News: Technology expo reveals tools that can save money, save lives
Story by Staff Sgt. Andrea Merritt
FORT HOOD, Texas – Senior leaders, soldiers and civilians on Fort Hood received a firsthand look at some of the latest, cutting-edge technology on the market during the semiannual technology expo held Jan. 31 at Club Hood.
More than 20 exhibitors showcased the newest technology and equipment in the areas of test and command, test and measurements, hardware, software, data solutions, tactical communications and medical equipment.
“Everything here today is the latest and greatest so all the equipment here responds quicker, responds faster and everything here is more accurate,” said Candice Lee, the federal events manager for National Conference Services Inc., which coordinated the event. “It should make the lives of soldiers more efficient, more effective and more accurate.”
The exhibitors who showcased products at the expo were specifically requested by units at Fort Hood so that they could see the latest technologies that could help soldiers complete a variety of missions, whether in garrison or on the battlefield.
At the event, a multinational telecommunications company featured a rugged, military-specific radio that is night vision compatible and provides secure voice transmissions, noise cancelling technology and text messaging capabilities.
“They have a lot of the newer radios, which is always great because it’s more mobile,” said Sgt. 1st Class Tedrick Holmes, the III Corps special manager. “As the Army is getting smaller, as we’re moving faster, it’s important to have smaller technologies.”
Another piece of equipment featured at the event was a thermal imager that could be used for building inspection, weatherization, mechanical systems, and troubleshooting and maintenance applications.
Although the company that featured the imager is a leading supplier in engineer test equipment, soldiers in other career fields saw practical uses for the device as well.
“It would provide better diagnostics for our equipment,” said Staff Sgt. William Peterson, a UH-60 Black Hawk technical inspector with the 1st Air Combat Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division. “It could save the Army money and help with safety.”
Although the event was open to everyone, III Corps and division staff leaders, especially those in the information technology and communications fields, benefited greatly from attending the expo.
“I’m with the III Corps G-6 and G-6 makes all communication decisions for Fort Hood,” said Holmes. “I came because I have a direct role in determining software requirements, hardware requirements, and the equipment that’s used by the Army today.”
“This new technology is cheaper now, it’s more mobile, it’s more scalable,” said Holmes. “That means we’ll be able to get into country or wherever we go faster, set up faster, and be mission ready faster.”
In addition to being field expedient, some of the systems showcased at the expo would allow soldiers to complete IT-related tasks remotely, which means they could accomplish a mission at another location or installation around the world and not leave their desk at Fort Hood.
“This means less time packing up, less movement, less bulky equipment and it saves the Army money as far as not having to use a lot of manpower and a lot of travel money in order to do the same job,” Holmes said.
More important than saving money, the technology at the expo could help save lives. A leading supplier in test and measurement equipment featured a spectrum analyzer that is used by the military to aid in the detection of improvised explosive devices.
As technology keeps advancing, the military aims to be on the forefront of this cutting-edge technology because it could improve the way soldiers conduct operations, save the Army money, and more importantly, save lives.