5G (BeeBright/Shutterstock.com)

Connected Warrior

Pentagon scopes out 5G impact for military bases

The Defense Department is putting together a list of bases where it will  test -- and ultimately deploy -- 5G capabilities.

The Pentagon's research and engineering group is building use cases for the technology and determining which bases are best suited to test and eventually use the capabilities, DOD CIO Dana Deasy said during a June 25 Defense Writers Group breakfast in Washington, D.C.

The faster transmission speeds and lower latency provided by 5G could enhance a variety of military applications, including autonomous vehicles, sensor networks, command and control as well as intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems, according to a June Congressional Research Service report.

As with most emerging tech, there's a supply chain security concern, especially when 5G manufacturing companies like Huawei have ties to U.S. adversaries. Deasy said that while the U.S. isn't necessarily at a disadvantage, it must consider building more technology domestically.

"As a nation we do need to step up and look very strongly at how we create more domestic capability" at the chip, application, integration and infrastructure levels, he said

But just because those supply chain risks aren't going away, doesn't mean the U.S. is at a total loss, Deasy intimated.

"All forms of telecommunication are going to be a part of the global market," Deasy said, commenting on Huawei's seeming domination in the 5G market. "There are international players that we're concerned about, [but] I don't think it's an end-all game -- I don't think we're too late to the party here ... there will be a constant leapfrogging." 

This article was first posted to FCW, a sibling site to Defense Systems.

About the Author

Lauren C. Williams is a staff writer at FCW covering defense and cybersecurity.

Prior to joining FCW, Williams was the tech reporter for ThinkProgress, where she covered everything from internet culture to national security issues. In past positions, Williams covered health care, politics and crime for various publications, including The Seattle Times.

Williams graduated with a master's in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a bachelor's in dietetics from the University of Delaware. She can be contacted at lwilliams@fcw.com, or follow her on Twitter @lalaurenista.

Click here for previous articles by Wiliams.


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