The US military has an amazing array of ways to put eyes on a target- Satellites, drones, sensors, and even the MKII human eyeball. The challenge is how to get the right picture to the right person, right when they need it.
I remember the first time a Spectre gunship told me they had my team ID-ed by the GLINT tape on our headgear, and that there were hostiles headed our direction. They even kindly offered to blow them to Hell. That was an amazing jump in situational awareness and operational effectiveness.
The Army's Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS-A) has gone a step further and taken out the middle man. They can now relay real-time, full motion video from a drone right to a pair of glasses on a soldier in the field.
Soldiers operated in a DCGS-A Tactical-Intelligence Ground Station, or
TGS, a vehicle that gathers a variety of intelligence, including direct
data feeds bringing critical geospatial, target indicator, full motion
video and signals intelligence while stationary or on the move.
During EC13 the TGS was able to receive full-motion video from a Gray
Eagle unmanned aircraft and displayed on tactical glasses while on the
move. The glasses have a 3-D depth display and are a visualization tool
that feeds intelligence immediately to Soldiers to give them the ability
to display full-motion video from unmanned aerial vehicles or unmanned
aerial systems in real time.
DCGS-A is a program that collects all of the available sensor and intelligence data from all the services and some of the dark siders and makes it available for analysts, for commanders and most importantly for the guys getting shot at.The Army's system is designed to give tactical leaders as full, clear and timely a picture of the battlefield as possible. Sometimes like this literally with pictures, but it encompasses all facets of battlefield and strategic intelligence.
We generate staggering amounts of data, video, pictures etc. and historically that information has been stuck in the classic trap of vertical reporting silos. Information came in and each organization did their own analysis and then sent that up their chain. Very little sharing of information or data or certainly live video happened between organizations. One way to look at DCGS-A is as the Army's connect the dots program. If an analyst at Ft. Meade has one piece of a puzzle, and a JSTARS bird has another and the Brigade G-2 has a third, this is how we get that intel to the SF weapons guy on a rock with eyes on the objective.
Drive on people, drive on. Now about my jet pack.....Oh wait.
Former Paratrooper and Army Officer, "Blackfive" started this blog upon learning of the valorous sacrifice of a friend that was not reported by the journalist whose life he saved. Email: blackfive AT gmail DOT com
Retired Special Operations Master Sergeant, Jim Hanson ("Uncle Jimbo") is now focused on writing about the military, politics, intelligence operations and foreign policy. Email: jimbo AT unclejimbo DOT com
Writer, photographer, and raconteur C. Blake Powers is the Laughing Wolf. He is independent in politics and covers topics including journalism, military, weapons, preparedness, space, science, cooking, food and wine, product and book reviews, and even spirituality. Email: wolf1 AT laughingwolf DOT net Laughing Wolf's Amazon Wish List
Bill Paisley, otherwise known as Pinch, is a 22 year (ongoing) active and
reserve naval aviator. He blogs over at www.instapinch.com on a veritable
cornucopia of various and sundry items and will bring a tactical naval
aviator's perspective to Blackfive. Readers be warned: any comments of or
about the F-14 Tomcat will be reverential and spoken in low, hushed tones.
Email: wpaisley AT comcast DOT net
Mr. Wolf has over 26 years in the Army, Army NG, and USAR. He’s Airborne with 5 years as an NCO, before becoming an officer. Mr. Wolf has had 4 company commands. Signal Corp is his basic branch, and Public Affairs is his functional area. He recently served 22 straight months in Kuwait and Iraq, in Intel, PA, and senior staff of MNF-I. Mr. Wolf is now an IT executive. He is currently working on a book on media and the Iraq war. Functional gearhead.
In Iraq, he received the moniker of Mr. Wolf after the Harvey Kietel character in Pulp Fiction, when "challenges" arose, they called on Mr. Wolf...
Email: TheDOTMrDOTWolfAT gmail DOT com
Deebow is a Staff Sergeant and a Military Police Squad Leader in the Army National Guard. In a previous life, he served in the US Navy. He has over 19 years of experience in both the Maritime and Land Warfare; including deployments to Southwest Asia, Thailand, the South Pacific, South America and Egypt. He has served as a Military Police Team Leader and Protective Services Team Leader and he has served on assignments with the US State Department, US Air Force Security Police, US Army Criminal Investigation Division, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. He recently spent time in Afghanistan working with, training and fighting alongside Afghan Soldiers and is now focused on putting his 4 year Political Science degree to work by writing about foreign policy, military security policy and politics.
McQ has 28 years active and reserve service. Retired. Infantry officer. Airborne and Ranger. Consider my 3 years with the 82nd as the most fun I ever had with my clothes on. Interests include military issues and policy and veteran's affairs.
Email: mcq51 -at - bellsouth -dot- net
Tantor is a former USAF navigator/weapon system officer (WSO) in F-4E Phantoms who served in the US, Asia, and Europe. He is now a curmudgeonly computer geek in Washington, DC, picking the taxpayers pocket. His avocations are current events, aviation, history, and conservative politics.
Twenty-three years of Active and Reserve service in the US Army in SF (18B), Infantry and SOF Signal jobs with operational deployments to Bosnia and Africa. Since retiring he's worked as Senior Defense Analyst on SOF and Irregular Warfare projects and currently ensconced in the emerging world of Cyberspace.
Major Pain --
A Marine who began his blog in Iraq and reflects back on what he learned there and in Afghanistan. To the point opinions, ideas and thoughts on military, political and the media from One Marine’s View. Email: onemarinesview AT yahoo DOT com
Uber Pig was an Infantryman from late 1991 until early 1996, serving with Second Ranger Battalion, I Corps, and then 25th Infantry Division. At the time, the Army discriminated against enlisted soldiers who wanted use the "Green to Gold" program to become officers, so he left to attend Stanford University. There, he became expert in detecting, avoiding, and surviving L-shaped ambushes, before dropping out to be as entrepreneurial as he could be. He is now the founder of a software startup serving the insurance and construction industries, and splits time between Lake Tahoe, Boonville, and San Francisco, CA.
Uber Pig writes for Blackfive a) because he's the proud brother of an enlisted Civil Affairs Reservist who currently serves in Iraq, b) because he looks unkindly on people who make it harder for the military in general, and for his brother in particular, to succeed at their missions and come home in victory, and c) because the Blackfive readers and commenters help keep him sane.
COB6 spent 24 years in the active duty Army that included 5 combat tours with service in the 1st Ranger Battalion and 1st Special Forces Group . COB6 was enlisted (E-7) and took the OCS route to a commission. COB6 retired a few years back as a field grade Infantry officer.
Currently COB6 has a son in the 82nd Airborne that just returned from his third tour and has a newly commissioned daughter in the 4th Infantry Division.