U.S. Marine Corps: Our Bases Will Be 5G Technology Test Sites
Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., is integrating emerging Verizon 5G Networking into its base operations as part of a decided effort to increase connectivity across the facility, assess new, high-speed networking technologies and better enable the use of unmanned systems.
“We are getting Fiber to more locations to find the right access points for 5G,” Nick Nilan, Director, public sector product development, Verizon, told The National Interest in an interview.
Nilan explained that the now-underway process, which involves extensive collaboration between U.S. military and commercial partners, reportedly creates networking as fast and efficiently as 1,000-times faster than existing systems.
“We operate from 30 Megabits per second up to 100 Megabits per second with a bandwidth north of 1 Gigabit per second, bringing computing elements closer to the edge,” Nilan explained.
The process, which is still very much in a nascent assessment phase, introduces a handful of new tactical possibilities for military installations. Of course not only does it enable vastly improved connectivity on post, but the use of 5G also enables the improved use of autonomous vehicles and other technologies of great utility for base operations and defense.
Fast-moving drones, equipped with adaptable sensors and a massively increased ability to receive, transmit and process information, can move supplies, perform higher-risk missions beyond at perimeter as needed as well as greatly enhance base security. High-speed computing and networking, integrated into sensors, navigational systems and even weapons, can now increasingly draw upon advanced, AI-empowered algorithms to detect threats, accelerate system functionality for things like defensive radar and quickly follow cues from humans operating in a command and control capacity.
The 5G application, which naturally greatly decreases latency, also needs to be sufficiently hardened against potential hackers or cyber-intruders. These technical efforts have long been underway with Pentagon cyber experts and weapons