Apple iPads now helping U.S. Marines unleash hell in Afghanistan

“When Marines are in a firefight in Afghanistan and need back up, they call in helicopters to blast the enemy from the sky,” Mark Riffee reports for Wired. “Sounds simple enough, but it’s not — according to current standard operating procedures for close-air strikes, ground troops radio coordinates to a pilot who then has to rifle through 60 to 80 pounds of maps to find the building he’s supposed to hit. Radio signals cut out, coordinates get jumbled and, even with half a grown man’s weight in maps in the cockpit, sometimes the pilot doesn’t have a detailed image of the target area. But this may all change soon.”

“The Marines recently took a baby step towards a more efficient future when the 3rd Aircraft Wing bought 32 iPads,” Riffee reports. “The total purchase — not quite $20,000 worth of tablets and accessories, according to Defense News — was merely ‘a hiccup in the grand scheme of defense spending,’ a former deputy G-3 for operations pointed out. But it could be a crucial advance in aerial warfare.”

Riffee reports, “Software developers have already come up with a variety of apps geared toward military efficacy, including a few that can differentiate friendlies from insurgents, and Darpa is hard at work on a way to keep smart devices powered-up during lengthy missions.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Edward Weber” for the heads up.]

52 Comments

    1. … for several months and … we’re still arguing. My wife is seeing fewer problems, only a couple of fits per evening. It keeps doing “things” she claims she did not intend. Scrolling. Wandering off to another, unexpected, page.
      I have fewer “unexpected events”, but I’m still using our older MacBook when possible.

      1. you: for several months and … we’re still arguing. My wife is seeing fewer problems, only a couple of fits per evening. It keeps doing “things” she claims she did not intend. Scrolling. Wandering off to another, unexpected, page.
        I have fewer “unexpected events”, but I’m still using our older MacBook when possible.

        tech support: Replace your wife.

  1. Hopefully that this will prevent the US forces from killing innocent .
    Too many innocents have died . Too many death unjustified .
    But what is worrisome is when despite killing innocents they are still claimed to be terrorist.
    No justice and thus the war will never end .

    1. In a WAR…. people die. . . . .

      If there are no deaths, no injuries…… Then its chess.

      In a war, no one wins…. one side just gets to write the story for the history books.

      en

    2. Zulkifli,
      The one major difference you and many others don’t get is that we seek not to kill ‘innocents’ while our enemies use them as human shields or ‘ordinance delivery carriers’ (suicide bombers who have been coerced or tricked into being used).
      We are there to try to teach people justice and respect for human life. In fact, when one of our warriors unintentionally kills a human shield or any innocent person, very often their conscience leads to them having post-traumatic stress disorder. That is the difference… so this war is difficult to end…

      1. Very well said. I’m not a war nut but U.S. forces fight fair, to the best extent possible. It’s very, very difficult to distinguish ‘civilians’ from terrorists in a fire fight, especially if the terrorists masquerade as ‘civilians’ or use civilian facilities to attack U.S. forces.

        Also terrorists don’t fight fair – they use roadside bombs to kill, maim and disable people – these are indiscriminate killings. Why doesn’t anyone tell the terrorists not to be assholes?

        1. “Why doesn’t anyone tell the terrorists not to be assholes?”
          Oh, sure, just send them an email or Twitter message, saying ‘you’re a bunch of assholes, give it up’ and they’ll just say ‘damn, yes of course we are, why didn’t that occur to us before. We must stop now!’
          Are you a complete fuckwit?

          1. indiemuppet,

            We have entered it and remain with the best of intentions, and these individuals (and similar incidents) are few and far between. Therein is radical difference between the two forces… Atrocities are the rule versus the rare exception. This is a factor that led to the winning over the Imans and community leaders in Iraq… and our success in gaining their cooperation. We are employing the same sort of rationale within Afghanistan and it is having a positive impact.

  2. If what the Marines are doing in Afghanistan is “unleashing hell”, then WTF does the USA still have troops in Afghanistan?

    We got bin Laden, we’ve wasted trillions of dollars that could’ve been better spent on infrastructure in this country, now let’s get out!

    1. We are still there because Osama bin Laden was a leader, but there is still a framework of al Qaeda leaders that we have to decimate so that the Afghan government has the ability to survive on its own.
      Those leaders are the types that would be plotting attacks on the US, so its best that we wipe them out over there.
      We are training the Afghans to defend themselves from these terrorists and really making a difference.
      So Sucker, it wasn’t just about bin Laden…, but since we took him down, we have had some very notable successes in dismantling his network. Don’t buy into the simple dribble of the MSM.

    1. Yes, the Marines have Naval Aviators. Some members of the blue Angels are Marines. Top Gun has Marine instructors and students. Carrier battle groups have Marines flying F18’s off the deck. Marine helicopter pilots flying Chinooks, and sea stallions transport Marines and gear. Marine pilots fly cobra gunships providing close air support to ground troops. Marine pilots fly UAV’s, C-130 transports and on and on.

      Marines have been flying longer than the US has had an Air Force. Ever hear of the Black Sheep Squadron and WWII Ace : Boyington?

      John Mccain, Ed McMahon (tonight show), John Glenn (astronaut/senator) were also Marine pilots.

      1. Truth, McCain was a squid. He was a naval aviator and FYI, he crashed five planes in his career. That last crash cost him a little jail time.

        He onced crashed a plane while flying home to watch the Army/Navy game. He up and takes off in a Navy plane, flies out of Florida and puts it in the soup off the coast of Maryland, or some shit.

        Doofus.

    2. No. There are a couple hundred-thousand Marines and maybe, 10-percent are pilots. There might be another sixty-thousand Marines whose mission is to get planes in the air.

      The rest are honest to goodness Warriors who wear 60-pounds of gear as they scoot around the desert buttoned up like sausages.

      FYI, It’s 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, not 3rd Aircraft Wing as stated in the article. I was a part of that unit for twelve years. I retired from that unit in 1994. I was Aviation Ordnance who liked to paint faces on our ordnance before delivery.

    1. Wrong service, Marines use the Cobra/SuperCobra Gunship, the Army has Apache’s.

      The Cobra is smaller (less room on the deck) & cheaper to maintain, thus the Marines with their smaller budget use these.

      The Apaches are good for taking out enemy tanks, radar, sam sites. The Cobra is typically used for close air support of ground troops. It is effective when used in close proximity to Marines on the ground.

  3. I am a tree-hugging, left wing liberal, and I have seen and hate war…. as an aging rock’n’roller (guitar and Hammond) I cannot explain how I ended up at the USMC School of Infantry (West). I spend an inordinate amount of time with my Marines and am slightly involved in the training systems. I see them prepare, I see them go. My job is to contribute to the safe return of these Marines. If the iPad brings them back from their Mission, good. These are are friends and neighbors. They are there for you and I. Thanks for the tech support Apple. It’s as important to me that my Marines return to their families as World peace is.

  4. Real blood on the iPad now. I am saddened to see the US using such great technology is such a negative way. The world need more teacher rather than soldiers. Imagine if we taught them how to think rather than what to think. Democracy would sweep the planet.

    1. Robert,
      The Marines and soldiers on the ground now are seeking to do precisely that. They are taking the lessons learned from Iraq and actively pursuing them in Afghanistan.
      People can’t think peaceful thoughts until there is peace and stability.
      They are seeking to provide the opportunities to think. One of the Marines who gave his life over there lamented that the children don’t even have access to paper and pencils/pens. After he was killed, his family has started a foundation that is equipping the U.S. forces with those items, to help them to think.
      Robert, (and others) please check out:
      http://www.wtoc.com/story/15413667/rhhs-collects-supplies-for-matthew-freeman-project

        1. Shocking? Seriously, exactly how is it relevant to the Afghan people and their lives? Would the US forces explaining their presence there as a ‘personal grievance’ really endear them to the local populace?!

          Now ask yourself: what percentage of Americans (and Brits) are aware of the Taliban-Al Quaeda atrocities committed in Afghanistan?

          Coalition forces need to be relevant to the people *there*, in order to have a positive impact in Afhanistan – not all sporting ‘Remember 9-11’ badges.

    2. Surely you can’t be serious!

      US forces don’t murder people–terrorists do.

      The iPads are helping them take out our enemies (killers) much more efficiently, with less civilian casualties.

      The country you’re sitting in right now would not exist if not for military forces, and likely, neither would you!

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