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The Military's High Tech Future

Boot Camp feature for Friday, March 28, 2003

The military's high tech future. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. High tech communications systems... night vision and satellite video phones for journalists and lots of other technologies are being used now in the middle east. But in Nattick, Massachusetts the Army is developing tools that it says will change the face of warfare. Dutch Degay, a former Ranger captain, is an engineer with what is called the Objective Force Warrior program...

"What it is is a complete redesign and rebuild of the soldier system that we will field to the overall Army by 2010. When I say that we rebuild the system, we are not only taking existing technologies that the individual soldier has, but looking at those technologies that will mature in the next five to six years that we can implement to make essentially the individual soldier an F-16 on legs for the future battlefield."

Imagine uniforms, for instance that can monitor the physical conditions... such as heart rates and body temperatures of individual soldiers and wirelessly transmit that data to medics in the field...

"So the medic can not only help prevent injuries, because core body temperature on those monitors allow us to know when individual soldiers are going to be a cold weather or hot weather injury but also casualty mitigation in that on the battlefield, a medic can see all of his soldiers in a heads-up display on his helmet and see that soldiers A and B are okay but soldier C's heart rate has fallen drastically and that needs to be the first soldier I go and apply aid to."

Soldiers themselves will become part of wireless tactical networks. Handheld computers, fuel cells and robots will be increasingly relied upon as well. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.