Army leader wants faster technology delivery

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Providing the new technology and equipment troops need to perform their evolving missions in Iraq and Afghanistan must happen quickly, Army Brig. Gen. Mark Bowman said today at the Army Team C4ISR 2008 Joint Symposium held here.

Bowman, director, J-6, U.S. Central Command, said he recently attended a meeting about command and control on the move, and someone said that will be taken care of when the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical is online in 2010.

Waiting until 2010 for that capability is too long, Bowman told attendees.

The year “2010 is a lifetime away for me,” he said. “And unfortunately that’s a fact for people on the battlefield; we need it and we need it now.”

Flexibility is needed up and down the chain of command to deliver technology and equipment as fast as troops need it, he said.

“We really don’t care that much about cost, yet we know that if don’t pay attention to cost, we don’t get as many things,” Bowman said. “If we don’t make sure it is fiscally reasonable, we are not going to get it through the budget guys.”

Meanwhile, the major force buildup in Afghanistan is one of the primary reasons improved capabilities are required.

“Nobody ever talked about first or second, but Iraq was clearly first with over 80 percent of the dollars being spent on what happens in Iraq,” Bowman said. “It is now shifting clearly to Afghanistan and rightfully so.”

Problems such as improving bandwidth in Iraq and Afghanistan must be addressed, he said.
 
“Over 60 percent of this world’s oil supplies are over there, over 40 percent of this world’s natural gas supplies are over there," Bowman said. “We’re going to be involved in this [area of operation] for a long, long time so we need to set the conditions for the future.”
 

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Federal Computer Week.

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