The Ripsaw M5 (Textron Systems)

Editor's Note: This article by Matthew Cox originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The U.S. Army has announced that it plans to strike deals with QinetiQ North America and Textron Systems to build versions of the Robotic Combat Vehicle (RCV).

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Soldiers from the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, were the first to receive the Enhanced Night Vision Goggle – Binocular and the Family of Weapon Sights – Individual in September 2019. (U.S. Army/Sgt. 1st Class Chris Bridson)

Editor's Note: This article by Matthew Cox originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

After more than 20 years of attempts, the U.S. Army is now equipping infantrymen with a sophisticated sighting system that allows them to accurately shoot around corners without exposing themselves to enemy fire. But this futuristic capability, some say, may come at the cost of proficiency and could even result in more friendly-fire casualties.

Using a technology known as Rapid Target Acquisition (RTA), soldiers can see their weapon sight reticle wirelessly transmitted from a new thermal sight on the M4A1 carbine into their thermally enhanced night vision goggles, allowing them to see and quickly shoot enemy targets -- day or night, from the hip or lying behind cover and shooting over a wall.

"It's hard to express how much of a game-changing technology this is for our soldiers on the battlefield," Brig. Gen. Anthony Potts, commander of Program Executive Office Soldier, said during a recent interview.

Army officials promise the RTA technology has performed well in soldier testing. But military experts warn that if the service isn't careful, it could lead to an overreliance on technology, degrading critical marksmanship skills over time and increasing the risks of fratricide that come with ambiguity in thermal-spectrum detection.

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A trainee from Fort Jackson smiles as she speaks to loved ones over her cell phone while waiting for transportation to the Columbia, S.C. Amtrak station Dec. 18 at the Joe E. Mann Center on Fort Jackson. (U.S. Army/ Robert Timmons)

Editor's Note: This article by Matthew Cox and Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

As America's adversaries become more sophisticated, U.S. combat troops heading to the war zone may have to get used to leaving behind their phones, laptops and even personal gaming devices, military experts say.

The Pentagon doesn't have a blanket policy barring service members from taking electronic devices on deployment, but combat commanders are beginning to prohibit them when going into the unknown.

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U.S. Army Paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division arrive at Ali AlSalem Air Base, Kuwait, Jan. 2, 2020. (U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Daniel Martinez)

Editor's Note: This article by Matthew Cox originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

Early Wednesday morning, Army paratroopers in Operational Camouflage Pattern uniforms and body armor loaded planes wearing weapons, such as M4A1 carbines, slung securely across their chests. Some carried overstuffed airborne rucksacks while old-timers shouldered customized versions of the Army's Vietnam-era ALICE packs.

They were ordered to the Middle East on short notice in response to efforts by Iran-backed militia members to breach the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. The deployment also served as the debut of a revamped crisis response capability.

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Chineses social media app TikTok (Reuters photo)

Editor's Note: This article by Matthew Cox originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The U.S. Army has reversed its policy on TikTok, Military.com has learned, banning soldiers from using the popular Chinese social media app, which is now considered a security threat.

"It is considered a cyber threat," Lt. Col. Robin Ochoa, an Army spokeswoman, told Military.com. "We do not allow it on government phones."

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The aircraft carriers USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) and USS Nimitz (CVN 68) Strike Groups and ships from the Republic of Korea Navy transit the Western Pacific Ocean Nov. 12, 2017. (U.S. Navy/ Lt. Aaron B. Hicks)

Editor's Note: This article by Matthew Cox originally appeared onMilitary.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The new acting secretary of the Navy said recently that he is open to designing a fleet that is larger than the current 355-ship plan, one that relies significantly on unmanned systems rather than solely on traditional gray hulls.

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