This year's MILCOM 2002 Military Communications conference, held two weeks ago at the Disneyland Hotel, is the nation's biggest gathering of U.S. and foreign military officers, civilian defense officials and satellite/telecommunications manufacturers. To get a good idea of the state of the telecommunications wing of the Military-Industrial Complex, here is a sample of the brochures and premiums I collected while perusing the exhibits hall.
•Black attach bag, compliments of MILCOM staff
•Teal pen from Telenor, the leading telecommunications company in Norway
•Brochure for the new BAE Systems Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS)—"A critical enabler for real-time battlespace communications"
•White Post-it notepad from the Program Executive Office, Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS)—the U.S. Army office that handles communications contracts under the motto "Victory through Information Dominance"
•Burgundy pen from General Dynamics C4 Systems, which builds battlefield communications computers
•Official MILCOM 2002 business card display tag to be clipped to free black messenger bag
•Pocket 2002 NFL schedule from the Air Force Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA)
•Blue mouse pad from Pan Am Sat, which operates a video satellite-broadcasting network for everyone from Black Entertainment Television to HBO to the Golf Channel
•Raytheon brochure for the "EPLRS (Enhanced Position Location Reporting System) Micro-lite" infantry radioset
•Steel golf ball mark-repair tool from Austin Information, maker of fine "non-traditional threat intelligence tools" and "Tomahawk Surface and Submarine Fire Control System Engineering"
•Red Pan Am Sat phone-cord dispenser
•Boeing brochure for its Electron Dynamic Devices Inc. division—"Diversified for Better Customer Solutions"
•Green pen advertising the U.S. Navy/Marine Corps Intranet
•Brochure for the Hypress HY-2003A Digital RF Transceiver: "a true software radio system that meets or exceeds ALL the objective requirements (not just the thresholds) in the JTRS Operational Requirements Document"
•Non-defense-related chocolates assortment
•Letter opener from Hypress Inc., which was so good in a test that it slit both the bill envelope and the payment envelope inside
•Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (C3I) brochure titled "Transforming America's Military: Net-Centric Warfare"
•Blue pen from Qualcomm, "best known as the company that pioneered Code Division Multiple Access technology, which is now used in wireless networks and handsets all over the world"
•L3 Communications Systems business card-sized CD-ROM product catalog
•Leather drink coaster bearing the logo of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command and its motto, "Combat Power for Leaders"
•Purple pen from Synopsys, which "delivers advanced design technologies and solutions to developers of complex integrated circuits, electronic systems and systems on a chip"
•U.S. flag lapel pin
•AFCEA letter opener that worked way better than the Hypress one
•May 2002 issue of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Communications Magazine containing such articles as "The Viterbi Algorithm Applied to Digital Data Transmission" and "Digital Transmission in the 21st Century: Coflating Modulation and Coding"
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•Compaq DVD-ROM titled "Compaq Zero Latency Enterprise Framework: A powerful weapon for the intelligence community"
•Yellow AFCEA Post-it notepad
•Red, white and blue Sharpie pen from the U.S. Army's PEO EIS
•Bag of six golf tees and two ball placeholders from Rockwell-Collins, which makes aviation radios