Infantry: A Chest Computer Brings Bombs Faster

“The U.S. Air Force JTACs (Joint Terminal Attack Controllers, who call in air strikes) operate as part of TACPs (Tactical Air Control Party). While JTACs are officers, and the only ones authorized to bring attack aircraft in low, most of the personnel in the TACPs are air force NCOs trained to do just about everything else (especially calling in smart bomb strikes). To help TACPs (as the NCOs are called) do their work better and faster, the air force has developed a one kilogram (two pound) wearable computer, to replace the 3.6 kg (8 pound) laptop currently used. The wearable computer (called SWC, for Small Wearable Computer) fits into a pouch on the front of the protective vest, and folds out when needed, so the TACP can see the small screen, use the small keyboard and simultaneously talk to pilots and ground troops. New software for the SWC gives both pilots and TACPs a common view of where ground and air units are. The SWC can also share video with aircraft overhead. So with the SWC, the TACPs have to haul less, and can do their job more quickly and easily.”

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