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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

GD adds WIN-T capabilities, brings hope to Afghan doctor far from home

General Dynamics Corp. put out a release today (July 9) boasting about the progress of the Warfighter Information Network – Tactical, known as WIN-T.

They announced the continued development of Increment 2 Soldier Network Extension and how new capabilities are being added based on soldier feedback as well as what they called mission-centered innovation.

The company’s C4 Systems group has been working to make the Soldier Network Extension more intuitive to use. One of the expanded capabilities is the ability to create a secure, mobile network hotspot.

In the announcement, GD recounts how the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division set up a secure hotspot near an Afghan polling location during the April elections. They were able to connect their laptops, radios and other equipment to a tactical network carrying voice, chat and email.

Some of the improvements included reducing the steps to set up such a hotspot, reducing the time to power up and power down by half, more intuitive trouble shooting tools, and streamlined graphical interfaces that look more like the electronic devices the soldiers use at home.

Generally, I ignore these kinds of releases. Nearly any company can brag about its latest version of X, Y or Z, though maybe not on the scale of WIN-T.

But I’ve been sick this week and went to my doctor yesterday, who diagnosed me with severe bronchitis, bordering on pneumonia. My doctor is from Afghanistan and graduated from the medical school at Kabul University. But he left when the Soviets invaded in 1979.

I told him yesterday how disappointing it was that after all these years of war, that the Taliban was still a force and that so many things seemed unstable.

He stopped me. “Look at our history. We’ve never had a peaceful transition from one regime to another. Never. But these elections, if we can do that that would be something.”

There was such a mixture of pain, pride and hope in his voice.

Of course, the second round of voting in June was been fraught with allegations of fraud. Demonstrations are going and the losing candidate, who actually may have received the most votes, is making comments about setting up a parallel government.

So achieving my doctor’s hope is still very much on shaky ground, but GD, if you are playing a role in trying to make it happen, then good for you.


Posted by Nick Wakeman on Jul 09, 2014 at 9:25 AM

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