Ammo? Check. Body armor? Check. Smartphone?
The Army could be putting a check mark next to the last one soon.
After ongoing field studies of how to implement mobile devices within the Army, issuing smartphones along with all other equipment may not be that far off.
“To most soldiers, it sounds almost too good to be true, but it’s real,” said Lt. Gen. Michael Vane, director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center, according to a report on DoDBuzz.
“One of the options, potentially, is to make it a piece of equipment in a soldier’s clothing bag,” he added.
The original report came in the Army Times.
The Army was likely drawn to the idea of mobile devices “by the promise of rapid updates, easily adaptable software and the ubiquity of cellphone technology,” DoDBuzz reports.
Politico reports the plan, which could see a smartphone in every new recruit’s hands paid for by the Army as well as minutes and network use, might be a “a windfall for the telecom and defense industries.”
According to the original Army Times report, Pentagon planners see the opportunities in smartphones, which would let soldiers “view real-time intelligence, video from unmanned systems overhead and track friends and enemies on a dynamic map.”
Army Vice Chief of Staff Peter Chiarelli has long evangelized about the possibilities for smartphones on the battlefield.
But he’s not the only one. The Apps for the Army project, which encourages the design and creation of smartphone applications launched earlier this year, and was widely seen as a game-changer for Army innovation and development.