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Radio Meets Internet as Aid to Convoys and More: The Air Force is leading a joint effort to put the “Radio over Internet Protocol Routed network”—or RIPRnet—system into action in Southwest Asia. The new system enables convoy radios to tie in to each other with Internet technology, extending their range, according to Col. Greg Touhill, forward communications director for US Central Command Air Forces at the Combined Air Operations Center. RIPRnet also helps provide more reliable and robust communications, Touhill added. And, it can be used for air defense and command and control elements for close air support, since the network allows the Combined Forces Air Component commander to communicate directly with aircraft. USAF expects to reach full installation of the network later this year, which means 200 soldiers manning radio relay stations along convoy routes can turn to other endeavors.