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NEWS | Feb. 7, 2022

Portable drives modernize Engineer-Focused Intelligence Training procedures

By Maj. William Allred and Sgt. 1st Class Tony Foster 412th Theater Engineer Command

Army Geospatial Center (AGC) further modernized 412th Theater Engineer Command’s (TEC) Engineer-Focused Intelligence Training (ENFIT) geospatial intelligence procedures with a two portable high speed imagery servers as of late 2021.

The OPTIA “ammo can” and smaller-sized TERRAMASTER portable imagery servers provide Engineers with rapid access to all maps from throughout the globe without reliance on network speeds or bandwidth limitations. The unit simply plugs in either device into a laptop and pulls what they need directly from the device, cutting down research and product development by as much as 50 percent.

Jorge Morales, Team Lead Geographer with the AGC Warfighter Support Directorate, stated that the AGC integrated both portable systems into the ENFIT program as of the third quarter of 2021 so the AGC anticipated units to send in results of their use shortly.

“The ‘ammo can’ has about 25 terabytes in storage,” he said. “That fits all of the geospatial maps with space to spare for more.”

Morales explained that the maps already on the devices varied depending on what Geospatial Engineers needed, but each were as detailed down to as much as half a meter. He said they provided a “hybrid solution” with both three dimensional and virtual (simulation) capabilities.

Armed with comprehensive imagery of the entire world, regardless of depth or height, Army Engineers can precisely direct and reinforce U.S. military efforts for assured mission success. Further, at an estimated five pounds each, the servers prove an easy, more than acceptable burden for any unit.

ENFIT is a specialized course where Soldiers use updated geospatial analytic tools with rapid terrain analysis - geospatial data being facts about occurrences, objects, and events that are associated with a particular location on the earth's surface. These give Engineer commanders proper foundational, geographical knowledge to make the right decisions as to where operations should take place.

Maj. Gen. Stephen Strand, 412th TEC Commander, emphasized that ENFIT provides new methods to improve top-tier planning for the Army Reserve.

“The ENFIT program significantly enhances the geospatial engineering capabilities of the TEC,” said Strand. “It's a great program to develop the bench needed to maintain proficiency for years to come.”

Col. Steven Hayden, 412th TEC Chief of Staff, concurred on Strand’s assessment, adding that ENFIT allows Soldiers to use geospatial analytic tools to provide commanders with terrain analysis that shape the battlefield and drive decision.

ENFIT continues in Alexandria, Va. throughout 2022 with more classes that include these and more modernizing devices.