Among the horrors of the September assault on the Benghazi consulate was that security personnel at the diplomatic compound lost track of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens for hours. They next saw him when Libyans returned his corpse. A new program by the State Department's security branch seeks to ensure diplomats in conflict zones can't go missing anymore.
A recent solicitation revealed that State wants to upgrade its security to a Personnel Tracking and Locating system that could allow diplomats to check in with security personnel through their phones or other handheld devices. The "device agnostic" system would work similarly to the Blue Force Trackers that soldiers use to keep track of one another on the battlefield: a signal emanates from the device over a satellite network and apears as an icon on a digitized map monitored by State's Bureau of Diplomatic Security. Devices networked together that host the tracking software need to be able to call up a map on a web browser that shows the relative position of each user, layered over a GoogleEarth baseline.