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How the DOD Is Leveraging 5G to Advance Warfighting Capabilities

In March 2022, the Department of Defense announced the creation of its 5G and FutureG cross-functional team as part of its efforts to accelerate the development and delivery of cutting-edge technologies for the warfighter. Headed by Director Juan Ramirez, the unit oversees 5G-focused policy, guidance, research and development and acquisition activities for the department.

Ramirez will participate in a panel discussion on intelligent network operations at the Potomac Officers Club’s 10th Annual Defense R&D Summit on Jan. 31, where key figures from both government and industry will come together to share their insights on the current defense technology landscape. To learn more and register to attend the event, click here.

According to Ramirez, who shared his insights at the National Defense Industrial Association’s Emerging Technologies for Defense Conference and Exhibition in October 2023, 5G is more “disruptive” than ever before, making it critical that the DOD invests in 5G R&D programs and cultivates its relationships with private sector partners.

The DOD is approaching the technology’s implementation from a variety of angles, one of which is the Navy’s exploration of 5G as a way to drive shipboard information technology modernization and provide ships at sea with network connectivity.

Another ongoing initiative is the development of 5G smart warehouses. In May 2022, the DOD hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for one of these facilities at Naval Base Coronado. This installation is designed to leverage 5G capabilities for trans-shipments between shore facilities and naval units. The broader smart warehouse program has a goal of improving the efficiency and fidelity of a variety of naval logistics operations, such as identification, recording, organization, storage, retrieval and equipment transportation.

To ensure the success of its 5G activities, the DOD is also considering the potential risks associated with these technologies. In collaboration with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the National Security Agency looked into these vulnerabilities and released a document detailing security factors relevant to 5G network slicing, specifically the design, implementation, monitoring and maintenance of a hardened 5G network slice.

The DOD is not only looking at 5G as a way to enhance existing capabilities, but also as a foundation for other emerging technologies. Identified as one of the department’s 14 critical technology areas, future generation wireless technology, or future G, will build on the 5G foundation the DOD is working to perfect.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to learn more about networks at the Potomac Officers Club’s 10th Annual Defense R&D Summit! Click here to register.

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