Issue Briefs

SOCOM Has Solved The Military’s ‘Tower Of Babel’ Problem

SOCOM Has Solved The Military’s ‘Tower Of Babel’ Problem

Daniel Goure

According to the Bible, all humanity once spoke the same language. But when the people sought to build a tower that would reach to the Heavens, God responded by causing them to suddenly speak different languages so they could not communicate and work together to complete the Tower of Babel. The word derived from this story, babble, means a confusion of sounds. Over the decades, the U.S. military has created a “Tower of Babel” problem in the form of incompatible communications devices, waveforms, data protocols and encryption schemes. In an era when military forces must be integrated to allow information in all forms to pass rapidly between systems, platforms and devices, the inability to communicate could result in lives lost and defeats suffered. Sierra Nevada Corporation has developed a solution to the Tower of Babel problem called the SNC Tactical Radio Application eXtension or SNC TRAX, which is in widespread use with U.S. Special Operations Command. In essence, SNC TRAX allows different communications systems, networks and data platforms to speak the same language. I have written a commentary for RealClearDefense on this topic here.

The views and opinions expressed in this issue brief are those of the author.

Daniel Gouré, Ph.D., is a vice president at the public-policy research think tank Lexington Institute. Goure has a background in the public sector and U.S. federal government, most recently serving as a member of the 2001 Department of Defense Transition Team.