No airborne luxury lounge for the Army

Seats will be comfortable, but not fancy.

Just before Thanksgiving the Army put out a notice of possible acquisition of a Joint Command and Control System for use on C-17, C-130 and C-5 aircraft. The system was to feature “executive seating providing a comfortable workstation environment for six users while in flight.”

I wondered at the time if this was the Army’s version of the infamous Air Force flying VIP suite which has couches, wall-to-wall carpeting, airline-type business class seats and a 37-inch jumbotron display screen.

It took me until yesterday to get an answer from the Army. John Swart, director of the technology applications office for the Army’s Program Executive Officer, Enterprise Information Systems, told me that the airborne system will be far from a luxury product and definitely will not feature “padded leather seats.”

Swart said the airborne C2 system -- still in the development phase -- will provide comfortable seats for personnel who have to work on long flights, but it will be nothing like the Air Force VIP suite.