By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers
War stinks, especially when you're fighting it. But on Super Bowl Sunday, it's really bad for football fans in uniform. Well, maybe not this year. For another year, Raytheon is using its military satellite system, which feeds live battlefield pictures, to send the game in Tampa also to troops around the world—including on submarines and in hideouts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Our job is to get to the places where the troops are," said Guy DuBois, Raytheon's VP. "I like to say we're getting this to the guys you need a really long extension cord for."
Technically, the game will be added as a channel on the company's Global Broadcast Service, ordered up after the first Gulf War when officials found they lacked live battlefield pictures. It delivers pictures to places not already serviced by the military's radio and TV system. That means folks on ships and subs and those in remote regions have access. The above picture is from last year's broadcast on a Navy ship. The system is also used to broadcast CNN and Fox News and to conduct distance training. Raytheon has carried the game before, and this year, DuBois said, the system also broadcast President Obama's inauguration.
But as good as it is, it's still just a picture without a cold beer. Said DuBois: "If we could include beer, even I'd subscribe."