The heavy use of UAVs and smart bombs in Afghanistan has had a generally unrecognized side effect. It has forced the army, air force and navy to accelerate their decades old plans to field communications gear that will enable people in all three services to easily communicate with each other. Different radios and frequencies have long made it difficult for the three services to talk to each other on the battlefield. But in Afghanistan, if everyone wanted to participate, they had to be able to communicate with each other. With the army Special Forces on the ground calling for air support from navy and air force bombers, such communications was a matter of life and death. Improvisation and workarounds were the order of the day, and now everyone is rushing to get equipment into service that will finally eliminate this communications problem that has plagued the U.S. armed forces for nearly a century.