ROVER Is Here to Stay

ROVER Is Here to Stay: Lt. Col. Greg Harbin calls the Remotely Operated Video Enhanced Receiver—ROVER, for short—the most in-demand hardware in the global war on terror. (It was handy in New Orleans, too.) This is the system, says Harbin, who is assistant director of operations for the 609th Combat Operations Squadron, Shaw AFB, S.C., that provides “actionable imagery” to boots on the ground. “This may be the most significant military technology since the invention of the two way radio,” asserts Harbin. He and SSgt. Jason Cry, a joint terminal attack controller with the 682nd Air Support Operations Squadron at Shaw, talked with reporters Thursday at the Pentagon about how ROVER has evolved combat air support. Using this new technology, Cry and other JTACS can now identify the target without having to put themselves in direct danger. ROVER enables them to utilize data from a UAV or other ISR-capable aircraft. From a spot some 10 miles away, they can zoom in to within about three meters of a target. Harbin says ROVER, which is in its 3rd generation, is light (about 15 pounds for the laptop, antennas, and main component) and easy to use.