High-tech weaponry to aid U.S. strike
February 14, 1998
The Cheyenne Mountain military omplex is home to the
U.S. Space Command and the North American Air Defense
Command, or NORAD
Web posted at: 2:22 p.m. EST (1922 GMT)
CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN, Colorado (CNN) -- In the seven years since
the Gulf War, the Pentagon has spent billions of dollars to
make it easier for wartime military commanders to stay
informed about what's happening on the battlefield and in the
As a result, the process of gathering battlefield information
and passing it on to the commanders is much improved, Gen.
Howell Estes, commander-in-chief for the U.S. Space Command
at Cheyenne, Colorado, told CNN. Cheyenne also is home to
the North American Air Defense Command, known as NORAD.
88 K / 7 sec. AIFF or WAV sound
During the Gulf War, it often took more than five minutes to
notify ground troops that Iraq had launched a Scud missile.
Today, the situation at the North American Air Defense
Command at Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado is much different:
If a missile of military significance is launched anywhere in
the world, it will show up on NORAD computers within seconds.
Satellite receiver stations
Computer operators then instantly contact commanders on the
ground -- via computers and a sophisticated satellite
receiver station on the battlefield.
The use of satellite imagery also has revolutionized other
battlefield communications. The army is now using satellite
imagery and other systems to give ground and air commanders
photographs and interactive on-screen maps of the
Armed with that information, a commander can make a "virtual
reality flight" over a target area days before an actual
Computers at command centers in Cheyenne, Colorado, can
give up-to-the-minute information to battlefield commanders
The generals agree that many of their high-tech weapons
depend on the Global Positioning System satellite to hit the
intended target. And they contend it's unlikely that an enemy
could successfully attack the GPS satellites or ground
Pentagon budget cuts have brought about another positive
change, military officials say. To maximize resources, U.S.
Army, Navy and Air Force units communicate and coordinate
more effectively with each other. Generals say the result
will be a much more coordinated wartime effort.
Correspondent John Holliman contributed to this report.
Iraq Standoff Main |
Latest Stories |