We describe the current status of the host identity protocol and discuss how it could be applied to tactical networks, including mobile ad hoc networks. The host identity protocol (HIP) is a protocol proposal at the IETF for separating the end-point identifier and locator nature of IP addresses. It introduces a new name space, consisting of public cryptographic keys, and uses these keys to identify hosts. All applications deal with the public keys instead of IP addresses; with a backward compatibility layer, most current applications continue to work unchanged. A new layer in the kernel dynamically maps the public keys in outgoing packets into IP addresses, and vice versa for incoming packets.