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Army buys 7,000 Samsung devices

Feb. 19, 2014 - 04:45PM   |  
The samsung Galaxy Note II phone is becoming the chest-mounted device that brings information to soldiers through the Nett Warrior system. (Army)

The Army is rolling out thousands of Samsung smartphones as part of its Nett Warrior system.

Specifically, the Army purchased about 7,000 Samsung Note II smartphones, which will be used as chest-mounted devices, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Last July, the Army announced it was fielding the Net Warrior system and outfitting soldiers, team leaders and others with situational awareness on the battlefield via Samsung smartphones. At the time, the system displayed locations of fellow soldiers, enabled text messaging and other capabilities.

Army officials also said most of the communications capabilities on the device are disabled before the phones are integrated into a Net Warrior system, including the cellular antennas, the Wi-Fi capability, and the Bluetooth capability. Instead, the devices communicate via the USB connection with a soldier's hip-mounted Rifleman Radio. The radio provides network connectivity to the system.

The devices run a version of the Android operating system approved by the National Security Agency, according to the Army.

Those devices are different from the commercial devices being rolled out under the Defense Departmentís mobile strategy, said Rick Walsh, the Army CIO G/6 mobility team lead. ďA lot of them are actually display devices,Ē providing information for the user but doing little else, Walsh said.

Walsh said the commercial devices being managed under DoDís new mobile device management capability are being embraced out of the box. While certain features may be disabled, the Army is not going to change the hardware or completely retrofit the phone.

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