he helped clear the fog of war - draw on screen-ITATOUCH-img

he helped clear the fog of war - draw on screen

by:ITATOUCH     2020-04-30
he helped clear the fog of war  -  draw on screen
In the summer of 2003, an Air Force pilot named Greg Harbin was on a desk mission at Prince of Saudi Arabia's air force base.
Day after day, Harbin sits in front of five computer screens, scanning photos and videos sent by drones 1,200 miles away over Iraq and Afghanistan.
His job is to obtain this information, as well as reports from ground forces, and to set new targets ---
Taliban militants or Iraqi insurgents
But there was one thing that confused him.
When the regular forces asked the Predator drone to attack, the request went to Harbin, and if approved by the general, went to the "pilot" in Nevada, the person who fired the missile with the remote control
This process usually takes 45 minutes.
By contrast, special operations forces can launch drone attacks in less than a minute.
Harbin learned that the difference is that a small number of special operations units are equipped with a device called "Rover", which gives them the same vision as the pilots in Nevada.
This greatly simplifies communication.
Why don't all American combat troops have Rover?
He asked himself.
Then he raised the question to his boss. Gen. Walter E.
Buchanan, commander of the Middle East Air Force.
Buchanan's answer: why?
Buchanan sent Harbin to Texas to study the crash course among the rover, a combination of video receivers and laptops, and came back with several kits. Seventy-
Two hours after he left Texas with four Rover, Harbin's Fallujah 82 Airborne Division in Iraq used it.
The day of Harbin sitting in front of the computer is over.
In the next four years, Harbin will adopt a niche technology to promote it to the entire military field. -
Help change the way the air force is fighting.
It will save his life one day. --
The "Rover", the remote-operated video-enhanced receiver, was born in 2002, shortly after the start of the war in Afghanistan.
Christopher Manuel, Chief Search Warrant Officer for the army's special forces, has been hoping that ground forces will see footage of predators in real time.
After serving in Afghanistan, he traveled to Wright.
Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio defended him.
The engineers quickly developed a prototype of the rover system.
It was used exclusively by the special operations force for the following year.
The task of expanding the use of the technology in Harbin began with 82 airborne flights, the first regular force to use the system.
His next stop is the 101st Airborne Division in Mosul, Iraq, where his brother Eric is located.
There, Harbin is aware of the limitations of the rover: it can only communicate with predators, which on that day were trapped by bad weather. F-
15 s is flying and he wants to know why the rover is unable to connect with the camera installed above.
So Harbin sent an e-
Mail to Air Force officials"Why . . .
Can't I see what the pilot saw on his target cabin? ? ? ? ?
"We can do it with predators, which should not be too difficult," he wrote . ".
After Harbin said: "I am crazy . "
"I hope that my brother and his troops will be best protected.
An air force officer wrote back: "We know, Harbs.
"The news triggered a series of events that led to a new version of the rover, which could also communicate with fighters, bombers and some helicopters.
Harbin, now a lieutenant colonel, is 43 and 5 feet years old, with blonde hair fading away, and hair gets longer and more wild when he is deployed.
The slight Alabama rhythm brings a relaxed, measured feeling to his voice, and nevertheless, there is a sense of urgency.
He is a hurried man.
In the early months of 2004, Harbin traveled from Mosul to Baghdad, teaching people how to use roaming men in a place where violence is spreading.
His trip was drawing to a close by April.
But on his way home to Baghdad, he was sent down in Fallujah.
He brought the Rover in front of the Navy major with a sharp brake.
Kevin Shea, a friend of the Air Force Academy.
Harbin accepted an invitation to take part in the Sea Patrol, which is an opportunity to show the rover.
Shortly after the patrol left the camp, a rocket
The grenade slammed and a mortar shell landed in the crack.
When the Marines around him rushed back, Harbin was fascinated by sitting there.
In the hustle and bustle, Harbin heard a crackcrack on the radio and said that the predator was flying overhead.
In the dust of the battle, Harbin looked out of the window of the Hummer and wanted to find a place to equip him with his Rover.
This is not a demonstration;
This is survival.
He jumped off the bus and crossed the road towards another Hummer.
The battery of the laptop is dead and the Hummer has no electrical outlet.
Harbin did not shrink, cut off the wire, hot
Connect the laptop to the battery of the Hummer.
When the laptop starts, another rocket
Grenades exploded nearby. Harbin reeled.
The power of the explosion rang his ears.
He turned to the rover.
The kit works fine and is associated with the overhead of the predator.
The plane's camera sends an image of the surrounding area to the laptop screen.
Harbin searched the video and found insurgents about 100 yards away.
He shouted at the captain, pointing to the position of the enemy's mortar on the screen.
The captain went on strike.
The Predator fired Hellfire missiles at the insurgents and killed them.
Harbin and two Marines were injured and one was killed.
He later learned that the shrapnel from the grenade destroyed his hearing in his left ear.
His actions in the battle earned him valor's bronze, but they ended his days as an air force pilot.
Harbin and his superiors said the rover system saved his life and the lives of many Marines patrolling.
"Of course," he said, "I would die without this technology. "--
Harbin was born and is the mayor of mining and timber in Parrish, Alabama.
At the foothills of Appalachian.
His parents divorced when he was 7.
During most of his childhood, he and his mother lived in a trailer in a small forest.
When I was a child, Harbin was obsessed with reading the World Book Encyclopedia. inspired by the reading content, he led his friend and brother Eric to the adventure.
On one occasion, they built a wooden "submarine" in wooden cases and milk cans in a swimming pool next to the abandoned grist mill ".
His mother said it was not a technological breakthrough.
"I went down and watched the submarine sink," Harbin recalled . ".
"The problem is to get it back.
"His creativity when he was Young became a serious study in high school.
Stan Randolph said: "There are not many highly educated people in Parrish who dream of great dreams, and I think you can say that, but Greg is a great dreamer, "History teacher and football coach in Harbin.
"He has vision for what he wants to do.
"In Randolph's class, Harbin had a strong interest in the Military history of World War II.
Harbin decided to apply to the military academy. in 1983, he entered the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.
He was in college for the first year, but the last two years were on the dean's list.
After graduating in 1987, he became a pilot and eventually became a coach to fly in the air during the NASCAR race over the weekend.
This is a typical career for Air Force pilots, with stinking at a base near the city of orrama; Ellsworth, S. D. ;
San Antonio and other cities.
Until he met the rover. --
When he returned to the United States after the attack in the inner city of Harbin
He felt sick and uncomfortable with an ear injury. balance.
During the rehabilitation process, Harbin learned that his college classmate Xie Yi was killed by a rebel rocket in farujia on September 2004.
Harbin is very upset, John P said, but the loss has intensified his concern about trying to speed up the military's acceptance of the rover
Wheeler, senior air force officer.
"After a friend died, people tried to live two lives," Wheeler said . ".
"You try to do what your friend might do.
"In the coming months, Harbin has designed a rover training class and lobbied the Air Force to buy more.
His next chance to use the system didn't come until August 2005 ---
And it's in America.
Harbin arrived in New Orleans 40 hours after Hurricane Katrina.
He intends to extract videos from a small drone to get a top view of New Orleans.
But the FAA will not let the plane fly.
He then recorded a rover camera on a Black Hawk helicopter, but the images were too unstable.
"That's the time for Col.
Harbin said, 'Let's stand high, 'recalls sergeant Kyle steinbroo, a retired Air Force special operations force who accompanied Harbin to New Orleans.
They climbed up the 51 th floor at the top of the bank building and installed the rover camera on a tripod.
The system sends images of the flooded lower nine areas to the Colorado military headquarters.
The photos quickly showed that more small Coast Guard ships were needed to help rescue people trapped at home.
Within hours, the military ordered more than 100 boats to travel to New Orleans, partly because of images of the rover.
"We can visually show them that we need more ships," Harbin said . ".
"These assets are coming up much faster than they thought. "--
At the Pentagon, the decision on the procurement of weapons systems was made by civilians rather than uniformed officials.
One of the ways in which the civilian service secretary creates a legacy is to find promising but unvalued technology and support it.
For most of 2005, the Air Force did not have a permanent civilian leader, but in November, Michael W.
Winn was sworn in as secretary of the department.
He asked for a briefing on new technologies and initiatives and asked Harbin to discuss the use of Land Rover in New Orleans.
The secretary was sold.
"What you have to do, Greg. . .
"Change the way we fight," Wynne recalls . ".
At the beginning of 2005, there were 183 roaming vehicles in the field.
Now there are 1,500 12-
Most of the pound bags used in Afghanistan and Iraq, the service ordered more than 2,200.
So far, the Air Force has spent about $72 million on the rover.
Still, air force officials believe the rover should be as ordinary as the radio.
Full equipment initiative-
S. National Guard and Department of Homeland Security on duty. S.
An Air Force study found that 16,544 Rover kits will be needed.
Wen en and Harbin are also promoting the development of the next generation of Rover. -
Rover IV, or what the pilot calls the "John mcden Edition": the operator can draw on the screen and the pilot can see the symbols, as TV football commentator mcden draws the line in the replay
The new version, which costs about $90,000, is nearly three times the current model and will be put into use in February. --
Air Force officers do not imagine that the rover's technology will be single.
Changed the course of the war in Iraq.
But it improves the accuracy of the bomb: in 2003, "dangerous approach "--
Minimum distance from the United StatesS.
Can drop a bomb. -
There are about 18 football fields, 2,000.
Today, thanks to the higher accuracy allowed by smaller bombs and rover systems, it is 75 metres smaller than the football field.
Harbin said that the technology to equip helicopters with rover can help pilots avoid shoulder-armed insurgents. fired missiles.
The rover system can help units reduce accidental civilian deaths.
Harbin was sent to Afghanistan this spring to show NATO troops how to use the rover.
In a village near Kandahar, May, a Canadian Army Corps received a phone call from a person.
A group of Taliban elements killed two women in the town.
Harbin and his NATO team used the rover to help track Taliban militants.
They told a NATO fighter not to move as the fighters crossed the village alley.
When the fighters set foot on the road, the Harbin team launched a strike. A 500-
A bomb on a NATO plane killed five fighters.
A Taliban fighter escaped, but Harbin tracked him on the rover and called on predators to launch Hellfire missiles.
When the missile approached the target, Harbin noticed a second "hot signal" on the rover's screen and called for correction of course.
Hellfire hit the fighter but did not hit the first target shown on the probe, which turned out to be a dog.
"We found them, followed them, and then chose the time and place of the strike to minimize collateral damage," Harbin said . ".
"We were very precise and the dog ran away. "--
Now Harbin is back from Afghanistan, carrying his Rover laptop and walking in the lobby of the Pentagon.
He ran from office to office and sold the system to decision-making department with video
The manufacturer of each service.
Among the top Air Force officials, there is no doubt that without Harbin, the rover could be just a niche technology used by a few people.
"I'm not the one who invented it.
I'm not the one who built it.
I'm not the only one who believes in it, "said Harbin.
"My role is to take it out.
Harbin is sitting at the Pentagon's buffet, and there are vending machines everywhere. his Rover is at his feet.
"You can't just talk about something when you believe it, make PowerPoint slides.
"You have to go to the battlefield and show how it works," he said . ".
"I knew it was useful.
I don't know. it will change the way we fight. "--julian. barnes@latimes.
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