militaries of the United Kingdom and the United States may sign an agreement in January 2005 to improve the sharing of technical information on major communications standards and programs.

Officials from the two countries met in London in late September to discuss signing an overarching technical memorandum of understanding. The agreement would improve information sharing on major communications standards and weapons programs in development by the U.S. military, said Royal Air Force Wing Cmdr. Gregory Hammond, an official in the U.K. Defence Procurement Agency. He spoke here today at the Milcom 2004 Conference.

For example, U.K. and U.S. forces currently use Link 16, a communications system to share information among ground, sea and air units. U.K. military officials may choose to adopt newer communications standards and programs in development by the U.S. military, and they may need access to sensitive information for planning and procurement, Hammond said.

Military officials from both countries understand the importance of protecting government secrets. But improving dialogue on warfighting communications standards and programs in development leads to better data sharing between U.K. and U.S. forces on the battlefield, he said.

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