Weapons Innovation - October 21, 2020

Digital fortress: 5G is a weapon in national defense – ZDNet


Amateurs talk strategy, professionals talk logistics. In the 2020s, that old chestnut should probably be updated: “Professionals talk about the network.”

And boy are they talking. The U.S. government will be one of the biggest spenders on private 5G infrastructure, and the Department of Defense leads the pack. DoD’s growing network demands include connecting in-field technology as well as supporting day-to-day base operations and force training. DoD’s need for increased connectivity is driving greater investment in 4G LTE, but that’s only laying the foundation for a massive shift to 5G.

It turns out that shift is already underway. According to Lt Col Brandon Newell, Director, SoCal Tech Bridge, NavalX, since July of this year the 5G Living Lab aboard MCAS Miramar, a partnership with Verizon, has been active, representing the first 5G Ultra Wideband mmWave deployment on a military installation in the nation.

Our intent is to embrace 5G-enabled tech that is being used to advance commercial industries as a weapon in the Defense Market,” says Lt Col Newell. “We are embarking to explore base resilience through energy management and communications, security through what we call ‘the digital fortress,’ and mobility across modalities such as autonomous vehicles and unmanned aerial systems.”

In other words, 5G will serve as the undergirding for a new generation of warfighting.

“More so than with other technologies in the past, we’re seeing that the Department of Defense (DoD) and military leaders realize how important 5G

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