Electronic Weapons: February 4, 2004


Another casualty of the Iraq war was the U.S. Army's new command and control system (MCS, the Maneuver Control System), which was scheduled for field testing in late 2002. But the only division equipped with the MSC equipment was the 4th Infantry. This unit was on its way to the Middle East in late 2002. The MCS test is expected to take place later this year, after the 4th Infantry Division gets back from Iraq. MCS allows a commander to control several divisions, and share information with subordinate commanders using a common computer system. MSC is part of the army's Tactical Command Control System (which includes MCS, the Combat Service Support Control System, the Air and Missile Defense Work Station, the Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System and the All Source Analysis System.) The Blue Force Tracker that was so popular during the Iraq campaign was another of the new Internet like communications and control systems the army has been developing for over a decade. Even without all these systems being fully operational, combat commanders are already used to going to war carrying a laptops or PDAs. 


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