82nd Airborne Going Digital

“Paratroopers flying to hotspots soon will have broadband access just before bailing out “

TIME

If you can carry the Internet in your pocket to check up-to-the-minute sports scores and the latest video highlights, why can’t the paratroopers of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division have it to check out enemy positions just before jumping out of their airplanes?

Turns out, they expect to have it by year’s end.

The Army’s Enroute Mission Command Capability—EMC2—will let the service’s always-ready-to-go Ground Response Force receive operational updates and full-motion video of where they’re going from inside the bellies of their C-17 aircraft just before they bail out.

“If the GRF can understand a situation before they get to their drop location, then they can be more effective from the moment boots hit the ground,” Lieut. Colonel Joel Babbitt, who oversees the new system, tells an Army public-affairs officer. “Instead of landing on the ground, analyzing the situation and developing execution plans, they can hit the ground executing.”

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