The Army wants to protect its bases with gun turrets, not guard towers

Maintaining perimeter security in a forward operating base (like Bagram "Rocket City" AFB in Afghanistan) is a full time job. In fact, it normally takes teams of four to six soldiers to man each weapons system on the perimeter over a 12 hour shift. But with a new prototype perimeter protection system currently being tested at Fort Bliss, Texas, a single soldier sitting safely within the command bunker -- instead being of up on the wire -- can potentially do the work of 10.

The system, dubbed Tower Hawk, utilizes extendable towers packed into TEU shipping containers, known as "containerized weapons systems". Each station can be assembled in less than an hour by six soldiers. At the top of each tower sits a Browning M-2 50-caliber machine gun and a .338 Lapua sniper rifle (what, no lasers?). These weapons stations are wired together using the standard Joint All Hazard Command Control System and controlled remotely by a single operator. The Army unveiled the new system as part of the Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) 16.1, a NATO-organized event that aims to share new technologies among the coalition's members.

Image Credit: lede - Getty Images, inline - US Department of Defense