Tuesday, January 25, 2011

iPhone Targets the Taliban.....?

Now THIS is really cool!!! Somebody get Captain Springer a Medal.......

U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Paul Shoemaker, 3rd Battalion, 321st Field Artillery Regiment

U.S. Army Capt. Jonathan J. Springer tests his new smartphone app in eastern Afghanistan's Pech River Valley Jan. 17. The navigation application displays a Military Grid Reference System, plots waypoints, and gives directions in Mils.

An iPhone app that tracks down the Taliban has been developed by a U.S. soldier -- who put $26,000 of his own money into the project.

The idea for a smartphone application to assist soldiers in combat came to Capt. Jonathan J. Springer in a dream last July, he said Monday. The 31-year-old, from Fort Wayne, Ind., has worked with programmers ever since to make the idea a reality.

Tactical Nav, which is expected to be available through Apple’s App Store next month, assists soldiers in mapping, plotting and photographing waypoints on a battleground and conveying coordinates to supporting units.

Springer used a variety of armored vehicles, remote observation posts and harsh combat conditions to test the accuracy of his invention, which can also be used to direct artillery fire on enemy positions or call in helicopter support.

Springer, who serves as a battalion fire support officer in eastern Afghanistan, said most soldiers use smartphones and the app has been designed specifically for them.

“Since day one, I always believed that smartphones could be utilized by the U.S. military for combat purposes,” he said.

“Basically, the issue was the fact that these smartphones were being untapped by the army and I was motivated and determined to change that, even if it cost me my own money out of pocket to do so,” he added.

H/T to Fox News!


Howlsatmoon said...

.....But I have a problem, and please give me the benifite of the doubt.....I was MOS 0203, Field Intelligence Officer, snipers.... Maybe I'm paranoid a bit BUT....

What if, perchance, a GP needs some Artillery, say 1000 meters ahead of his posit.

What if....the iPod App is hacked and REDUCES the distance between the 'User' and his designated target by, say....1000 meters?

Not good.

Any Artillery Officers out there?

Whittlin' Man - formerly "Lawman" said...

I'm not an arty guy but I have some problems with this as well.

My old job was with Military Intelligence. Yeah, I know that's an oxymoron.

Anyway, one of the programs I was in involved just this type of application. There are THOUSANDS of different ways this can be a very bad idea. From the GPS spoofing you mentioned, to turning the iphone into a movement tracker, to manipulating the data so that you call down fire on your own position, etc, etc, etc.

There is a reason most functions like this are conducted over SECURE systems.

OH, and last time I was in a hot zone, personal cell phones were stricktly a forbidden item except for when you were on the secured FOB.

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