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Air Force CIO Sees Future in Smartphones

Air Force CIO Lt. Gen. William Lord; Photo: af.mil, Elnur

The U.S. Air Force chief information officer wants the service to use smartphones and mobile applications to begin laying the foundation for a 21st-century fighting force, according to a report on Nextgov.

In echoes of the Army’s smartphone plans, the other military services are discovering that yes, there is even an app for revolutionizing the fighting forces.

CIO Lt. Gen. William Lord told reporters his vision of putting smartphones in the hands of Air Force officers on the frontlines at a media briefing at the Pentagon on Nov. 2.

To order more equipment, he cites as an example, requires logging onto a computer to place an order. With a smartphone and an innovative app, the officer in charge of making acquisitions can streamline the process.

But there are challenges.

“To push those rich experiences to mobile devices at the edge . . . [is] easy to say and hard to do,” Lord said, according to Nextgov. The path forward, Lord said, would likely be similar to the Army’s smartphone plans,  part of which involve open-source app development.

The Apps for the Army program launched last spring and has earned high praise for its inventive approach to app development.

Last week, Army Vice Chief of Staff Peter Chiarelli spoke about his long-range plans for the Army, with one day every soldier being issued a new essential tool in his or her arsenal: a smartphone.

As for Lord, he said he wanted the Air Force to continue to look forward.

“I want to deploy tomorrow’s technology today,” he said.

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