There’s a video associated with the article that can’t be embedded. A second video below implies that ATAK is being used in NATO exercises with interoperability.
Major Ben Parkyn: ‘This app allows us to operate quicker’. (Pictures: Corporal Tom Evans/Crown Copyright).
New technology that allows military commanders to communicate through a mobile phone app has been hailed a “game changer” by a senior British Army officer.
The Dismounted Situational Awareness Tool has been tested, ahead of any potential wider pre-trials, by 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards (QDG), the Welsh Cavalry, based in Poland.
Major Ben Parkyn, the officer commanding C Squadron of 1st The QDG, has been using the technology during their deployment as part of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence (ePF) and are the first in the British Army to do so.
“I think we will never get away from maps, and having to look people in the eye to understand intent, but the speed at which we can do that now is greatly enhanced.”
Maj Parkyn said the mobile phones they have used are loaded with a series of programmes including the mission, intelligence and mapping app called Android Tactical Assault Kit (ATAK).
The device is mounted to each commander using a colour-appropriate contraption that flips down to reveal the screen as and when required.
When the app and systems are fired up, it allows the user to share and post information, including their location, along with images, which can then be viewed by all those using it.
“If you see a minefield, or an IED, or a pocket of enemy, you can not only drop that on, you can take a photo of it,” Maj Parkyn said.
“You could also then set a proximity alarm – so if you get within 500 metres of something or a weapons range, or whatever it was, then it would ping on your system.”