Technology is Saving Our Troops Lives!

They come with names like Wolfhound and Duke! Sounds like the family pet but these names are lifesavers for our troops and they show how technology can save lives! MilitaryAvenue met with Colonel John “Buck” Surdu, military deputy for the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, Communications-Electronics Center (CERDEC) during the DoD Roundtable as he excitedly described the capabilities of new equipment in the field. The colonel was pumped about saving lives and you could tell he was proud of his team’s efforts supporting the warfighters!

So what is Wolfhound? Much like the famous dog this equipment has a great sniffer! In fact, it electronically sniffs for the bad guys and tells our folks where the bad guys are operating in the electronic realm! Carried in a backpack, it can find electronic signals and point at them and provide the location of cell phone use, radio traffic and even IED locations to our troops. How did they do it? Off the shelf, commercial technologies formed the basis of Wolfhound and it is one of the top ten inventions identified by the troops this year as important for their mission success! Now tactical decisions on engagement, timing, intelligence gathering, etc can be made! The hunters become the hunted very quickly with the Wolfhound!

We all want and pray for a practical bubble of safety to be placed over all of our troops but the next top ten technology winner, the Duke, physically/electronically does just that! I am such of John Wayne and this device is something his moniker should be proud to share! The Duke, is an electronic IED jammer that stops the controlling device so that troops can safely pass by an IED while the bad guys try to setoff without success! A joint Army/Navy project Duke has an agility to respond to frequency changes, measure effectiveness and locate IEDs! It sounds like Christmas bubble wrap for our military families!

More of a workhorse than the first two and without the cool name, the REPPS, Rucksack Enabled Portable Power System, just saves the backs of our folks patrolling in the mountains of Afghanistan! One of the heavier items in a rucksack is back up batteries! This solar system allows the batteries to be recharged while in remote locations so that the folks can carry less of them! I like that idea too and can think of a lot of commercial applications as well! It can even recharge the batteries while they are being used in a radio! Solar power can not provide the type of power required for the radio but by keeping the batteries charged the systems stay operational, less weight for batteries and our troops are again safer!

Colonel “Buck” was obviously an advocate for the troops! Outspoken, candid, he was not afraid to be open about the impact of possible forthcoming budget cuts on the development of technology like these soldier saving devices! If you want to hear cut through the bureaucracy, straight to the heart of the matter, please listen to the audio of this Roundtable at DoDLive. I hope the public affairs officer sitting next to him did not go into cardiac arrest but it was such a refreshing discussion! Thank you Colonel!

You can also find a written transcript there as well! Our Letters to You has more information on Afghanistan if you would like some interesting reading and perspective!

DoD Roundtables include numerous subjects such as Operational Stress Control, Current updates on military programs, military family issues, plus much much more! Browse and enjoy!

Photo Credit: Col. John “Buck” Surdu, military deputy for the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, communications-electronics center. Photo courtesy of CERDEC.byColonel KonFriday, December 03, 2010Military Life:,,,

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