Photos: IT saving lives in Iraqi warzone

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WO2 Foreman of Signals Ian Hirst - IT saving lives in Iraqi warzones

WO2 Foreman of Signals Ian Hirst - IT saving lives in Iraqi warzones

IS engineers make up around 8 to 10 per cent of the entire armed forces, a fairly big proportion. Cogan said the staff are “absolutely crucial” in today’s fighting.

Cole added, “IT skills are highly valuable skills. The problem we have at the moment is that we tend to train our staff so well that they’re highly sought after by other agencies.

We have to value these people so they stay with us, so we invest in a lot of training.” Hurst said engineers need a unique and broad set of skills. “The people on the ground need to be experts,” he said.

“They have to work with minimum supervision in fairly isolated locations. The IT staff who work on these systems tend to be multi-faceted.

We need them to be masters of many different trades, including Microsoft, Cisco and IP-tunnelling.”

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