Saturday, January 03, 2004

Digital Warfare System Adapted for Iraq

By JASON KEYSER, Associated Press Writer
January 1, 2004, 3:14 PM EST

TIKRIT, Iraq -- On mud-spattered computer screens in their Humvees, American soldiers scan digital street maps, monitor enemy positions, zoom in on individual buildings through satellite imagery and download instructions from commanders.

Back on base, senior officers watch raids unfold on large screens showing real-time footage from aerial drones and displaying maps with moving icons for ground and air forces. Their locations are tracked by global positioning satellites.

The two dozen components making up this high-tech digital warfare system are known as Army Battle Command Systems. The technologies, originally designed for battlefield combat involving tanks and helicopters, now are being adapted for hunting rebel leaders and trailing street fighters.

The technology has allowed commanders to plan complicated raids and organize battle gear and hundreds of soldiers within two hours. That speed, they say, played an important part in capturing Saddam Hussein and other fugitives.

The Army's 4th Infantry Division, headquartered in one of Saddam's palace complexes in his hometown beside the muddy Tigris River, is the only unit outfitted with the system, and it is being used in combat for the first time.

"No longer do you have guys on a map putting little stickers where things are at," said Capt. Lou Morales, a division training officer. "It's digitally done. ... It allows commanders to move more rapidly, more decisively, more violently."Link found at >>Full story...

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