As the U.S. military becomes involved in more combat and humanitarian efforts around the world, joint commanders want a better, faster way to talk to each other and run their missions from the field.
Panama City's Naval Support Activity Center is providing that crucial need through the world's first deployable joint command center.
It's Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's top priority, and in the last 18 months surface warfare researchers and civilian contractors in Panama City have worked overtime to make it a reality.
The first of three increments is now complete at the Naval Support Activity Center. The 4,000 square foot joint command center can be set up within hours and provides crucial information to commanders from every military branch who are working together in the field.
Panama City was chosen to head up the project because a central command center is located in Florida and the Gulf test range is nearby.
The Joint Command Center has already been deployed to Honduras, and this August it will be deployed to Pacific Command in San Antonio for operational testing.
The first part costs taxpayers around $400 million, and there's three more parts which will probably cost the same amount.