As purpose-built tablets become more familiar to every branch of the military, new applications are being found on land and at sea. The U.S. Navy is turning to tablet tech to meet a variety of challenges, and rugged tablets are standing up to the challenge. Here are three important ways this particular type of mobile technology can change the productivity of this branch of our armed forces from the shipyard to the open sea.
- Recruit training at boot camp. In anticipation of wider adoption of tablets across the Navy, recruits at boot camp are being trained on the use of mobile tablets and introduced to important concepts using the devices’ compatibility with interactive training. Tablets have been used in a pilot program around the Great Lakes area to help introduce the idea of and inform recruits about human trafficking, to prepare them for situations that may involve such circumstances. In addition, all documents, manuals, and other important information normally supplied to recruits can be loaded on the tablet and studied in class or on the job.
- Potential for shipboard use. If such pilot programs continue to go well, the important issues of security and connectivity on board vessels will be addressed and tablets will likely become part of standard gear for Navy personnel. In time, most immediate communications and information delivery on board Navy vessels can be communicated using handheld devices. The potential for inventory reconciliation and base delivery is enormous.
- Destroyer maintenance. Tablets have already been pressed into service at administrative level when it comes to gathering maintenance information on board destroyers, providing a faster, more efficient way of handling admin-based maintenance tasks and creating more compact files with several layers of security and redundancy. The goal is to automate many procedures that formerly had to be done by hand when it comes to information collection, sorting, and retention. This can readily be translated to similar support for fleet maintenance including ships, planes, and other vehicles.
Overall, the Navy is planning on collating results from multiple programs involving wireless devices, and eventually merging them into a concerted push towards better connectivity and higher efficiency.
Submarine based wireless technology, microwave antennae creating 4G networks, and tablet adoption are only three facets of a larger effort to improve and update the Navy’s use of mobile tech. As security fears are addressed and more options made available, sailors can expect to see tablets become part of normal shipboard routines.