COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — U.S. Northern Command is leveraging private-sector technological advancements to lead DoD’s military operations against COVID-19.
“One of the great things we’ve seen throughout this response is this public-private partnership,” said Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, commander of U.S. Northern Command. “Whether it’s the CEOs engaging with the White House Task Force members or whether it’s here at U.S. Northern Command, we see an incredible whole-of-America approach. These commercial partnerships are enabling us to rapidly support and protect our troops and make sure we are giving them everything they need on the frontlines.”
Historically, the Department of Defense was the leading investor in technological innovation, developing items such as rockets, RADAR, GPS, and the Internet. More recently, however, the private sector has greatly increased its investments in research and development and made technological leaps previously reserved for nation states. Private-public partnerships allow the DoD to leverage private sector advances.
Across a wide spectrum of companies, from smaller tech firms, like Monkton and Esri, to more well-known names, like Apple and Microsoft, U.S. Northern Command is engaged with industry, identifying technical solutions during this challenging time. Early in the military’s COVID-19 response efforts, representatives from Apple and Esri worked with U.S. Northern Command’s military planners and healthcare providers, designing apps and solutions for government-issued smart phones and tablets, assisting deploying military personnel in synergizing complex operations.
“Coordination between Apple and Northern Command was jumpstarted by a discussion of the challenges our frontline medical providers were facing, while conducting COVID-19 operations,” said O’Shaughnessy. “Together, we were able to implement technical solutions to help overcome existing and future obstacles such as privacy and security of our information.”
Enabling commanders to maintain constant situational awareness, technology solutions are enhancing operations and streamlining provision of care to medical specialists working in 11 New York public hospitals across the city. Additionally, leaders and planners are gaining predictive insights through access to data and edge user reports about future hot spots and where more DoD support can be proactively added.
“We are using new technologies and data-oriented approaches to communicate with our forces, track in real time the medical situation across the country, maintain an enhanced logistics picture, monitor the health of the force, and make rapid operational and strategic decisions on mission assurance.
We are leveraging technology like never before to support FEMA, HHS and our state and local partners,” said Maj. Gen. Angela Cadwell, director of the USNORTHCOM Cyberspace Operations Directorate.
Through public-private partnerships, USNORTHCOM is transforming its operations against COVID-19 to be more mobile, responsive and effective.