Geren: Army looks to expand use of LandWarNet

Geren: No break from modernization

'We must make sure we don't replace the fog of war with the fog of information overload.' ' Army Secretary Peter Geren

Helene C. Stikkel, DOD

Army information technology managers need to develop the service's LandWarNet to deliver key information to soldiers without overwhelming them, Army Secretary Peter Geren said recently, adding that 'we cannot afford a modernization holiday.'
Speaking last week at the LandWarNet conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Geren stressed the importance of equipping soldiers with information about their situation without overwhelming them.

'We must make sure we don't replace the fog of war with the fog of information overload,' he said.

He also said Army leadership was committing greater attention to LandWarNet ' the Army's portion of the Defense Department's Global Information Grid ' and the use of technology with the creation of a new LandWarNet directorate 'to help synchronize the efforts across the force.'

'LandWarNet is central to changing how the Army fights. It seeks to integrate every element of Army modernization,' he said, 'and seamlessly connect the leader to the soldier on the battlefield ' and connect the soldier to the information he or she needs wherever and whenever he or she needs it.'

That future is taking place now, he said.

'We are spinning out the first of the [Future Combat Systems] technologies, unattended ground sensors, unmanned aerial vehicles and unmanned ground vehicles,' Geren said. 'Instead of line-of-sight radio and up-and-down satellite signals, LandWarNet and FCS will give us a three-dimensional mesh of ground, aerial and satellite platforms and nodes, with the soldier on the ground at the center of the effort.'

Balancing the need for security and proper classification with the urgent needs on the battlefield remain important issues and will not be easy, he said. 'We're working on it. We must get it right for the soldier.'

One way industry can accelerate that effort, he told the audience, is to 'help us build cheaper secure radios' with Global Positioning System access.

'Your challenge,' he said, 'is to remember that solider as you design, test and produce the information systems required on the battlefield; remember the conditions in which he or she works and the implications of bad or late information or the implication of too much information.'

About the Author

Wyatt Kash served as chief editor of GCN (October 2004 to August 2010) and also of Defense Systems (January 2009 to August 2010). He currently serves as Content Director and Editor at Large of 1105 Media.

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Reader Comments

Sun, Mar 14, 2010 IT Reformer

Unfortunately, the current IT Acquisition process is only delivering yesterday's technology tomorrow, and 1000 time the expense. When you have companies like SAIC doing PMO support for FCS and also bidding on the solutions, who compromise the integrity of the process. DoD cannot afford to continue the path it is on today. It must seek out more agile processes and collaborative structures that can rapidly identify interoperable IT solutions already proven the market. Gen Sorenson and Gary Winkler understand this dilemma, and hope they engage OSD in its efforts to transform the current acquisition process. Insanity if continuing the same process over and over again and expecting different results.

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