Support: April 24, 2002

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Despite the wake up call during the 1991 Gulf War, the troops are once more having problems with batteries (not enough of them) and dust (too much of it) in Afghanistan. There was a lot more portable electronics used in Afghanistan, and without batteries (or access to electricity for a recharge) the gadgets became junk. Since most of Afghanistan is desert, dust is always a problem for precision equipment. This includes the laptop computers now so common in U.S. combat units. Compressed air (either from a vehicle maintenance unit or a can of compressed air from the computer store) was much in demand to keep the computer guts and the dust separated. But all those laptops could be networked on the battlefield, and American ground troops had the same success with chat rooms as did the British navy. Chat rooms proved to be a very effective way for all headquarters to participate in, or just monitor, an operation. The electronic gear was critical in winning the campaign with such low friendly losses. But you need more batteries and less dust to keep it working.

 


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