Featured eBooks
Best Dates to Retire 2020
What’s Next for Federal Customer Experience
 The Future of the Air Force
Army launches video pitch for futuristic weapons program

Military service, contractors rev up Future Combat Systems PR campaign with DVDs, online videos, video games.

On another front, Future Force Company Commander (known as "F2C2") a video game developed and paid for by FCS integrator SAIC can be from the Army Web site. Players command a mounted combat team in 2015.

The Army's crown jewel of transformation and network-centricity, the $120 billion Future Combat Systems, is under assault on Capitol Hill. FCS is intended to network soldiers and commanders with sensors, unmanned vehicles, a satellite-based Internet in the sky, and new vehicles, weapons and communications devices. Now, to tout the program and stave off funding cuts, the Army and its contractors are revving up a public relations offensive with DVDs, online videos and a video game reminiscent of the recruiting sensation, "America's Army."

For example, "Safehouse," a video released on the Army's FCS Web site in October 2006, promotes FCS not only as the ultimate in network-centric warfare, but as a lifesaver, too.

It opens with an Army sergeant working in a clinic in a Southeast Asian village. A woman rushes in carrying her unconscious daughter. The sergeant slaps sensors on the child and, using a laptop, gets a fast meningitis diagnosis from the United States. The video continues as soldiers using unmanned aerial and ground vehicles, sensors and high-tech communications gear track and capture Salandeo, a narcoterrorist.

See the video below:

downloaded for free

Regen Wilson, SAIC spokesman, says the game was de-signed to let troops have a taste of what FCS will be like. SAIC has handed out more than 24,000 copies of the game.

Also on the FCS Web site is a debunking section called Myths and Realities. "The problem is not that the Army or FCS is too expensive; it is that some in our country seem to balk at what is historically imperative for our national defense," it warns.