Smart-Technology Reshapes the U.S. Military

The United States Armed Forces are using technology to develop new capabilities for American troops.

The Army Research Lab is developing cutting-edge biometrics and bio-sensors, applying their improvements to expand the capabilities of soldiers and weapons.  Duztin Watson is a US Army sniper who now runs a security firm in Pennsylvania that specializes in the oil and gas industry.  He says it’s about performance.  “From different types of body armor ballistically able to take stronger impacts to cooling systems that keep body temperature in line,” he tells KTRH News.  In his Linked-In profile, Watson lists his company, RiP USA, as “a high value, low exposure private security and investigative organization that operates in multiple sectors protecting human life and valuable property. RiP USA is additionally a training group that focuses on building high value professionals who are ready to meet the changing needs of various protective / operational contracts.”  He says the company’s name honors friends lost on the battlefield in combat and stands for Remembrance, Innovation, and Progression.  He likes a forward looking military.

The U.S. Army spent $2 million on fit bits, only to discover that for the specific needs of troops in the field, the commercially available product isn’t good enough.  The military is inventing something better, but, as with much of this new technology, it's classified.

Watson says it wasn’t long ago that body armor was no more than a steel plate.  “They’re now using technology that is almost in liquid form and it doesn’t become strong and rigid until it’s actually impacted by a round,” he says.  Defense industry reporter Patrick Tucker details in a story in Defense One that the military is developing helmets with built-in sensors that monitor brain activity, and wearable clothing with light-weight, built-in, bio-tracking sensors that monitor heart-rate and stress levels.

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