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thedrifter
04-01-06, 07:55 AM
New technology aids military in combat zones
WFLA: Tampa
Last updated on: 3/31/2006 1:35:59 PM

AVON PARK: The military is training to deal with IED's and other dangers on the Avon Park bombing range. Part of the training involves new technology that's never been used anywhere else in the world. It's a joint exercise with the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines called: "Atlantic Strike Three." The new technology can be used to save lives.

A small squad of U.S. Army scouts from Texas enters a mock village. They are confronted and antagonized by other Army personnel playing the role of the bad guys.

In their path, the army squad encounters danger based on real life situations. In this case, an improvised explosive device, or IED.

But this squad is experimenting with new technology designed to help.

Even though their vehicle may look like any other four wheel drive pick up, it can drive in and around a village, speed down a city street, even feed back real time video of the trip to a commander in the field or a pilot in the air.

But the truck is unique - there's nobody in it. No driver is required.

The truck is only experimental now, but imagine the possibilities. Instead of sending a driver into an unfriendly town to check things out, the truck can drive in and take the fire without putting Americans in harms way.

The vehicle is operated by remote control. Some of the technology is proprietary, but it is basically like a model car.

The truck isn't the only new technology being used.

Although it looks like a model airplane, it's another remotely operated vehicle that can be launched by hand and provide an aerial view of a combat situation. It gives a real-time look to commanders and the pilots of aircraft with real fire power.

U.S. Army Major Kurt Felpel says the new technology doesn't change the primary tactics they use, but it does make things easier and less dangerous for the troops involved.

"What changes is, we get new technologies. Unmanned aerial vehicles, greater types of sensors on aircraft, greater types of sensors for the army units, things like that and so you have to adapt. You have to tweak it," said Felpel.

Some of the technology used at Avon Park will be immediately placed into the battlefield.

Ellie