Marines Get High-Tech, Pull Intel From Handheld Devices in the Field


The Marine Corps have never really been known for their cutting-edge technology programs. Over the centuries they’ve usually had to make do with what they had available while relying on innovative tactics combined with brute force and massed firepower.

But things have changed.

The Marine Corps Times has the inside scoop — which includes video — on a recent exercise in which about 100 Marines aboard several MV-22 Ospreys flew from Twentynine Palms to San Clemente Island off the California coast armed with Samsung Tablet handheld computers, which beamed real-time intel from airborne assets already stationed above their landing zone so the grunts knew exactly what they would face once the piled out of the back of the bird.

“Coming off the bird, we already knew we were going to take contact because we had already identified the exact number of enemy that were at the [landing zone],” said 2nd Lt. Travis Bird, told the Times. “Without the technology, we wouldn’t be able to do that and we potentially could’ve been caught off guard.”

The Times explains that “by connecting ground forces with intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets typically reserved for commanders and mission planners, Marines can obtain photos and other information in real time, which will give them an advantage when they arrive in the midst of a hostile situation, said Col. Michael Orr, commanding officer of Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 22.”

It’s an idea similar to what the Army has been doing the past several years with Samsung Galaxy smartphones that allow soldiers to send and receive real time intel though photos, video, and text. It also comes at a time when the Corps is about to become more fully integrated with the Army’s Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) event at Fort Bliss, Tx., in which new communication technologies are tested out by soldiers on the ground taking part in an operational exercise.

Read the entire Marine Corps Times story here.

(Pic: USMC)

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Paul McLeary

McLeary covers national security policies at the White House, Pentagon, the Hill, and State Department.
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