This Sunday, service members in remote locations at both land and sea will be able to see the Big Game with only a 1-2 second delay. Troops stationed anywhere from ships and submarines in the Pacific Ocean, Mediterranean and Persian Gulf, to remote locations in forward operating bases in Afghanistan can watch the NFL showdown between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49er’s at Super Bowl XLVII.
Due to the utilization of the Global Broadcast Service and collaboration between the Air Force, American Forces Radio, Raytheon, an American television, forces around the world will be able to watch the most popular televised sporting event in America. The only thing they will miss out on is the infamous Super Bowl commercials due to specific contractual issues.
Used by the Armed Forces and the government for over a decade to broadcast and disseminate live-stream video and images, like that from the unmanned reconnaissance drones, the Global Broadcast system has been used to give back to service members in the past by broadcasting popular sporting events. The World Series, the NCAA Final Four tournament as well as the 2012 BCS National Championship have been broadcasted to service members in remote locations using the Global Broadcasting Service. While reaching these remote locations on both land and sea is a more uncommon challenge, through satellite relay and the use of an antenna relaying the data to a screen, troops will be able to watch the annual NFL showdown.
Being “as small as a laptop, and the size of a shoebox and umbrella”, the system is easily fielded and can be accommodated into about any location, either on a ships mast or set up on the ground, but in “in other places will be projected onto large screens in hangers” said Mark Bigham, the Intelligence and Information Systems’ chief innovation officer for Raytheon. While reaching these remote locations on both land and
Bigham went on to describe the importance of such technology through his own experiences while being stationed overseas, saying that he “longed for what’s going on, to connect back with home.” He went on to discuss about the morale boosting effects such a broadcast has, that with “U.S. forces spread out in different areas all over the world, broadcasting the game is a great way to keep them fired up.”
While this technology is normally used for broadcasting and information dissemination more crucial to mission goals in remote areas of the world where we are involved, it has definitely found a useful niche in efforts to not only boost morale but give back to America’s warriors.