ATAK to Drive NATO Innovation?

The Strategy Bridge argues that ATAK can/should drive communication innovation within NATO by transforming communications.  Here’s an excerpt, but the whole thing might be worth a read:

Innovative technologies that can effectively connect multiple NATO special operations forces, such as multilateral online and offline mapping, military radio controlling, text messaging, targeting, calling for fire, etc. already exist. Currently, the Tactical Assault Kit application for Android and Windows allows for all of these capabilities. The Tactical Assault Kit platform permits for a wide range of methods for establishing connectivity, even blending military satellite communication and commercial equipment. The Tactical Assault Kit communication system has been field tested by U.S., Norwegian, and Danish special operations forces in support of operations against ISIS. NATO special operations forces partners were initially restricted from accompanying Iraqi or Syrian partner forces on the battlefield, but they were allowed to support them with close air support. The communication chain, however, was too slow and led to some delayed direct support for the counter-ISIS forces on the battlefield. All this changed when a couple of bright minds saw the potential in Tactical Assault Kit and managed to put together tactical field kits, using the existing mapping tool as the technical medium to speed up coordination and target acquisition between counter-ISIS forces and NATO special operations forces elements. It thus became a success story, and the system is being actively used in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

For a comprehensive employment of Tactical Assault Kit within NATO special operations forces, every allied country will have to change the way they look at military communication. In order to best explain the concept of scalable connectivity in this context, one needs to consider how military missions are planned. The military mission consists of three fundamental parts: shoot, move, and communicate. Ahead of a mission, how to shoot and move are thoroughly analyzed in order to utilize the best tools in the toolbox. For instance, if a unit is planning an urban special reconnaissance mission, there are several tools to choose from. A civilian car can be chosen over a tactical vehicle to maintain a low profile when inserting the special reconnaissance team into the target area.

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