Improving Military Operations with Smart and Connected Bases
As more people, process, devices and data become linked together through the Internet of Everything (IoE), the benefits from those connections become more widespread. While IoE is often discussed in terms of the future, it is already helping employees more effectively perform their jobs, turning cities into energy- and cost-saving urban centers and redefining how state and federal government agencies serve their constituents.
Both personally and professionally, connecting the unconnected is changing daily life. This is no different in the defense and intelligence community, where IoE technologies are improving military operations at home and around the world. In fact, one of the best examples of IoE’s influence can be seen through the creation of smart and connected bases.
Bases are the hub of everyday life for millions of military servicemen and women around the world. They function like small cities, with everything from residences, hospitals, office buildings, police stations and more. Bases are vital to the everyday operations of our military and require significant investment to maintain their infrastructure and functionality. IoE connected technologies are helping daily processes and life on a base run more efficiently. Smart and connected bases save money, reduce wasted time and free up personnel to perform more mission-critical tasks.
For example, RFID sensor systems can support security at base entrances. These sensors can read an RFID tag on approaching cars to identify active duty service members. The guard on duty will receive an automatic signal notifying him or her that those vehicles are approved for automated entry, allowing service members to be admitted onto the base at an automatic gate kiosk. This reduces required manpower at the gate, decreases wait times during rush hour and allows security forces to focus on unidentified and unregistered vehicles that may pose a threat or require entry assistance.
Another instance of IoE technology is the use of sensors to improve resource efficiency on bases. By equipping buildings with motion sensors, lights, computers and phones can automatically turn on or off depending on whether someone is present. This helps lower utility costs and improve energy efficiency. These smart sensors are also being used in smart light posts around bases – automatically brightening or dimming depending on the time of day. This helps lower consumption and creates a safer, more secure base environment.
IoE is also helping improve services provided to servicemen and women on base. Hospitals, for example, can use notification systems attached to patients’ profiles to let them know about appointments via automated text messages. These notification systems can help decrease no shows at base hospitals, saving the staff time and the hospital money.
Additionally, video and collaboration tools can be utilized to save time, improve global communications and reduce error on the base. Navy personnel can use collaboration tools to connect leaders of ships and squadrons stationed around the world. Or an Air Force member working on a plane repair can transmit a high-definition video of the problem to a commanding officer. He or she can diagnose the problem and immediately forward it to the correct person to fix it. This ensures time isn’t wasted and personnel is utilized effectively.
These are just a few examples of how connected bases are using IoE technologies to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of base operations. Ultimately, smart and connected bases are improving the daily lives and jobs of our service members. To learn more about how Cisco is supporting connected base environments, check out this whitepaper and walk through daily life on a connected Air Force base.