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Red Dot-Adapting Technology

Friday March 29, 2013

What is it?

Red Dot gives Soldiers on the ground advance warning of the location of potential improvised explosive devices (IEDs). This web-based program, using indicators from existing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets, places a red “booby trap” icon on screens in Blue Force Tracker-equipped vehicles and command posts. These booby trap icons warn operators of suspected IED activity in the vicinity, enabling them to locate, avoid, and/or destroy IEDs.

Originally tested, developed and rapidly fielded for operations in Iraq. Red Dot efficiently moves time-sensitive intelligence data to the commanders on the ground, by semi-automatically passing indications and warnings data from national systems down to tactical vehicles at the unclassified level. This results in increased force protection and serves as a pathfinder for delivering other national systems data down to the Soldier in harm’s way.

What has the Army done?

The Third Army/U.S. Army Central Space Support Element and another governmental agency jointly integrated and developed Red Dot in response to the enemy’s use of IEDs during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. The Third Army/ARCENT Space Operations Officers support the tactical warfighter in Afghanistan by facilitating the awareness, training, and operation of this program.

What efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

In 2012, Third Army/ARCENT recommended Red Dot become a program of record for the Army and have incorporated Red Dot into its pre-deployment training plan at the Manas Transit Center, in Kyrgyzstan, which covers more than 80 percent of all forces deploying in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

It also being evaluated for addition to pre-deployment training at the National Training Center (NTC) at Fort Irwin, Calif., the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Fort Polk, La., and has been integrated into Foundry Intelligence Pre-deployment Training.

Why is this important to the Army?

Red Dot is an example of inter-governmental agency cooperation and adaptive leaders using existing technology to support the warfighter. In an increasingly resource-constrained environment, Red Dot saves lives by leveraging on-hand intelligence and communications architectures. Furthermore, this is a Soldier-centric program; no additional equipment or personnel is required and training for the operator and user is relatively fast and easy.


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