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    Enabling Tactical Cloud Solutions for the U.S. Army

    Enabling Tactical Cloud Solutions for the U.S. Army

    Photo By Capt. Matthew Visser | The Dragon Cloud, led by the U.S. Army’s XVIII Airborne Corps, is designed to enable...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Matthew Visser 

    XVIII Airborne Corps Public Affairs

    Future global conflict will hinge on whoever can access and leverage information quicker and more effectively. That’s why the U.S. Army is leading an effort to build the capability to analyze and operationalize data at a speed relevant to tactical operations, enabling information advantage when and where it’s needed.

    The Dragon Cloud, led by the U.S. Army’s XVIII Airborne Corps, is designed to enable this capability as the premiere data-centric organization across the Army. The XVIII Airborne Corps has been able to accomplish this by collaborating with industry partners to accomplish optimize effectiveness. XVIII Airborne Corps has worked with Microsoft to bring the power of the Azure cloud to support this critical effort in both classified and unclassified environments.

    Data can only be useful if it’s available and accessible where it’s needed. Enabling advanced compute at the farthest edge, where Soldiers operate, is a critical need. Over the past 18 months, XVIII Airborne Corps has demonstrated this capability using Microsoft Azure Edge appliances, with their family of rugged advanced compute devices in a small package that can operate in transport disadvantage environments. Tactical edge implementation of cloud native capabilities showcased the Army’s ability to:
    • rapidly deliver cloud computing capability to the tactical edge in response to an emerging requirement
    • deploy and configure that equipment at the tactical edge
    • design and remotely deploy a tailored AI workload to improve data collection and analytics capability at the tactical edge
    • effectively use edge devices to build data pipelines from the sensors at the tactical edge to the strategic analytic platforms

    Being able to connect to the tactical cloud at the edge enables units to successfully run image detection algorithms from drone feed viewed by analysts and commanders. Previously, data captured by these unmanned systems would need to be compressed, resulting in lower data quality, in order to have data transmitted to where analysts are located to manually process the data. This process might result in the loss of critical data and the potential to miss key insights.

    Through a recent collaboration with Microsoft, XVIII Airborne Corps has participated and supported the XVIII Airborne Corps’ People First initiatives like their Leader Engagement Tool (LET) and Holistic Health and Fitness (H2F) tools that have improved the quality of life for our Soldiers. LET and H2F were both conceived and prototyped by Soldiers, but made possible with the Microsoft Azure process of being deployed to production environments via the Army’s Enterprise Cloud Management Agency for use Army-wide. Microsoft has also been an integral partner committed to enabling our warfighters by literacy programs that equip Soldiers with cloud native capabilities to compete and win in Multi Domain Operations.

    American Soldiers have long used fieldcraft to improvise solutions to immediately meet mission needs in the field. This approach of using the cloud to facilitate digital fieldcraft, whether in support of operations overseas or in operations in garrison environments, this democratization of technology will empower Soldiers with good ideas to take action.

    This approach highlights the innovative spirit of American Soldiers, and it will enable and enhance every Soldier within every unit within the U.S. Army to achieve more, to ensure we can win the first, and future fight.

    With the Dragon Cloud, coupled with advanced edge and AI compute capabilities, units can bridge the gap between the wide variety of capabilities at the tactical edge that gather operationally relevant data and cloud hosted data analytic capabilities.

    XVIII Airborne Corps continues to modernize and work with industry partners to accelerate the data and cloud capabilities and to leverage the latest in commercial innovation to support our national security objectives and improve the lives of our Soldiers, Civilians, and their Families.

    XVIII Airborne Corps has evolved their cloud and data strategy, by drastically increasing data literacy programs, employing a chief technology and chief data officer, and through fostering a culture of innovation that propels Soldiers to gain necessary skills.

    Earlier this year, the 82nd Airborne Division opened their Innovation Lab and later this month XVIII Airborne Corps will break ground on the Dragon Innovation Outpost, which will provide a venue for all servicemembers to connect the tactical need with the technology housed within our industry partners and the academic institutions we have partnered with through the Educational Partnership Agreement to support our national security interests.



    Date Taken: 12.01.2022
    Date Posted: 12.01.2022 15:49
    Story ID: 434309
    Location: FORT BRAGG, NC, US 

    Web Views: 1,314
    Downloads: 0