Tactical Air Control Party airmen will soon have new equipment that will make it easier for them to guide close air support strikes quickly, accurately, and safely. The small wearable computer, or SWC, fits into a pouch in a TACP’s body armor. Weighing in at only two pounds, it is more compact than the eight-pound laptops that these airmen now carry. The new device will allow them to operate more freely on dismounted patrols in the tough terrain of Afghanistan, according to officials at Hanscom AFB, Mass., who are involved in its development. The Air Force will field SWC once TACP close air support system software version 1.4.2 comes online. Airmen are currently training with the software. “It helps TACPs get aircraft on target faster and reduces the probability of human error,” said Rob Bubello, TACP modernization program manager. (Hanscom report by Chuck Paone)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.