iPhone App Tracks Taliban Fighters
Army captain designed Tactical Nav for combat use
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2011 2:41 AM CDT
US soldiers aim their guns toward Taliban insurgents during a firefight in southern Afghanistan.    (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)

(Newser) – An iPhone app designed to track down Taliban positions and call in covering fire if necessary is being offered for sale on iTunes. US Army Captain Jonathan Springer says he came up with the idea for the app—which is being marketed to hikers as well as soldiers—after two of his buddies were killed in a Taliban rocket attack. The Tactical Nav app is designed to provide the exact co-ordinates of enemy fire, and Springer says it worked perfectly when he tried it out in the field.

"As a fire support officer, I take into battle a compass, binoculars, a map, a protractor, a GPS device, a secondary GPS device in case one fails, and batteries," he tells the BBC. "What this does is combine all these components, and throws it into just the one app." The captain says the military told him there was no funding available to help him develop the app so he is selling it to recoup the $30,000 it cost him. "I only sell it to try to make back the money I invested," he says. "I don't see dollar signs. I see soldiers' lives."