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Washington ( CNN) - - It' s a daunting assignment for an Army combat brigade at Fort Bliss, Oklahoma - - get all the military' s high- tech software, uplinks, phones, drones and computers to talk to each other. The goal of the Army is to fine- tune a global network to provide everyone, from commanders to frontline soldiers, the same information, quickly and seamlessly. & quot; The network will literally redefine how we fight in the same way that social media has changed the way we interact and communicate in our personal lives, & quot; Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli said Monday. & quot; The network will change how we operate on the battlefield. & quot; Chiarelli said that over 10 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, new equipment had been raced to the battlefield, some of it off the shelf.

Now the task is to synchronize new and old equipment in a battlefield setting in the vast and rough terrain of Fort Bliss.

That Army installation provides mountainous terrain and desert in an area the size of Connecticut. The testing by 3, 500 to 4, 000 members of the combat brigade will be the centerpiece of the Army' s modernization program, according to Chiarelli. & quot; It will make our various formations more lethal, faster and more survivable on today' s battlefield, & quot; he said in an hour- long question- and- answer session with journalists at the Pentagon.

Already the Army is experimenting with smartphones, finding uses as diverse as monitoring the eye- in- the- sky, real- time video of drones, or transmitting pictures of the wounded to doctors miles away, or calling up biometric details of suspected insurgents stopped at checkpoints. Traditionally formal Army procurement programs could stretch eight years or longer, finally delivering a product to specifications that might already be years behind current technology.

Now if the Army is able to integrate existing software into its network, then industry can regularly and quickly update the technology. & quot; Together we must we ensure have the most current technology available so that ultimately we may get it into the hands of our soldiers as quickly as possible, & quot; Chiarelli said. Over time the Army will be able to plan and buy equipment more efficiently. & quot; The Army will buy what it needs, when it needs it, for those that need it, & quot; Chiarelli said. & quot; This allows us to buy less, more often and incrementally improve the network capability over time. & quot;

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