In an effort to improve the networking and communications capacities of soldiers on the front lines, the U.S. military will be using cloud computing technology in Afghanistan.

Lieutenant General Richard Zahner explained that mobile cloud units will be used by soldiers to provide secure communications between air and ground forces, allowing mission-critical intelligence information and strategic data to be passed between units, NetworkWorld reports.

Though the Defense Information Systems Agency has maintained cloud data centers in the U.S., this is the first time the technology has been deployed for military purposes in Afghanistan.

At the Biometric Consortium Conference, Zahner said, "the goal is to get precise and relevant information to the warfighter."

The mobile cloud devices are secured with biometrics, and use open source and commercial components to function. Currently, the military has all of the necessary applications and functions ready for these devices. Over time, officials will decide the best ways to weave those functions together to create the most efficient cloud computing system for soldiers.

According to DefenseSystems.com, the U.S. government has focused heavily on protecting its networks from cyber criminals and other national security threats. While major elements of government IT infrastructure are well protected, there are some potential that applications could provide an area where hackers can gain access to confidential information. As the military begins to depend on cloud computing in the field, the security of applications will be crucial to successful missions.