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US Army Digital Exercise 102

johndeerejedi writes: "The 4th Infantry Division (US Army)is conducting an exercise called the Division Capstone Exercise. The official website can be found here. There are lots of videos and photos for those with the bandwidth and/or the patience. We're using the latest digital goodies to give us the edge in this fight. Stuff like the M1A2 SEP tank, FBCB2, and a host of other cool stuff. One thing I thought you might all be interested in is that the FBCB2 and several other command and control systems appear to use a version of Solaris. FBCB2 and many of the other systems our here are used to enhance situational awareness and command and control via a tactical intranet." The combat computer looks pretty cool - automatically tracks its own location with GPS and reports to headquarters...
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US Army Digital Exercise

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    How long before the army starts inserting colons and smileys in their acronyms?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    oh yea, Hmm let me think about that first big slow prop plane vs two fast highly manuverable jets from a millitary base with DOCUMENTED brazen buzzing of US aircraft in INTERNATIONAL waters. They have reportedly gotten so close before that one of the pilots actually flashed his e-mail address to the US plane. These types of flights are done by nearly ALL of the super-powers on a daily basis around the world and some top-gun got too close and fucked up TOO BAD it's not the US's fault he wanted to be a macho prick.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I personally wrote and debugged the original SIMNET protocol implementation for BBN (in turn, for DARPA) back in the mid 1980s. Boy, was that a lot of fun -- the DARPA program manager, USAF Col. Jack Thorpe, PhD, was quite the guy to work for. There are also lots of stories about his right hand man, the late USA Col. Gary Bloedorn. SIMNET was (in practise or so I recall -- it's been quite a while) about 144 bytes per second per vehicle (plus 14 byte Ethernet MAC or so). The successor, DIS, was about 160 bytes per vehicle per second (plus 20 bytes IP plus 8 bytes UDP plus any MAC). The bandwidth for DIS' successor, HLA, is harder to quantify due to lack of an "on the wire" standard (can be much higher, can be much lower). However, digital audio tends to take a lot of bandwidth, too (although SIMNET used at one point -- still uses? -- analog CB radios). Anybody know?
  • What technical merit does Quicktime have? All the Quicktime 4 stuff I've seen has been pretty lousy-looking...

    - A.P.

    Forget Napster. Why not really break the law?

  • From the screenshots in the PDFs, it just looks like it runs some UNIX with the Motif widget set.

    - A.P.

    Forget Napster. Why not really break the law?

  • Posted by Kewlhandtek:

    the army does have computers that are running linux, redhat 4.2 they are kinda cool lunchbox pc's
  • It is always odd how little the "official" top speed of vehicles (in this case, tanks) is compared to the actual one. On the data sheet linked to in the story, the top speed of that brand new tank is supposed to be 42 mph. Come on... these babies certainly make 60+ mph when needed.
    Some other cool fact was that they take almost any fuel for their engines, it just has to burn :-)
  • I remember back in 94, a unit that I worked for replaced WWMCCS (World Wide Military Command and Control System, pronounced "wimmics") with GCCS (Global Command and Control System, pronounced "geeks"), which was a bunch of Sun Sparc20's with a bunch of special software on them...

  • Japan took three islands in the Aleutians in WW2.

    They also took Guam, Wake, the Phillipines. Which are/were US soil.

    But no one has been on the Contiental US since 1814. Well, there were British forces up in Washington state before the boarder was decided in the 1840s...but that wasn't really a war.

    There were some German agents landed on the East Coast in WW2, Japanese aircraft, Subs and Ballons did attack the West Coast in WW2, and alot of ships were sunk off the East Coast and Gulf Coast in WW2 as well.
  • Australia/Asia's freedoms that exsist today are because of the United States Navy, Marine Corps, Army and Air Corps (Air Force today), as well as the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force, Royal Dutch forces and the Free French. The US took the brunt of the fighting simply becuase the other United Nations forces were more involved in Europe. was nearly 50 years ago, but it's because of the sacrifices of those men against an oppresive Imperal Japanese military that Australia and Asia have the freedoms that they enjoy today.

    War isn't cool, but it has been and will be a part of foreign policy of all nations. It's been that way in one form or another since Man formed communities.
  • Not our fault that the Chinese don't have the ability to project power. The Russians do still fly surveillance flights off the coast of the Western US.

    If the Chinese wanted to, they could buy some Tu-95s or Tu-22s and fly Elint flights off the US coast and see what professional interception looks like.
  • Direct Sequence!? What are you thinking? That uses one band to send its transmissions on. I suspect that you actually mean FHSS (Frequence Hopping Spread Spectrum), as this is a much more effective way of 1.) ensuring a transmission gets through (much harder to block/jam), and 2.) is more secure -- harder to listen to the whole data stream for later analysis.

    I do wireless networking, so I know about this. ;-) It's really cool tech. :)

    "We have the right to believe at our own risk any hypothesis that is live enough to tempt our will."

  • I was talking to a recruiter for a contractor, and he mentioned that Linux is also used in some of the same type of command & control warfare stuff. He told me it was in a tank (I forget which), and I'll assume that since we were in a bigass auditorium, that fact isn't classified :-)

    Hopefully they don't try the next BIND exploit in desert storm II.... ;-)


  • Yeah, I have to admit, when I joined the Army Reserves I was thinking "boy, I'm glad they gave me this C7, I really want to defend my Prime Minister, but not the civilians I know, boy oh boy, you know, I sure hope I get the chance to stop a bullet for the PM!" Please. Just because members of armed forces in your country and mine choose a dangerous profession, doesn't make them as all-out stupid as some Hollywood movies and some activists would have you believe.
  • The worse we abuse our rouge superpower status the worse the backlash will be.

    That's right, Max Factor, Maybelline, and the other organs of capitalist aggression must be destroyed.

  • There are ways of reducing the problem.
    • direct sequence spread spectrum
    • reduce transmitter power
    • directional antennas
    • burst transmissions
  • Direct sequence spread spectrum with a high chip rate is difficult to intercept. The transmitter's power is spread over a wide range of frequencies. If you look at it on a spectrum analyzer, you can't even tell that a signal is present. The signal can be at a lower amplitude than the noise. Military and commercial systems are designed with different goals. The military wants low probability of intercept, resistance to jamming and communications security. Commercial systems are designed for low cost, throughput and band sharing.
  • greetings
    cool but is it just me or these thing represent more genoicide against people from other countries.
  • It would be nice to be able to see these videos.
    Anyone know of a way to view Quicktime stuff on Linux??
  • They do get the real firepower, after this phase. This part of the DCX is called force-on-force, whic means large simulated tanks battles. Simulated as in laser tag type stuff, not virtual whatever. After a week of training, the unit moves on to a live fire week, where they really get to blow shit up .....
  • Like most organizations, the Army is made up of independent little cells. I am in the the Army, web page's etc. etc., and I use mpegs for my videos. It depends on who did the site.

    Just because some guy copped out and used QT doesn't mean that everyone in the Army is forcing QT down your throat ....
  • this "cool stuff" you speak of is designed to justify the federal government in taking your money, and to kill people.

    Yeah, well, if it prevents incidents like the Chinese holding 24 of our soldiers captive, I'm all for it. In case you didn't notice, everybody's got nukes now, and we need a different edge. Our economy won't be bulletproof forever, and we need to do this kind of R&D work while the money is available.
  • US Army: "We have the latest digital equipment, remote tracking, computerized targeting, and enough ammo to wipe your ass out!"

    Geek with a HERF gun: "Buh-bye."
  • The "high tech" army can't figure out how to get rid of the border on their frames.

    That bugs the crap out of me ;) That's sooo 1997.

    A mind is a terrible thing to taste.

  • Can't you Army people learn to use open techology?

    Let me explain: You've posted this to a Linux oriented website. There are some people here who really only use Windows and just like to hang out, and some who use Macs. But _most_ of this Linux audience CAN'T ACCESS QUICKTIME VIDEOS!

    What makes you think that the poster is a member of the US Army? How in the hell is it the posters fault?

    A mind is a terrible thing to taste.

  • if it prevents incidents like the Chinese holding 24 of our soldiers captive, I'm all for it.
    But it didn't prevent the Chinese from holding 24 of our soldiers captive...
    You think being a MIB is all voodoo mind control? You should see the paperwork!
  • From the private's point of view, it mostly consists of sitting in a wet hole for a day or two, then moving to another wet hole.
    Not if the private is mechanized. Then they get to drive between the periods of waiting ("hurry up then wait" is the unofficial motto of the US Army).
    The senior officers (them in the HQ) get a fun week-long camping trip...
    For the ones grading the exercises, yes it is a little like that, but for those taking part in the training it is hardly a "camping trip".
    The "boys," I think, vastly prefer division-level simulation, combined with squad-level "real firepower" training.
    That wouldn't work in a mechanized unit. We had many platoon-level and battalion-level exercises that are used to test logistical and command/control capabilities.
    Large scale exercises for good for showing the officers how things fall apart fast in the real world, but are lousy for training the troops in the field.
    IMHO driving an APC 50 kilometers in the desert during a dark moonless night on 2 hours sleep is excellent training for the lower-level troops. After all you don't know you can do it until you try and this is not something that you can easily simulate using CombatSim2001.

    You also have to train the support units. You have to be sure that the supply units can provide adequate food for the troops and fuel for the vehicles...
    You think being a MIB is all voodoo mind control? You should see the paperwork!
  • 2. In the history of the last few hundred years, did _ANYONE_ ever intruded the borders of USA?
    IIRC the last time a foreign government intruded on US soil was when the British invaded and burned down Washington DC during the War of 1812.
    You think being a MIB is all voodoo mind control? You should see the paperwork!
  • Just that I find slashdot bizarre in that the community is about hoping for a better world, but constantly denies that the US acts only in the interests of a small proportion of the world's people.
    Not bizarre, just typically American. But we all know that we Americans are callous, selfish SOBs.

    I thought it was pretty sad that when a disturbed person took a few whacks at the "Liberty Bell" (liberty for Whites that is, as Blacks were still property back then) most Americans were more concerned about an inanimate piece of metal than a living, breathing human being obviously having mental problems.
    You think being a MIB is all voodoo mind control? You should see the paperwork!
  • .. the US Army could buy some books about foreign cultures so they could understand them better. That way, when there's an accident and they have to land on Chinese territory, they don't have to make all the beginner mistakes and act all "i-want-it-all-and-i-want-it-now" and *demand* back their soldiers *now*.

    Anyone who knows even a little bit about Chinese culture understands that that's the last thing you should do. The Chinese have a 5000 year old culture. Their culture isn't "fast" in the sense that the US fast food culture is. Things happen slowly and a 24h waiting when absolutely nothing at all happens in cases like this is perfectly normal. Added to that the fact that Chinese fear losing face, you can't just jump in their face and *demand* things - especially with a time limit of *now*. What happens then is that they have to refuse if only so they wouldn't look like they were walked over. It's no wonder the American pilots are still there. It's much to the fault of the clumsy behavior of the US side of the "negotiations". Frankly, I'm pretty amazed over how badly it had been handled so far.

    That said, it's pretty clear that the Americans aren't at fault for the accident. The only reason I can see would be if the Chinese would have come so close that the US pilot would have lost his temper and did some kind of of "get off my skin" move, which the Chinese pilot didn't notice before it was too late. Who knows.. maybe he was looking at a map or something. I'm just saying that the diplomacy is very clumsy.
  • Agree with all your points except the conclusion. There is no chance that the US will declare war on china to get these guys back - not even if the Chinese slowly disembowel them on live television (CNN would carry that btw).

    A far more likely path to war IMHO is that the US puts its tail between its legs and backs down - over the next few months/years China tests the waters more and more by increasing its aggression - the US continues to look the other way - China invades Taiwan - US looks the other way - China sees how easy it is to expand, how much the industrial capability of Taiwan helps their economy, and how happy and proud their people are the whole thing - eventually, a much stronger China than we see today invades a country sufficiently important enough that the other nations of the world (US included I would hope) have no choice but to go to war.

    If this doesn't sound familiar review your history books of the 1930's. The world looked the other way when Hitler became increasingly aggressive. The big difference today is that a World War is likely to erupt into a nuclear war - and then it's adios muchachos

    So what should we do? Well, try this on for size: We park a couple of carrier battle groups off their coast and since they've already demonstrated that they cannot be trusted to avoid ramming us, we proceed to shoot down anything that looks like a MiG 21. You know, just in case. Then Bush calls them up and says "hey, wanna go back to the way things were?"

    Sigh - it'll never happen but it's fun to dream.
  • I was joking with one of my Republican friends the other day. I mentioned that I had missed the speech that President Bush made on TV indicating that container ships full of tennis shoes and squeak toys from the PRC would be turned back until our people were returned. Sadly, there's no real chance of that happening, with the plutocrats in charge.
  • in addition to its precise definition of being a noncom in the army

    Shall I take this to mean that you do not consider Army personnel in grades below Corporal, or who happen to be officers, to be soldiers?

  • Yes, that would have been correct.
  • VxWorks and Windows NT are in use in some ground combat systems (ie. tanks and stuff like them). Haven't heard of anyone using Linux on a tracked vehicle. LynxOS is the planned OS for some systems in development right now too. I did hear of a command & control system being ported from SCO Unix to Linux.
  • I don't disagree that we should keep an eye on china, but one point bares mentioning: a trade deficit does not necessarily mean that china is making more money from the relationship. This depends on the profit margin of the goods involved.

    Trade deficits are a non-problem that have been cooked into a problem by the media.
  • by Brew Bird ( 59050 ) on Saturday April 07, 2001 @07:39PM (#308039)
    Automatic Position Reporting Systems are easily available. just check out
    Aprs.Org []
  • Personally, I find the very idea of getting excited about new, efficient, computer technologies being used in warfare, the most useless and inefficent aspect of mankind, pathetically ironic.

    Pardon my lack of enthusiasm. I'll go find a little flag to wave or something and forget that there shouldn't be any borders to defend in the first place.

  • Those tanks better use an encrypted transmission...
    On second thought, the enemy just has to use a directional antenna to find them.

    "We have the latest technology to coordinate our tank assaults. "

    The tanks' radio transmitters are basically screaming:

    "I'm over here! Lock onto the source of this transmission and blow me up!"
  • I think it's quite incredible that the United States Army put's all of this stuff Online for the world to see, once apon a time the enemy had to send in spies for years to find out about this sort of stuff now any gov't in the world can find out exactly what the U.S. Army is up to just by watching television specials, CNN, or visiting the local U.S. Military Web Site.

    Regardless of the technology, I think it's quite nieve to put all of this information out in to the mass media arena, and expect that no one will capitalise on it.

    Just my two cents ...
  • I bet they don't have any of those genetically engineered kangaroos that launch stinger missiles... []
  • OK.

    Does "Military Personnel" cover it?

    ---- Sigs are bad for your health ----

  • 1. Most of the things military ever shows to the public are old and soon-to-be-out-of-production. New technologies are classified.

    2. In the history of the last few hundred years, did _ANYONE_ ever intruded the borders of USA? I mean sereosly. And I know about Pearl Harbor ;-)

  • This simulation stuff is all good and fine, but let's stop cutting the budget and give these boys some real firepower.

    It pisses me off when I hear stories about military cut-backs causing training to be done *without* real firepower!

    For God's sake - we're the USA! We should be able to kick any other country's ass! :-)


  • I wonder what the atmosphere would be if the Americans had downed a Chinese surveillance plane flying off the coast of California?

    Do the Chinese fly surveillance flights this close to USA?

    If not, can the Americans blame the Chinese for being a bit upset?

  • No that I'm arguing, but how about some sources/documantation to back it up?
  • The breakdown is 22 navy, 1 air force and 1 marine. So what the Hell would you call them? If you say 24 sailors, you're DEFINATELY wrong, because a man from the air force is not a sailor.

    Soldier, however, in addition to its precise definition of being a noncom in the army, can also be used as a blanket term for all those in the armed forces. Just like how "man" can be used for all people (a la "mankind"), but its more precise definition just refers to adult males.
    The only "intuitive" interface is the nipple. After that, it's all learned.

  • Someone doesn't read the papers very much, do they? Either that or they subscribe to the Chinese state run papers.

    Point of fact 0: You should already know this, and I dearly hope it was just a typo, but the plane was not shot down, collided with a Chinese fighter jet. Point of fact 1: The collision occured in international airspace.

    Point of fact 2: The US had expressed concern numerous times in the past few months about how close the Chinese were flying to our planes (ever see Top Gun? Pilots pull this kind of shit all the time)

    Point of fact 3: The propeller-driven E3 is far less manuverable than the Chinese jet fighters, and could not possibly have hit them even if it had tried were they to keep a safe distance.

    Point of fact 4: Flying spy planes off the coast of other nations is a well established practice that occured throughout the Cold War, and the Russians did it all the time to America and most of Europe, including, I believe, you Brits, without anyone crashing into anyone, and without the taking of hostages.

    Finally, in conclusion, you better hope to whatever power you believe in that America gets those pilots back SOON, because any war between China and America will almost certainly go nuclear. America does not have the ground forces to conquer China (not only would it be a land war in Asia, but it would be a land war against a country with some 6-7x the population of America), and China does not have the air or naval power to reach America with anything other than cruise missiles. Maybe nuclear winter will make the arrogant British less likely to make stupid statements about things they know nothing of.

    The only "intuitive" interface is the nipple. After that, it's all learned.

  • this "cool stuff" you speak of is designed to justify the federal government in taking your money, and to kill people. referring to it as cool is almost as hypocrtical as anti-mpaa posts to /. from dvd player owners.

    just a friendly dose of realism.
  • This is a division-level exercise. From the private's point of view, it mostly consists of sitting in a wet hole for a day or two, then moving to another wet hole. The senior officers (them in the HQ) get a fun week-long camping trip, including the occassional helicopter excursion for increased enjoyment.

    The "boys," I think, vastly prefer division-level simulation, combined with squad-level "real firepower" training.

    Large scale exercises for good for showing the officers how things fall apart fast in the real world, but are lousy for training the troops in the field.

  • Actually in this case it's pretty accurate. Even though the M1 series has a 1500 HP gas turbine engine, you have to remember that the M1A2 weighs in around 70 tons. The engine will burn just about anything, but if you run gas or similar fuel, don't run the smoke generator or you will have one hell of a flame coming out the exhaust.
  • "Yeah, well, if it prevents incidents like the Chinese holding 24 of our soldiers captive, I'm all for it. In case you didn't notice, everybody's got nukes now, and we need a different edge. Our economy won't be bulletproof forever, and we need to do this kind of R&D work while the money is available."

    Hmm, nationalistic self-identification... Us vs. Them thinking... I've always been disappointed that so much of the world thinks this way. A recipe for endless strife.

  • Heh. It's because 42 is the "answer." ;)

    Actually, it probably has something to do with the fact that they have a governor on the throttle to keep them under that speed, either for safety or for sanity (would *you* want to be going 65 MPH over terrain that would make backwoods logging roads look like the autobahn?), plus there's also that minor problem with fuel efficiency (ie, there is none at 2 gallons per mile).

    Just my 2 bits. I'm probably talking out of my ass. ;)
  • Almost everything in the U.S. military is shielded. That's why avionics that civilian aircraft that weigh about 5 lbs tend to go somewhere near 20 lbs in a military aircraft. It's also why it costs a zillion times more.

    Cav Pilot's Reference Page []
  • Whoops, how about civilian avionics (radios) that weigh about 5 lbs....

    Cav Pilot's Reference Page []
  • Between the military and NASA you also get things like velcro, the internet, microwaves, ever decreasing size/capacity ratios for storage, and a hundred other things that you probably use every day.

    The military also does minor things like maintain your right to the freedom of speech to badmouth the military.

    I'm not saying you should alter your speech, just that you might consider giving the whole picture instead of just inflammatory comments about the same people who fight for your right to utter inflammatory comments.

    Cav Pilot's Reference Page []
  • We've been using SimNet for years. Flying an OH-58D from Ft Bragg, inside a flight of six, none of whom are on the same installation. Airforce assets, ground units, etc all there and if you look around in your unit, you see them accurately and in position where they are supposed to be (if they are where they are supposed to be.)

    I'm glad that they are actually allowing civilians to see some of this stuff. It's neat as all hell. You think that streaming media eats bandwidth? Try SimNet with a whole division.

    Cav Pilot's Reference Page []
  • I may be wrong, but I don't think the Army posted this to Slashdot. More likely is that johndeerejedi posted this to Slashdot, and johndeerejedi doesn't control the Army website, nor does johndeerejedi make video encoding decisions for the Army.

    Good point though. It would be nice if everyone could watch the videos.
  • How about you SHUT THE FUCK UP?


    Master of the universe.
  • Yeah, Michael, how about you SHUT THE FUCK UP? Maybe let the other posters have a chance at the front page, post nazi. I'd complain about Taco being off spending his VA stock, but he probably doesn't have any cash left.


    Master of the universe
  • how many sites there are that are like this? I remember how there was some sort of bruhaha in the past year or so about sites needing to be made more secure. I also recall some sites, that is you went into them via a search engine, seemed okay, but if you went up to the parent you got this big nasty warning that said basically if you proceed past this point you better be official or else well will track everything you do and hand it over to the NSA, etc.

    So I wonder how smart it is to have sites like this available to the public and unpassworded, or not verified as coming from a .MIL domain or something.

    Check out the Vinny the Vampire [] comic strip

  • Just as long as they kill the right people, then I'm ok with it.
  • would be nice to not need to have borders, but since China is one of the most repressive, racist countries on earth, I don't think it will happen. A white flag to them is just an invitation to slaughter you. You can count on the fact that they are going to be in need of more arable land some day, and they will have to take it from someone.
  • I wondered if LandWarrior would get mentioned. I'm working on the project, actually. Lotsa fun stuff!

    A company called Exponent [] got the project after Raytheon lost it.

    Evidentally, the initial solution made the soldiers look like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and, once the fell down, they couldn't get up.

  • big deal my cadillac does that
  • The 4th Infantry Division (US Army)is conducting an exercise

    Exercise? Doesn't that invlove running? What kind of site do you think this is?

  • I am not a communist, just an individual concerned about the lofty ideals our institutions were created with, and the wordly whoring of said institute. I'm also not a big conspiracy buff, but I do believe that there are many concealed motives in the today's politics... too many to guess the connections.
  • It took me a few hours before I could reply to this. The link to the made me sick. I'm quite sure that a similar looking (lots of garish pix and jingoism) link to, oh say a Middle East site would have been ridiculed by the slashdot community in general. Do you realise that "looks pretty cool" refers to instruments of death. Its a kind of religion, to pretend that (technology) and the sweet USA are not some of the most destructive and negative forces on this planet at the moment. Please ppl, use some of that wonderful intelligence and empathy that you show producing free (as in freedom) software towards imagining what it would be like to be on the other end of that "cool" .mil
  • I'm not disputing that in an abstract way that "some of this technology in of itself is cool technology with other applications." Hell, some of the funkiest technology of the last century was developed as a direct result of WWII. More what saddened me was the lack of response to an "gee isn't this cool blow it up shit and stuff developed by uncle Sam." When what's hidden is that "that .mil is there to guarantee your freedom" is not MY freedom; the 90% precent of non-US world-at-large. What 'free world' are you referring to? Certainly not mine (Australia/Asia). I would have to agree with your insinuation, that I am probably a coward, hating the idea of explosions burning skin, crushing bone, charring flesh. Not my scene sorry, despite cool USA computerised tech open sourced killkillkill. Sorry for sounding a little sore in this (and I thank you for responding to my un-American comment in what is essentially a US forum). Just that I find slashdot bizarre in that the community is about hoping for a better world, but constantly denies that the US acts only in the interests of a small proportion of the world's people. (I think that the Russian military, any Middle Eastern milita and the Chinese army is a toy in comparison to US firepower).
  • "<i>civilian aircraft that weigh about 5 lbs</i>"
    what practical civilian aircraft weighs 5 lbs?
  • it appears the army's experiencing the /. effect
  • Where do you think Egypt is?
  • I'm impressed. First appropriate use of I've ever seen.
  • 1. When a very gung ho captian brought up the idea of putting wireless NICs on our PCs (to eliminate the miles of coax in a LAN) in 1992 the electronics officer shuddered, pointed out that each attenna would be a big beacon saying "Command and Control target . . HERE". Wonder how they're getting around that?

    2. Heavy brigades are well and good and look real pretty. Given that log support a heavy brigade needs, and the time to deply, how many times is this going to be used in the real world?

    3. Those new berets the army doggies are wearing look pretty damn stuipid.

  • Why in the world should WE always have to understand THEM? I'm not saying it should be a one way street - just that we should meet in the middle.

    The US pilot loosing his temper is very unlikely - a P3 isn't agile at all, not enough to ram a fighter . . unless the Chinese pilot was looking at a map or something.

  • I hate to break it to you all, but the military has been buying Sun as COTS (Thats "Commercial, Off The Shelf") since, well, Sun opened it's doors. Hell if you realy want to geek out, some of the Army's Digital Battlestaf Training stuff runs on [PREGNANT PAUSE] .... Linux!


  • Yep. In 1990 I was part of the initial deployment of the Joint Operational Tactical System II(JOTS II: God, I love acronyms), which was built on SPARC. It replaced the JOTS I system, which ran on HP900s. We also had deployed systems that ran on everything from AMOS to Xenix. Those were the days.


  • 1. When a very gung ho captian brought up the idea of putting wireless NICs on our PCs (to eliminate the miles of coax in a LAN) in 1992 the electronics officer shuddered, pointed out that each attenna would be a big beacon saying "Command and Control target . . HERE". Wonder how they're getting around that?

    If your electronics officer didn't have enough understanding of EMCON controls and procedures to know the answer to that, he shouldn't be the electronics officer. Signal radiation has been well understood since the Germans figured out the Brits had RADAR.

    2. Heavy brigades are well and good and look real pretty. Given that log support a heavy brigade needs, and the time to deply, how many times is this going to be used in the real world?

    Hopefully none. But you can expect it to be deployed with any operational force. Any fighting unit needs heavy logistics support. Why do you think this would be any different?

    3. Those new berets the army doggies are wearing look pretty damn stuipid.

    And made in China.


  • I am a contractor that works with CECOM (Communications Electronic Command) and its affiliates. Anyway, there is a whole Digital Division project going on where the Army is trying to implement ABCS (Army Battlefield Control System) distance learning in a virtual battalion TOC (Tactical Operations Center). Basically, hook up 10 different classrooms across the country, 1 for each system, and play war! And I got to do the technical network analysis...ick.

    Yes, these systems run on a special version of Solaris. And for you hacker types out there, some of my teammates use Linux boxes to red team (run attacks against) these military systems.

    As for some websites, try Army Distance Learning, [] or Digital Training Facilities [].

    As for access to secret websites, some are password restricted but the higher up ones need to be accessed from a .mil domain. Beyond that is NIPRNet access only, and classified networks can only be accessed through SIPRNet.
  • I have no problem with other countries monitoring each other, including china making recon flights. Information about what the other side is doing is what keeps us out of wars.
  • So s390 sez:

    "I use LINUX (wank wank wank) I can't see QuickTime (wank wank wank) The army sux 'cause they don't use Linux (wank wank wank)"

    And the Universe cares about this horrible affront to your Human Rights and DIginity because...?

    The Army is using Windows and Macs because of arcane and byzantine purchasing requirements.

    OK, you can't see QT on your Linux box. Buy a c++ compiler and get to hacking code.

    I mean, that IS the Linux way, isn't it?
  • Mmmm, it just wouldn't be /. without blind and pig-headed military bashing, wouldn't it?
  • Wow! That's great stuff! I can't wait until they miniturize those lame computers until they are being installed as implants. Maybe by that time, some of that cool technology will have made its way down to our level. Maybe nanobots will be available by then.

    Just think, they can start programming us from birth to become perfect warriors. This is great stuff!

    All buzzed from this cool technology- signing off!
  • I really agree with this guys sentiment. But ( somebody shoot me! ) I don't see the world working any other way. This is just way the world turns. After all, we express our ultra-liberal, tree-hugging, anit-military opinions on a network that was developed by the same organization that we woul love to hate, i.e. the US DOD. Good loving, boys! This is where it's at! Handi'
  • Racists are funny. They live in trailors and go ont he Jerry Springer show and blame the black people for their sorry lives. Fear is a funny thing, it makes some people work hard to improve themselves, it makes weaker people look for other people to blame. Anyone who thinks they can judge a person based on their race is silly. By the way, I cannot think of a single redneck philosopher, architect, doctor or anyone else who has contributed to society. Looks like you racist rednecks are even worse than the black people you fear so much!! Ignorance is bliss and "First Nigga" is one happy guy.
  • by thatmoron ( 309497 ) on Saturday April 07, 2001 @07:38PM (#308089)
    You have a good point. Linux users cant see these videos. What about me? I don't have a monitor. They should really make it so I can see the movies too.

    If there are any spelling errors in the post above it is simply because I don't have a monitor. Not becuase I can't spell.
  • There are a whole lot of reasons for us to keep an eye on China. Do some reasearch and you will find quotes in US papers from Chinese officials about how they are building up their military to be able to take on the US. If you think it is all about money you've got quite a bit to learn about things. Now, this kind of thing is done all the time and there informal rules of engagement. The faster plane stays out of the way of the smaller plane. Yes, you can try to shake them up but you don't get in their way. The US was in international airspace at the time and even the Chinese don't really dispute that. There is no way that the US plane could have hit that F8 on purpose. If the Chinese pilot was semi-competent he could easily have out manuevered it. However it is quite possible for a hotdog fighter pilot to get too close to one of the wings and interrupt airflow causing the bigger plane to lose lift and veer abrubtly to the side and down. Which is a much more likely cause for the incident? We have been performing overflights like this against Russia and China since long before there was any hope of peaceful trade with either. We have an 89 billion dollar trade deficit with China. WE are not making money by trading there. But they are using that deficit to purchase spies, technology, and military equipment to eventually use against us. Read Sun Tsu, it is still required reading for anyone who wants too be anybody in China's ruling class. If it doesn't make you sit up and re-evaluate everything you think about China then you are too stupid and unimaginative to have an opinion that matters anyway. The one thing that you will get out of that book is you can never trust anyone who follows its philosophy. Not, you need to keep an eye on them they might try to trick us, but never ever trust anything they say or do. If they mean it now it only applies for exactly as long as it serves their purpose. Most likely they will have already identified the ways to twist it to their purpose long before they agreed to it. We are at an extreme disadvantage in this regard we want to be considered honorable and will try to some extent to comply with agreements.
  • And the military deliberately kept the levels of shielding at a lower level than necessary so that the USSR wouldn't have to use as many nukes to acheive the same results. Seriously, they kept the level of shielding down so that the Russians wouldn't be as tempted to use more nukes to get the job done.
  • I didn't see anything on their site about LandWarrior. LandWarrior is the mobile computer unit that soldiers carry into battle and use to communicate, situational awareness, planning op orders and the like.

    A "training system" is being coupled with its software and the gaming engine for Delta Force 2 to develop simulation software for the troops to use for (duh)training purposes.
  • Since EMP from nuclear weapons has been a concern for a long time, I can pretty safely say that yes, this stuff is shielded against EMP.
  • I don't see any hypocrisy here. We're talking about technology that lets us do our jobs with less net loss of lives. We won't accidentally shoot our allies and comrades, we'll know where refugees are and be able to protect them better, we'll know where our enemy's center of gravity is, which will enable us to achieve victory while actually killing fewer enemy troops, who are quite possibly only doing their job. I don't revel in the thought of killing other people, but war is a reality of the human condition--even if it is one we'd be better off without. Given the reality of war, you are given two choices--be good at it, or suck at it and die (or hope someone who is good at it will stick up for you). If you are good at it, and others know you are good at it, they will be less likely to pick a fight with you, and there again, you have saved lives. How this technology is used--whether we go pick fights or not--is decided by the elected representatives of the American people within the legal framework of the constitution. Don't be lulled into your simpleminded, Hollywood scripted conclusions that members of our armed services are a bunch of robot killers. Maybe you also need a little reality check and get past the pop-culture notion that the US is the only aggressive military power in the world.
  • It's a public affairs website. Everything put on it is carefully screened before it's released to the public. It's fashionable to bash the military and things they spend money on, so they want to have the chance to show themselves and what they're spending money on in a positive light. They want you, (presumeably a taxpayer) to see where your money is going and to convince you it is worthwhile. Maybe if the military gets a chance to give its side of the story, (and people would realize that there really are bad guys out there that occassionally need to be checked), maybe people would feel better about their government. If not, vote. At least they're showing you and giving you the choice.
  • Hey, warfare is a huge waste. Then again, losing at it is even worse. I believe it was John Melville that said "War is a terrible thing, but not the worst of things..."
  • Yes. Encrypted and frequency hopping, so direction finding and jamming are a bit more difficult. They (the OPFOR) are also reportedly trying to hack into the tactical intranet as well to test that aspect.
  • Yeah, well can your caddie tell you where every other car is, as well as potentially hostile cars? BTW, this is only the latest version of some of this equipment. FBCB2 has been around in various forms since at least 1994.
  • Never mind that .mil is there to guarantee your freedom. I agree that war is a bad thing, but it is a reality in our world that I just don't see going away any day soon. You want war to go away? Vote, or do something tangible to solve the problems in the world. Don't take it out on the instruments of your elected government's policy. Given the mission, they can do it well and live, or do it poorly and die. Failure also could literally mean the end of the free world. I don't know anyone who joined the military to go "kill some mofos". I know some that joined for the college money, some that joined for many other reasons, but many joined because they believed they are guaranteeing the freedom of their country. I believe it was John Melville who said "War is a terrible thing, but not the worst of things...." There is another quote, which I don't remember who to attribute it to: "A nation which insists on drawing a delineation between its thinking men and fighting men will find themselves defended by fools and its thinking done by cowards." Until you come up with a solution for world peace, the military is a necessity to guarantee your freedom. How it is used it determined by your vote. Whether it is used or not isn't really the point--it's ready if needed, which is more often than not all that's needed to make someone think twice about starting a war. Furthermore, some of this technology in of itself is cool technology with other applications. Take a step back and take that in perspective.
  • As the other guy who responded said, this is a mechie exercise, and the privates not only are driving tanks and stuff across the desert, but they all also have the FBCB2/tactical intranet I was refering to in my post. An M1 can be an exciting ride--going through desert wadis and stuff no other vehicle could treverse, and do it at 40+ mph. Believe me, at least SOME of those guys are having fun. On the other hand, some of the support guys are in a living hell trying to keep those things fixed and fueled at all hours of the night, and in the cold. Ironic that some of the people derided as REMFs by those frontline troops you felt so sorry for have it far worse. Then again, if this were a real war, those frontline guys would be in imminent danger of dying at any second, whereas the loggies behind them would stand just a little less chance of dying. (you'd be pretty surprised how far forward you will find mechanics and fuelers)
  • Then get off your ass and do something constructive about it instead of just whining. The US military is here to protect and defend the constitution of the United States. It is not there to define what that means, or to pick and chose its fights, but to go where the elected officials send us. This prevents the military from getting self-righteous and having us end up with coup after coup in what someone (emphasis on ONE) thinks is his version of the ideal society. Republics and democracies only work when the people give a shit.
  • 1. The whole thing is encrypted and uses spread spectrum frequency hopping. I know someone probably could find a way to compromise it, eventually. Getting cocky and thinking it impervious would be like the Germans with Enigma. But we can't exactly go back to semaphore flags, and this technology lets us do stuff that was damned near impossible just a few years ago. 2. Yes, a heavy brigade is a massive monster to deploy and support. There are plans to handle this, and speed up deployments, like having prepositioned equipment so the first brigade to deploy has equipment already there when they land. This is also part of why GEN Shinseki (Army Chief of Staff) wants to develop medium brigades which can deploy quickly. However, for however strategically cumbersome a heavy brigade may be, ours are nearly invincible if they are deployed. 3. The berets you saw on the TRADOC website are on OPFOR people, who are playing the enemy. The rest of the Army is still pending getting theirs, and it's sort of a sore topic with some people.

"How many teamsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?" "FIFTEEN!! YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?"