Battalion leads as Army Technology lists the top five terms tweeted on land warfare in Q3 2021, based on data from GlobalData’s Influencer Platform.

1. Battalion – 116 mentions

Soldiers of the US Army’s 1st Battalion assisting in relief works in Haiti, the 2 Yorks 2nd Battalion receiving a new title of EFLB, and a battalion of the US military shifting to South Korea were some of the major Twitter discussions over battalion in the third quarter.

GEN James C. McConville, chief of staff of the US Army, shared an article on the US Army soldiers with the 1st Battalion assisting the people of Haiti after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit the nation killing at least 1,400 people. The battalion worked as part of a Joint Task Force with the US Southern Command (Southcom) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID). The task force also included the USS Arlington navy amphibious ship that carried a surgical team, MH-60 helicopters, and landing crafts to Haiti. A tropical storm named Grace hit the area where the earthquake occurred, making it difficult for the rescue efforts to be carried out.

The official Twitter account of the British Army shared an article on the 2nd Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment (2 Yorks) being given the new title of Enhanced Light Force Battalion (ELFB). The title also provides new equipment worth £120m ($142.4m) to the battalion, which has been a resident force in Cyprus since 2020. The EFLB title involves the testing of new technologies on behalf of the British Army, including the new A3 rifle, ARRILS sight, and the Dismounted Situational Awareness Technology.

Battalion was also discussed by Stars and Stripes, a website providing news and information on the US military community, in an article about an artillery headquarters within the Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion of the US army moving permanently to Camp Humphreys in South Korea. The unit is part of the 2nd Infantry Division and comprises 100 soldiers from the Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington. Approximately 28,5000 US troops are already stationed at the Camp Humphreys military base.

2. Fleet – 111 mentions

The US Army exploring the use of tactical wheeled vehicles (TWV) and a fleet of military vehicles delivered to the MK Air Base were some of the most discussed topics of Q3.

U.S. Army DEVCOM Army Research Laboratory, a unit of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, shared an article on Program Executive Office for Combat Support and Combat Service Support’s (PEO CS&CSS) plans to explore the use of TWV fleet. PEO CS&CSS will assess the use of modified off-the-shelf solutions for TWV following approval from the Army Futures Command. The Common Tactical Truck (CTT) Abbreviated Capabilities Development Document (A-CDD) was approved by the Army Requirements Oversight Council to authorise the PEO CS&CSS to assess the delivery of modernised capabilities for army transporters.

Another discussion on fleet was shared by DVIDSHub,  a news organisation dedicated to covering global military operations, about soldiers delivering a fleet of military vehicles to the MK Air Base in Romania by conducting railhead operations. The soldiers nicknamed Iron Rangers belonged to the 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Heavy Brigade Combat, and the 1st Infantry Division. The vehicles delivered included the M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle that travels at a speed of 30mph and weighs more than 55,200 pounds (25,038kg).

3. Drones – 83 mentions

Defence firms in Israel urging the government to drop the restrictions on export of military drones and militants unlikely to use drones to attack their opponents were some of the major discussions on drones in the previous quarter.

Aaron Mehta, editor-in-chief at a defence magazine, shared an article on Israeli defence firms requesting government officials to drop the restrictions placed on the export of drones through the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). The MTCR governs the export of missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for 35 countries. Any equipment coming under the category-1 carrying 500kg payloads for more than 300km is restricted from export, under the terms of the agreement. The article stated that the agreement was signed without considering the drones used for surveillance purposes. The agreement is impacting the ability of Israeli defence firms from competing with cheaper drones produced by China and Turkey.

Drones was also discussed by War on the Rocks, a multimedia platform dealing with foreign policies and national security issues, in an article which stated that militants are unwilling or unlikely to use drones for strategic bombings on opponents’ military centres. Militants may use smaller drones in their tactical operations as seen from the emergence of improvised explosive devices in Iraq. New research, however, indicates that militants may not be able to deploy larger drones due to lack of access to global supply chains, stated the article, which further added that militants would rather focus on alternative airborne systems such as rockets and missiles.

4. Missile – 80 mentions

A new counter missile protection system demonstrated at the DSEI defence exhibition, and a major milestone passed by US Space Force’s next generation of missile warning satellite programme were some of the trending discussions in Q3.

Jen Judson, a journalist, shared an article on a new counter missile protection system demonstrated at the DSEI defence exhibition in London, UK. The system, named Modular Integrated Protection System or MIPS, is designed to protect tanks and armoured vehicles from missile attacks. It was developed by a group of aerospace and defence companies including Lockheed Martin UK and Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land and led by Leonardo. The team also included communication systems developer Roke and mission critical and intelligent systems provider Ultra Electronics, software company Abstract Solutions, information technology company CGI, and engineering and technology company Frazer-Nash.

Missile was also discussed in an article shared by a defence procurement and policy news website on the completion of design review for the US Space Force’s Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared (Next Gen OPIR) programme. The Next Gen OPIR is a successor to the Space Based Infrared System, which is the existing military missile warning satellite system. It will include five satellites including three in geostationary orbit and two in elliptical orbits. The first satellite of the system is expected to be launched in 2025.

5. Troops – 77 mentions

The usage of artificial intelligence (AI) during Exercise Spring Storm in Estonia, the challenges faced by Guard troops deployed with the 30th Armoured Brigade Combat Team, and US troop deployment in Kabul were some of the extensively discussed topics in Q3.

British Army shared an article on the first-time usage of AI during the Exercise Spring Storm as part of Operation Cabrit in Estonia. Soldiers from the 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade deployed an AI engine that exploited a vast amount of data and helped soldiers to attain vital information regarding the surrounding terrain and environment. The AI engine can analyse complex data in seconds and can be operated both in independent and cloud modes. AI is expected to be used by the UK army to predict enemy behaviour and carry out reconnaissance operations, the article highlighted.

Stars and Stripes shared an article on the challenges faced by the National Guard brigade during their deployment in the Middle East. The soldiers of the 30th Armoured Brigade Combat Team faced unprecedented challenges after reaching Kuwait in October 2019. The team was initially deployed to the Middle East with the expectation of training alongside partner nations against remnants of the Islamic state. The mission, however, became even more challenging due to floods and other natural disasters, dispute with Russian troops, and the sudden escalation of tensions with Iran.

Troops were also discussed in an article shared by James Stavridis, a retired US navy admiral and the vice-chairman of The Carlyle Group, a private equity company, on the deployment of 3,000 US troops in Kabul. The troops, which will consist of three infantry battalions from the Marines and the Army, will be deployed to the Hamid Karzai International Airport to facilitate the extraction of US Embassy personnel in Kabul. Additionally, a joint unit consisting of 1,000 personnel from the Army and Air Force will be deployed in Qatar to process immigrant visas, while a US infantry brigade will be deployed in Kuwait to secure the airport.