Growing technology advancements have created new opportunities for military officials to improve training, war fighting, and even efficiency in the court of law, officials from the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force explained at a GovExec virtual event on Jan. 28.

Major Daniel C. Kim, deputy chief for the Defense Counsel Assistance Program at the U.S. Army Trial Defense Service, explained that before leveraging cloud computing capabilities, basic tasks like mailing and translating court documents would take up a lot of manpower and time.

“Using cloud computing capabilities, these tasks have become much more efficient, giving us more time to work on more important things,” Kim said during a GovExec virtual event on Jan. 28.

For example, in a recent case, Kim and his team used cloud computing capabilities to upload and make changes to documents without physically mailing them back and forth. As a result, staffers received notifications when changes were made, and could immediately access updated documents. Leveraging cloud computing capabilities also improved his team’s collaboration, especially in remote environments, Kim said.

“By using cloud capability, we have created a single operating platform available to everyone on the team, making working together more efficient … it enhances our collaborative effort because we are all on the same page,” Kim said.

Colonel Jay A. Johnson, the 71st Flying Training Wing commander at the Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma, said his team has leveraged technology to make training more efficient. The drive to access better tech, he said, was driven by the need to get away from legacy tools that were no longer effective.

To maximize productivity of instructor pilots and students, Johnson explained, it is crucial to make the best use of their time inside the plane. Now, every student receives an iPad mini, and everything that they need is on that device. This allows for instructors to divulge material early on before the hands-on training, he said.

“The fact is that we needed a new set of skills. We also realized that we have students that learn differently and absorb information differently,” Johnson said. “What we are finding is that we get them on the plane faster, and they are performing at much higher rates. We maximize productivity between instructor pilots and students, freeing up resources that can be applied elsewhere. Shortening the pilot training program and increasing capacity.”

Christopher Cleary, the principal cyber advisor for the Department of the Navy, talked about how cyberspace had created a new warfighting domain.

“Military planners have begun to understand the capabilities behind these tools as a way to decide when and where they need in-person action or remote attacks,” said Cleary.

However, Cleary emphasized that there must be clear communication between all parties and the IT team before leveraging any emerging technology. And IT teams also must listen to end-users – in this case, warfighters.

“We have to remember that we don’t do IT for the sake of IT. We do IT to enable things we need for mission purposes,” Cleary said.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.