The Marines of the future are all about communication.
The Leathernecks want data networks that can keep them connected all the way from the decks of their ships to the beaches they storm. They want online search tools that rely on natural language instead of keywords (like the rest of us). And they want software that can sift through the oceans of data their wartime sensors and cameras collect â€” including tools that can scan through faces in a crowd, like the Terminator, and alert Marines to danger.
Thatâ€™s according to the Corpsâ€™ blueprint for its science and technology needs over the next 20 years. Communications are a big, gaping hole for the Marines of the present, and the Marines want to hand their successors more seamless, networked ways of talking. Thatâ€™s on top of other wish-list material, like advanced sensors that can sniff drugs and homemade bombs â€” oh, and laser-stopping goggles.
TheÂ blueprintÂ (.pdf), first published byÂ Inside Defense, doesnâ€™t come out and criticize the Corpsâ€™ current suite of communications tools and sensors. But thereâ€™s a yawning technological chasm in-between the present-day Marines and where the Leathernecks want to be in 2025.
From â€śflagpole to fighting hole,â€ť the blueprint writes, Marines need to be in constant communication: â€śThe objective is to provide a holistic, end-to-end, turnkey [command-and-control] capability to execute commanderâ€™s intent, facilitate implicit communications, visualize battlespace reality, promote initiative, enable centralized command and decentralized control, and ultimately accomplish the mission.â€ť