A Look at Modern Defense Technologies and their Impact on Society
As a veteran of the Air Force I’ve had a chance to both witness and work with some of these technologies that I will be discussing throughout this paper. I had a chance to be trained for using a CMOS based program for planning loads on aircraft. The program was very user friendly and fast. This program handled the mathematical part of loading planes such as weight, size, and balance capacities. It also served as logistical database for tracking what cargo increments would be deployed, where they needed to go, when they could be expected to leave, and the estimated time of arrival at the destination. I was also trained on how to plan loads on paper with both graphical and mathematical problem solving in the event of computer failure. Let me tell you, this was a chore and if it wasn’t right the first time I simply had to start from scratch again with the equations. The luxury of the computer was that I could make changes and receive real time reflective information while I made the changes. My skills with this program were called upon during operation DESERT THUNDER. We were able to plan and mobilize over half of the 2nd largest Air Force base in the Unites States in only two days. This helped deter a war with Iraq by proving just how fast we were able to move on any threats that they had against the U.S. This is an example of how technology helped to deter a threat by simply “flexing our muscle”, a term the D.O.D uses to describe deterrence through readiness and firepower. Without the technological advances of our advanced logistical support systems this process could have easily taken 6 to 10 times longer and operation DESERT THUNDER could have resulted in a war with Iraq. I have too say and I think that most would agree that this was a definite positive impact on the whole world, by way of technology. I would also like to add that this great technology would be useless without the team of properly trained people who use it.
This same logistical system, which was originally developed as a nation defense tool, has also been used in many humanitarian missions. It has helped to deliver food and other needed relief supplies to many areas of the world in times of crisis and natural disaster. These are times when speed is a critical factor. Some of the militaries largest and best cargo aircraft have also played a key role in these missions.
These aircraft are a direct result of technological research and advancement. Even some of the older aircraft in the defense inventory have simply been retrofitted and adapted to achieve many of the goals, which a defense aircraft needs to be capable of meeting in this day and age. This is also a great way of saving the taxpayers some money. Most of the military fighter and bomber aircraft would be virtually impossible to fly without the use of the onboard computer systems. These aircraft are what they call “fly by wire” aircraft. The...