White Sands, NM – Android-powered smartphones will help soldiers of the future discover better trails, locate colleagues and build stronger defense -- capability that just doesn’t exist today. They'll be a permanent fixture in the United States Army, officials said.
FoxNews.com traveled to White Sands Missile Range in south central New Mexico, where soldiers are testing the Motorola ATRIX and the General Dynamics made Motorola GD300, as well other smartphones, radios and handhelds in a massive war game. In military vehicles, combat leaders used Motorola Xoom tablets to get a unique new look at soldiers’ locations.
Brigade commander Col. Daniel Pinnell said the smartphones will allow him to lead a stronger defense team.
“Before this point I had to grab a hand mic and ask 30 people to describe to me as best they can on what piece of dirt they’re on [and] what condition they’re in,” Pinnell told FoxNews.com.
Now he just takes out his smartphone and checks out the screen.
'This is one of the most important things, strategically, that this army has taken up in recent years.'
- U.S. Army Secretary Hon. John McHugh
“You can basically see everybody that’s on the ground. It gives us a lot of enhancement,” said U.S. Army Specialist Jordan Michael Rotecki-Kennedy, who has been helping evaluate the GPS-like network.
On the field, they aren’t looking for bars from AT&T or Virgin Mobile. The phones, known to the Army as end-user devices, are connected by USB to a radio system that carries voice and data on a secured network.