HOME About Blog Contact Hotel Links Donations Registration
NEWS & COMMENTARY 2008 SPEAKERS 2007 2006 2005

Friday, October 27, 2006

Urban warfare experiment draws many players

ARLINGTON, Va. (AFPN) -- Targeting crosshairs float across alleys and rooftops while one hand delicately nudges the ergonomic control sporting weapons toggles, and the other dances across the top of a box full of backlit red buttons and more joystick controls. Another set of hands grips a spiral bound detailed map and points out directions. Recently, Lt. Col. Beverly Smith and Chief Master Sgt. Stanley Milinski, both with Operations and Strategy at U.S. Air Force Headquarters, are operating an airborne tracking laser as the Air Force experiments with the directed energy weapons of the future. While different services have been operating unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAV, from remote locations for some time now, those both are and are not real rooftops that the crosshairs are floating over. The rooftops that Smith and Milinski fly over exist in a computer; however, those same rooftops exist in the real world too. That's because the simulator Smith is flying is inside the "world" of U.S. Joint Forces Command's Urban Resolve 2015, or UR201, It is a world that exists simultaneously in 18 other places across the country. So when Smith pilots her aircraft to the left, UR2015's joint task force commander in Suffolk, Va., can watch her do it.

This all occurs as part of UR2015's series of three "human-in-the-loop," or HITL, sessions. The two-week long HITL sessions are the "live" portion of this "live, virtual, and constructive" experiment which uses models and simulations to replicate real-world geography, structures and culturally relevant population behaviors. It is valuable to have people like Smith and Milinski participate in UR2015's realistic environment, said 1st Lt. Joseph Friel with the Air Force Research Laboratory's Directed Energy Directorate "We are experimenting with future systems before 'bending metal' to reduce costs to taxpayers and provide a greater combat capability to the armed forces quickly," Lieutenant Friel said. Friel said that UR2015's joint experimentation environment allows him to "play" with a real-world command and control network that he can't get in a physics-based-only simulation. This allows his team to find and fix problems in future platforms before they are even built. Friel said that changing an existing piece of equipment can cost millions of dollars, whereas rewriting some software to fix a problem costs next to nothing. Similarly the Army is experimenting with different aspects of their Future Combat System in Ft. Leavenworth, Kan., while the members of the Marine Corps look over their shoulder. The participation in UR2015, which involves 19 different sites and over 1000 people across the country, to explore ways that the military can improve operating in an urban environment as well as its role in stability and reconstruction operations.

by Air Force Staff Sgt. Bryan D. Axtell U.S. Joint Forces Command Public Affairs
Web IntelligenceSummit.org
Webmasters: Intelligence, Homeland Security & Counter-Terrorism WebRing
Copyright © IHEC 2008. All rights reserved.       E-mail info@IntelligenceSummit.org