WASHINGTON: Today, somewhere inside the Pentagon, senior Army officers will likely recommend development of new radio-jamming equipment for the post-Afghan War world. After a decade desperately playing defense against radio-detonated IEDs — and, before that, a decade of neglect in the 1990s — Army electronic warfare is taking the offensive again.

With their eyes on future adversaries more technologically sophisticated than the Taliban, commanders want new capabilities to shut down enemy electronic networks and protect their own. It’s a challenge intimately interwoven with but distinct from the higher-profile field of cyber warfare. Hackers infiltrate enemy networks to steal data and infiltrate viruses, while jammers simply shut them down — though that distinction gets blurred by new techniques such as “protocol attacks” that scramble digital radios. Keep reading →

One of the largest explosions in the history of the Army’s Fort Benning base was set off by Marines — fortunately, on purpose. This video shows extraordinary detail of how troops set up, use, and detonate the M-58 Mine Clearing Line Charge (MCLC or MICLIC). (If all you care about is the explosions, just fast-forward to 2:11). For a higher-tech way of accomplishing the same mission, read the story here.

WASHINGTON: The job of detecting deadly roadside bombs for the Marine Corps is going to the dogs. And that is just the way the Marines want it.

The Office of Naval Research wants all Marines — active duty, reserve or retired — who served alongside the Corps’ real-life devil dogs in Iraq and Afghanistan to weigh in on how to better use canines on the battlefield. Soliders’ input will focus on improving “stamina and stress management” of the dogs serving in the Improvised Explosive Device Detector Dogs program, according to a statement from Marine Corps Systems Command. “The data gathered will help officials revise how IED dogs are selected, conditioned and trained,” command officials say. Keep reading →

WHITE SANDS, NM: Parked out on the dusty plains of the New Mexican desert, the Army Humvee looked like every other combat truck stationed at the service’s sprawling test facility here — except for one big difference. This Humvee was completely unmanned.

The vehicle was one of two Humvee being tested under the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization’s “Ghost Ship” program. The Ghost Ship is essentially a command and control kit that allows “complete remote operation of the vehicle by an operator,” in a separate vehicle, according to a JIEDDO document. Troops from the 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division were testing two Ghost Ship Humvees and two control trucks as part the Army’s latest network integration exercise here Pfc. Antonio DeAnda said. They have been able to control the Humvee drones from up to a mile and-a-half away, according to DeAnda. But program officials have been keeping the control trucks within a few hundred meters of the Humvee drones during most of the tests, he added. Keep reading →

WASHINGTON: While the American war in Iraq may be winding down, things inside the Pentagon are heating up as the department looks to address the increased flow of Iranian weapons finding their way into the hands of anti-U.S. forces.

The Pentagon’s top weapons buyer Ashton Carter said today that his office is working a number of options to push new technology and equipment into Iraq. Keep reading →