Defense forces demand more data than voice links on the battlefield

Defense forces demand more data than voice links on the battlefield

By Bill Murray

GCN Staff

U.S. forces requested data links more often than voice connectivity during the buildup for Operation Allied Force, a Joint Chiefs of Staff official said this month.

The need to download imagery, have a common operational picture and conduct videoconferencing drove the troops' demands, said Air Force Lt. Gen. Jack L. Woodward, director of command, control, communications and computer systems for the Joint Chiefs. He spoke at an Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association luncheon in Washington.

There was a 184 percent increase in satellite communications bandwidth during the preparation for bombing Yugoslavia compared with bandwidth for operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Woodward said.

DOD officials, during hearings about the president's fiscal 2001 budget proposal, are reporting to Congress this month on the department's involvement in the NATO campaign in Serbia.

For the Yugoslav bombing, known as Operation Noble Anvil, U.S. forces also extended use of DOD's Secret IP Router Network in the Balkans, Woodward said after his speech.

'It's the first time we tactically extended the secure transmission capability throughout the entire Balkans area south of the Alps,' he said.

With the increase in satellite communications, Joint Chiefs officials now want seamless commercial satellite communications available on demand during military operations, Woodward said.

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