Matthew S., Contributing Writer
Adelphi, Md. (Feb. 28, 2014)
General Dennis L. Via, Commanding General of the US Army Materiel Command held a press conference at the US Army Research Laboratory to announce the Army’s $90 million 21st Century Warfighter Digital Grid Square Enhancement Program.
Said General Via, “Our soldiers have been using Vietnam-era grid squares for decades now. Our soldiers deserve the best grid squares our digital age can provide them. With these enhanced Grid Squares, we will more effectively take the fight to our country’s enemies.”
General Via noted that a large problem with the Army’s antiquated grid squares has been in the area of logistics. “No one seems to have any,” noted General Via. “I sent my adjutant to a Brigade S4 to requisition grid squares for Enhancement Program research. The Sergeant working there told him he had just issued his last grid square and that he should check with the Motor Pool Sergeant to see if he had any. The Sergeant in the Motor Pool told him he heard the Mess Sergeant mention they had just received an order of the Vietnam-era grid squares.”
“Our analysis indicates that grid squares are used so quickly and are so expendable that we cannot supply them quickly enough in our logistics train to meet the needs of our soldiers on the front line, or in garrison,” said General Via.
Announced at the meeting was the Army’s plan to develop virtualized, digital grid squares. “Analog Grid Squares are a technology of the past. The Internet is here to stay, and we must upgrade our Grid Square purchasing planning to accommodate this new technological age.”
Inter-operability with other armed services’ grid square technology was also stressed. “The Air Force’s grid squares are perhaps the most technologically advanced grid squares in the world, although we were not able to confirm this directly, as my adjutant spent most of the day at Pope Air Force Base trying to track down one of their Aerospatial Integrated Digital Grid Squares in preparing for our program, to no avail.”
Via also looks to integrate the Army’s new Grid Squares with the US Marine Corps’ Grid Squares. “Of course, USMC Grid Squares are unique to the Corps. Although we were never actually able to acquire any of the Marine Corps’ Grid Squares, we understand they are not compatible with the other services’ Grid Squares. We must continue to work towards the goal of ‘One Force, One Fight.’ There is no room for interservice rivalry when it comes to deploying the worlds’ most advanced Grid Squares.”
After deploying the upgraded 21st Century Warfighter Digital Grid Squares, General Via intends to take on the task of developing Mil-Spec Exhaust Sample Collection Bags. General Via closed his press conference noting, “I have seen our soldiers standing on Bradley Fighting Vehicles using civilian trash bags to collect exhaust samples. This is simply unacceptable, our warfighters deserve better.” Projected cost of the Standardized Exhaust Sample Collection Pouch program is estimated at $130 million.