There’s not much to say from the comfort of Washington about troops celebrating on the front lines around the world. They’re in Afghanistan battling the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and the Haqqani network, like the young man pictured in our top photo. They’re in the Philippines flying Ospreys, treating kids for wounds and getting food to… Keep reading →
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIVERSITY: It just might be iPhone time for the world’s most powerful army,. As defense budgets shrink and commercial networks grow, top brass from Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno on down are questioning the service’s current plan to keep developing custom-built, military-specific, and extremely expensive communications networks. If groups like al-Qaeda,… Keep reading →
AUSA: The word “cyber” is everywhere these days. It’s an all-purpose adjective slapped onto any concept to attract money and make it sound sexier, from cyberwar to cyberschoolbus to, well, cybersex. (We are not making that last term a link). Cyber and SOF – the Special Operations Forces – are the only parts of the… Keep reading →
UPDATE: Odierno Clarifies. It May Be Three Brigades WASHINGTON: The Army has had to cancel so much training that only two of its 42 combat brigades are ready for combat, Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno told reporters at the Association of the US Army conference here today. It’ll take until June to get a… Keep reading →
[UPDATED with Burke remarks on biofuels & other alternative energy] WASHINGTON: Budget crunch be damned, the Defense Department’s effort to get more energy-efficient is still in business, said the assistant secretary in charge. Even without the free-flowing supplemental funds and the flexibility of the “rapid equipping” initiatives that allowed for speedy spending at the height… Keep reading →
Life or death in wartime is horrifically random, subject to “fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,” but sometimes that randomness generates not tragedy, but miracles. Such is the story of Army Sergeant Roger Daniels. On a patrol in Afghanistan last August, Daniels, then just 21 years old, took a bullet to the head and survived… Keep reading →
What’s a few billion between friends? You can download the details below – more than 100 pages of them – but here are the bottom lines of the 2013 reprogramming requests the Pentagon has submitted to Congress: For fiscal year 2013, the administration wants “reprogramming authority” to reshuffle an extraordinary $9.6 billion between accounts in… Keep reading →
Army Releases The Kraken To Protect Foreign Fire Bases; ‘I’d Like To See The Taliban Try To Attack This Place’By David Axe
ZARI, Afghanistan: On March 3, 2008, a Taliban suicide bomber driving a green truck packed with explosives barreled through the front gate of a small U.S. outpost in Sabari district, Afghanistan, and blew himself up next to the dining facility where American soldiers were just sitting down to dinner.
Taliban foot soldiers streamed in, firing their AK-47s. It took the intervention of a Special Forces A Team to push them back. Two Americans died. Around a dozen were wounded. The Sabari attack was one of several catastrophic attacks on U.S. bases in Afghanistan in recent years. As U.S. forces draw down, there are fewer and fewer troops to spare for guard duty. That’s why, bruised by these attacks, the Pentagon has scrambled to equip its frontline bases with better defenses. Keep reading →
RANGE 24, FORT DRUM, NEW YORK: “That’s awesome,” said Maj. Edward Sedlock, watching another soldier call up data on his militarized Android smartphone. It was such small, unguarded moments — neither officer had noticed a reporter standing nearby — which suggest that, after more than a decade in development, the Army’s struggle to bring wireless networking to the foot soldier is finally yielding fruit, just in time to help secure the drawdown in Afghanistan.
Sedlock and his comrade weren’t part of some special group testing new equipment, like the much-publicized Network Integration Evaluations in the New Mexico desert, AOL D readers are so familiar with. Instead, they belong to an operational unit, the 3rd Brigade of the 10th Mountain Division, training to use the new gear as they get ready for an expected deployment in Afghanistan. (They haven’t yet received their formal orders to go but planning is well advanced, down to designating an assigned area of operations the Army asked us not to name). “3/10″ and its sister unit, the 10th Mountain’s 4th Brigade, are the first combat brigades to receive the technology, as part of an upgrade the Army calls “Capability Set ’13″; two more brigades, from the famed 101st Airborne, are next in line for the new network. Keep reading →