The US Army is using the warfighter information network - tactical (WIN-T) networked satellite capability to fight the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.
Parts of WIN-T increment one, which provide command, control and communications capability at the halt and the mobile network backbone of increment two, are used in tandem to provide secure voice and data communications to army personnel who are working to stop the spread of the disease.
Built by General Dynamics C4 Systems (GD4CS), WIN-T is providing reach-back to regional nodes, while connecting soldiers and mission commanders with detailed and timely information, access to imagery and other networked situational awareness capabilities.
GD4CS president Chris Marzilli said: "WIN-T has successfully delivered the secure communications lifeline for soldiers in combat and it's now providing critical communications linkage for the army's non-combat missions, like this one in Africa."
Available in three increments, WIN-T provides soldiers with mission-critical voice, video and data services for battlefield awareness, and serves as a cornerstone for the army's Force 2025 mission, a rapid-response, expeditionary global force.
In addition to combat missions, the system provides a vital communications hub for civil emergencies and disasters.
As part of Operation United Assistance, nearly 4,000 US soldiers are deployed to West Africa, most of them to Liberia, to support international efforts to stop the Ebola virus, which has killed 6,000 people since March.
Meanwhile, US Africa Command commander general David Rodriguez said the soldiers could soon switch their focus to other countries such as Guinea or Sierra Leone, or return home in the wake of declining numbers of Ebola cases in Liberia.
"The challenge [is] to find and understand where there is a hotspot and then move the resources there quickly."