When it comes to modern warfare, many military experts refer to San Diego as the "tip of the spear."
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Known as a military town that trains hundreds of thousands of Marines and sailors, America's Finest City has become the point of action for one of the most dramatic changes in U.S. military history.
Brad Barker, president of San Diego-based Halo Corporation, said technology has changed the way the U.S. defends itself from enemies.
"There's been a bit of a paradigm shift in the way that the U.S. deploys military assets around the world," said Barker.
In other words, the U.S. uses small, agile fighting units, not massive land armies. Instead of putting more lives at risk on the battlefield, the goal is to put more high-tech remote devices in play to gather information and stay steps ahead of the enemy -- similar to a chess player thinking multiple moves in advance.
"If you can take a bird's eye view, or a God's eye view, of a battlefield and see where all your chess pieces are and see where your enemies' chess pieces are, you can now start to anticipate that," said Barker.
Halo Corporation is a consulting firm specializing in intelligence and technology. Halo partners with San Diego State University's Homeland Security Visualization Lab, which is a high-tech room where officials can monitor events globally via satellite in real-time, not unlike pictures of President Barack Obama and his staff watching Navy SEALs take down al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.
Barker said it is locations like this that make San Diego the new home for modern warfare.
"This is one of the largest military industrial complexes in the world," he said.
With military bases like Camp Pendleton, MCAS Miramar, North Island, Navy Special Warfare, as well as private military contractors like Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Boeing, and VIASAT Barker added, "These are some of the biggest commercial entities that support our government globally, and they all have a huge emphasis in counterterrorism."
10News learned high-tech equipment designed and produced by local-based private contractors allowed Obama and his staff to monitor the operation that ended with bin Laden's death.
As Barker shows off a helmet-mounted mobile camera made in San Diego, he explained, "It also has a radio inside it that is Wi-Fi enabled so as this is on my helmet I can be broadcasting to command and control."
Barker shows off even more devices developed and produced in San Diego County, including helmet cams that livestream audio and video, cameras that can see around corners and through keyholes and wrist communicators with video monitors.
"All the commanders, they're outside of the threat, and can see exactly what's going on and see their chess board and where all their pieces are," said Barker.
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