Army launches secure video-sharing site

MilTube expands social networking tools for training, updates on weaponry and talks by commanders.

The Army has launched its own secure version of YouTube that is open to all Defense Department personnel. Dubbed milTube, it allows sharing of videos behind a network firewall and adds to an existing suite of secure social networking tools the service's MilTech Solutions Office developed.

MilTech Solutions, an agency of the Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications Tactical in Aberdeen, Md., already has developed its own versions of popular social networking sites such as milBook, the secure version of Facebook, milWiki; a secure version of the online Wikipedia; and milBlogs, which are secure blogs.

Justin Filler, deputy director of MilTech Solutions, said milTube, launched Monday on the secure Army Knowledge Online and Defense Knowledge Online site, is a logical extension of milSuite, which allows military and civilian Defense personnel to share videos behind a network firewall.

He said major milTube offerings include messages from senior leaders, training instruction and videos of enhancements to weapons systems. As of Tuesday, MilTube had several hundred videos from all the services and 88,500 milSuite users around the Defense community.

The Army wants to double the number of milSuite users during the next year, an achievable goal, Filler said, as no other organization in Defense offers such a range of secure social networking tools.

Video streaming requires an immense amount of bandwidth -- an analysis released last week showed that video on the commercial Internet in North America accounted for 37 percent of all traffic, with movies streamed by Netflix alone making up 21 percent of Internet use.

Filler said Army officials need to act as "good stewards" of limited Defense bandwidth while at the same time milSuite needs to serve personnel operating in low-bandwidth locations. MilTech Solutions uses bandwidth detection software to determine the bandwidth available on various portions of Defense networks and then adjusts the resolution of a video to available bandwidth, according to Filler.

Tests of milTube on networks around the globe proved that with the bandwidth detection tool, videos can be streamed to even the most remote locations, without any jitter, he said.

Filler said milSuite grew out of a modest in-house effort during the past several years to use social networking tools to help support the move of Program Executive Office Command, Control, and Communications Tactical from Fort Monmouth, N.J., to Aberdeen. Planners then decided to scale it up to support all four services.

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