• AUSA Combined Arms Maneuver Symposium and Expo

    Read more »
  • Army Contracting Command Announces Annual Award Winners

    The U.S. Army Contracting Command (ACC) has selected 24 individuals and six teams as recipients of this year’s ACC annual contracting awards. Jeffrey P. Parsons, ACC Executive Director, presented the awards at a formal ceremony May 17 in Huntsville, AL.

    ACC Executive Director Jeffrey P. Parsons (second from the left) presents JoDeen Cuffe, MICC, Fort Knox, KY, with the ACC's Small Business Champion Award. Joining Parsons and Cuffee are LTG Dennis Via, U.S. Army Materiel Command Deputy Commanding General (left), and BG Stephen B. Leisenring, MICC Commander (far right).

    “It’s an honor for me to recognize the recipients for their hard work and dedication,” Parsons said. “These contracting professionals exemplify the best of this command and are the type of individuals others can aspire to become.”

    The awards are presented for excellence in acquisition, contracting, and small business. Those selected were recognized for their outstanding achievements between Oct. 1, 2009, and Sept. 30, 2010. A panel of representatives from ACC, Expeditionary Contracting Command (ECC), Mission and Installation Contracting Command (MICC), and the ACC Contracting Centers reviewed more than 100 nominations before making the selections.

    This year, MICC teams and employees received seven awards; personnel and teams from the Army Contracting Centers at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, and Rock Island Arsenal, IL, received six awards each; ECC personnel and teams received four awards; personnel and teams from the Army Contracting Center at Redstone Arsenal, AL, received three; and personnel and teams from the Army Contracting Centers at Warren, MI, and Picatinny Arsenal, NJ, each received two awards.

    The recipients are:

    Outstanding Procurement Analyst (Other Than Major Weapon Systems)
    Sherrill King, Installation Contracting Office, Fort Jackson, SC, MICC

    Outstanding Contracting Officer (Major Weapon Systems)
    Marianne Shuster, ACC—Picatinny

    Outstanding Contract Specialist (Other Than Major Weapon Systems)
    Martha Livsey, Installation Contracting Office, Fort Sill, OK, MICC

    Outstanding Contract Specialist (Major Weapon Systems)
    Harmony Hunsanger, ACC—Warren

    Outstanding Contingency Contracting Officer (Noncommissioned Officer)
    MSG Sandra C. Williams, 409th Contracting Support Brigade (CSB), Kaiserslautern, Germany, ECC

    Outstanding Contingency Contracting Officer (Officer)
    MAJ Stephen R. Tautkus, 409th CSB, Kaiserslautern, Germany, ECC

    Outstanding Active Duty Military Officer (Other Than Major Weapon Systems)
    LTC Jeffery Phillips, 901st CSB, Fort Hood, TX, ECC

    ACC Excellence in Acquisition Leadership (Other Than Major Weapon Systems)
    Installation Contracting Office, Fort Campbell, KY, MICC

    ACC Excellence in Acquisition Leadership (Major Weapon Systems)
    Bradley Definitization Team, ACC—Warren

    ACC Innovation (Other Than Major Weapon Systems)
    David Fieltsch, ACC—Aberdeen Proving Ground

    ACC Innovation (Major Weapon Systems)
    Tonya Wood, ACC—Redstone

    Acquisition Change Advocate (Major Weapon Systems)
    Apache Contracts Directorate, ACC—Redstone

    Outstanding Price Analyst (Other Than Major Weapon Systems)
    Angela Williams, ACC—Rock Island

    Outstanding Price Analyst (Major Weapon Systems)
    Margaret Gunsiorowski, ACC–Aberdeen Proving Ground

    Outstanding Procurement Analyst (Other Than Major Weapon Systems)
    Catherine H. Olvera, ACC—Rock Island

    Outstanding Procurement Analyst (Major Weapon Systems)
    Jennifer Arber, ACC—Aberdeen Proving Ground

    Outstanding Intern of the Year (Other Than Major Weapon Systems)
    Michael DeBisschop, ACC—Rock Island

    Outstanding Intern of the Year (Major Weapon Systems)
    David Hansen, ACC—Aberdeen Proving Ground

    Outstanding Workforce Development
    Rock Island Contracting Center Human Resources Team, ACC—Rock Island

    Outstanding Workforce Development Individual
    Tonya Wood, ACC—Redstone

    Personnel Development Achievement
    Jessica Dobbeleare, ACC—Rock Island

    Excellence in Direct Sales Contracting
    Debby Broyles, ACC—Rock Island

    Outstanding Mission Support/Business Operations (Other Than Major Weapon Systems)
    410th CSB, Fort Sam Houston, TX, ECC

    Outstanding Mission Support/Business Operations (Major Weapon Systems)
    Heather Yaworski, ACC—Picatinny

    Customer Service Excellence
    Orlando Team, ACC—Aberdeen Proving Ground

    ACC Ability One
    Pam Munoz, MICC, Joint Base Lewis–McChord, WA

    Small Business Specialist of the Year
    Deanna Ochoa, HQ MICC, Fort Sam Houston

    Small Business Champion
    JoDeen Cuffe, MICC, Fort Knox, KY

    Small Business Champion
    Pete Hunter, Office of the Principal Assistant Responsible for Contracting, 410th CSB, Fort Sam Houston, ECC

    Small Business Program Supporter of the Year
    Debbie Swindell, Installation Contracting Office, Fort Stewart, GA, MICC


    Article courtesy of ACC Public Affairs.


    Read more »
  • Army Demonstrating Wideband Waveforms

    Kris Osborn

    The Army is planning to demonstrate the ability of wideband waveforms such as Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW) and Wideband Networking Waveform (WNW) to move voice, video, data, and images faster, farther, and more efficiently than legacy waveforms across the battlefield through ad hoc mobile networking, service officials said.

    “The nonproprietary waveforms SRW and WNW will provide the backbone of terrestrial connectivity for several units conducting operations during the Network Integration Evaluation this summer at White Sands Missile Range, NM. The waveforms will have to operate over variable desert and mountainous terrain and perform during diverse mission scenarios requiring mobile ad hoc connectivity,” said Paul Mehney, spokesman for Program Executive Office Integration.

    Both SRW and WNW are designed to be mobile ad hoc in nature, in that they don’t require a lot of preplanning for nodes to join and leave the network, said Navy CAPT Jeff Hoyle, Program Manager for the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Network Enterprise Domain. “SRW and WNW work very well in providing connectivity for dispersed forces.”

    Soldiers carry handheld radios that can demonstrate the ability of wideband waveforms to move voice information further and more efficiently than legacy waveforms across the battlefield through ad-hoc mobile networking. (Photo courtesy of Program Manager JTRS Network Enterprise Domain.)

    They have the ability to draw from a larger portion of the available spectrum than legacy waveforms to transmit and network information, and can seamlessly route and retransmit information, Hoyle explained.

    “The thing that is most important for throughput is the bandwidth that is available in the spectrum. The spectrum is a very finite resource, and the amount of bandwidth that is available will directly correlate to the amount of throughput that the network can support,” Hoyle said.

    SRW is designed to efficiently use spectrum in 1.2-megahertz bandwidth allotments, Hoyle said.

    WNW can also support 1.2-megahertz allotments, but it operates more efficiently and effectively at 3- or 5-megahertz bandwidth allotments (up to 30 megahertz when available) to deliver even higher network capacity, he added.

    “The waveforms are designed to find the best path for delivering a particular message, maintaining a continually up-to-date understanding of network-node locations, so they can always determine the best path,” Hoyle said. “The power of the network is enhanced by increasing the number of nodes on the network.”

    SRW is targeted for the individual Soldier and individual small units and sensors such as the Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle.

    “SRW is focused on delivering a network capability to those users that have tight size, weight, and power requirements. It packs a lot of networking into a very small package and allows that to be integrated into handheld radios, small hockey puck-size radios, and very small sensors such as unattended ground or air vehicles,” Hoyle said.

    The nonproprietary waveforms SRW and WNW will provide the backbone of terrestrial connectivity for several units conducting operations during the Network Integration Evaluation this summer at White Sands Missile Range, NM.

    JTRS Rifleman Radio and the Handheld, Manpack, and Small Form Fit radios for the dismounted units use SRW to deliver networking capability embedded into radios that Soldiers can carry with them for voice, video, and data capability, he added.

    The idea is to share battle-relevant information across the force in real time, Hoyle explained.

    “A recently completed 82nd Airborne Network Excursion at Fort Bragg, NC, used SRW on Manpack radios and Rifleman Radios to maintain situational awareness for troops as they parachuted in. As they accomplished the mission, they were able to leverage the connectivity back to their support aircraft. For those Soldiers who had simulated casualties, they were able to share the information and photos of the casualties with the medevac units,” he said.

    WNW is primarily intended primarily to provide the backbone network connectivity between ground and air vehicles, Hoyle said. “It provides a lot of throughput capacity and has a lot of features and algorithms built into it because you have the size, weight, and power infrastructure of the vehicles.”

    The Army, through a strategy referred to as the JTRS Enterprise Business Model, is seeking to develop these high-bandwidth waveforms through official Programs of Record and commercial-off-the-shelf products that are also integrating the SRW and WNW waveforms.

    “The idea is to accelerate competition into the defense radio business and focus on the delivery of the waveform capability, so any vendor that is able to, can integrate the waveforms and can satisfy the services’ networking capability needs,” Hoyle said.


    • KRIS OSBORN is a Highly Qualified Expert for the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology Office of Strategic Communications. He holds a B.A. in English and political science from Kenyon College and an M.A. in comparative literature from Columbia University.

    Read more »
  • Next-Generation Blue Force Tracking System to be Featured in Army Exercise

    Claire Heininger

    The latest version of the Army’s friendly force tracking and messaging software will get a key tryout with Soldiers as part of the unprecedented combined test and evaluation at Fort Bliss, TX, and White Sands Missile Range, NM, this month.

    Among the six programs of record undergoing limited user testing (LUT) is the new version of Force XXI Battle Command Brigade-and-Below/Blue Force Tracking (FBCB2/BFT), called Joint Capabilities Release (JCR). The new version is faster, more versatile, and better connected to the Marine Corps.

    “It is not only easier to navigate, but it is a lot faster,” said SSG Tony B. Sosa, a Military Intelligence System Maintainer/Integrator with A Company, Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division. “I think it will be an excellent tool to help save lives.”

    A Soldier types a message into the FBCB2/BFT system. The latest version of FBCB2, Joint Capabilities Release, will undergo limited user testing during the Network Integration Evaluation, which marks a new approach to testing and delivering networked capabilities. (U.S. Army photo.)

    The LUT will support a decision on wider fielding of the capability, which thus far has been fielded to several brigades inside the United States. The LUT also marks a step in a broader plan to move to the next-generation FBCB2/BFT technology for tactical aircraft, vehicles, and dismounted forces, called Joint Battle Command-Platform (JBC-P).

    “JBC-P is a foundation for achieving information interoperability between joint warfighting elements on current and future battlefields,” said GEN Peter W. Chiarelli, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, in recent testimony to the House Armed Services Tactical and Land Forces Subcommittee. “It will be the principal command and control system for the Army and Marine Corps at the brigade-and-below level, providing users access to the tactical information necessary to achieve information dominance on the battlefield.”

    JCR acts as a “bridge” to JBC-P, providing today’s deployed units with Army-Marine Corps interoperability, a faster satellite network, advanced mapping kits, secure data encryption, and integration with historical information key to counterinsurgency operations. At White Sands, which has mountainous terrain resembling that of Afghanistan, Soldiers will run missions to test JCR’s effectiveness and reliability for exchanging messages, providing situational awareness of fellow “blue” forces to guard against fratricide, navigating the battlefield, and other capabilities.

    “With these digital capabilities, you’re able to see where all the friendly forces are, regardless of service or unit, and you’re able to communicate with all of them via free text and graphics,” said MAJ Shane Robb, Assistant Product Manager for JBC-P.

    The system’s new satellite infrastructure is known as BFT 2, a communications network that can handle significantly more data than the existing BFT system.

    JBC-P will be the principal command and control system for the Army and Marine Corps at the brigade-and-below level, providing users access to the tactical information necessary to achieve information dominance on the battlefield.

    “The new network increases the size of the pipe, which has a direct correlation to the system’s ability to update and refresh information,” said LTC Bryan Stephens, Product Manager for BFT. “In the end, this capacity increase allows for more frequent and larger message traffic and a change in many cases of refresh rates from minutes to seconds.”

    Also being integrated into the Army’s network is Tactical Ground Reporting (TIGR), a collaborative software tool that uses a “Google Earth”-like interface, pictures, and text to provide a searchable database of unit activities. Along with routes and places, TIGR is valuable for tracking people such as local police chiefs, religious leaders, or other key figures for counterinsurgency and stability operations. Such information is known as area, structures, capabilities, organizations, people, and events (ASCOPE) data. TIGR, developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is scheduled to formally transition to Project Manager FBCB2 on Oct. 1.

    In JCR, users can toggle between TIGR and FBCB2 windows. In JBC-P, ASCOPE functionality similar to TIGR will display on a single user-friendly screen inside the tactical vehicle.

    “Where we are going with JBC-P on the platform is to develop a user interface that is similar to things that are normally done in gaming, in Facebook and Twitter,” said COL Buddy Carman, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Capability Manager for Brigade Combat Team Mission Command. “The more we can make [functions] translatable, Soldiers are going to use it more often, and we’re going to eliminate a huge training burden on them.”

    Feedback from the JCR LUT will influence JBC-P design and capabilities, as well as inform a JCR fielding decision for the fiscal year starting in October 2011.


    • CLAIRE HEININGER is a staff writer for Symbolic Systems Inc., supporting the Army’s Program Executive Office Command, Control, and Communications-Tactical MilTech Solutions Office. She holds a B.A. in American studies and a minor in journalism, ethics, and democracy from the University of Notre Dame.

    Read more »
  • Army to Kick off Series of Integration Exercises for Tactical Network

    Claire Heininger

    The Army will soon usher in a new approach to testing and delivering networked capabilities, with a six-week event that puts promising new technologies in Soldiers’ hands.

    With the network deemed the service’s top modernization priority, the spotlight will be on Fort Bliss, TX, and White Sands Missile Range, NM, as units from the 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division test-drive several Programs of Record (PORs) and more than two dozen systems from commercial-off-the-shelf suppliers and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The June-July event, known as the Network Integration Evaluation (NIE), is the first of four events leading up to a fully integrated Brigade Combat Team Network Evaluation at the end of 2012.

    For the Army, the NIE marks a key step in the modernization strategy that will produce networked “capability sets” beginning in FY12. Rather than delivering products on their own timelines with integration as an afterthought, the new paradigm calls for evaluating relevant capabilities in parallel, synchronizing them with deployments, and making incremental improvements based upon Soldier feedback. It adds up to a more flexible acquisition process, in which users play a crucial role.

    Paratroopers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division use radios and smartphones to communicate during a March exercise at Fort Bragg, NC. (U.S. Army photo by Ashley Blumenfeld, Joint Program Executive Office JTRS.)

    “The sooner you get a new capability in the hands of a Soldier in an operational environment, the sooner you’re going to kill off an idea that is not a good one before you waste any money on it, and the sooner you will grab on to an idea that has a tremendous amount of potential,” said MG Keith C. Walker, Commanding General of Brigade Modernization Command, headquartered at Fort Bliss, in a recent interview with El Paso Inc.

    After simultaneous limited user tests (LUTs) for the PORs in weeks 1-4, the NIE will culminate with an integration exercise demonstrating how the systems fit into the Army’s tactical network connecting Soldiers at all echelons. The event design, bringing together mature and emerging technologies from various sources, reflects the “plug-and-play” vision of the network espoused by GEN Peter W. Chiarelli, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army.

    “To work effectively, the network must be a single, affordable, cost-effective network that will allow any system or application—whether developed by the Army, our sister services, allies, or some other agency—to ‘plug and play’ using a common operating environment that ensures the systems and applications are interoperable and user-friendly from the start,” Chiarelli recently told Congress.

    Among the capabilities undergoing LUT is the new version of Force XXI Battle Command Brigade-and-Below (FBCB2)/Blue Force Tracking, called Joint Capabilities Release (JCR). The latest version of the Army’s friendly force tracking and messaging software is faster, more versatile, and better connected to the Marine Corps.

    Soldiers read the technical manual as they connect the encryption device used with Force XXI Battle Command Brigade-and-Below Joint Capabilities Release during a logistics demonstration at Fort Hood, TX, last fall. (U.S. Army photo by Len Krals.)

    “It’s much better than the previous version,” said SSG Tony B. Sosa, a Military Intelligence System Maintainer/Integrator with A Company, Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division. “It is not only easier to navigate, but it is a lot faster. I think it will be an excellent tool to help save lives.”

    Other systems under LUT include the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Handheld, Manpack, and Small Form Fit (HMS) radio, the Mounted Soldier System, the JTRS Ground Mobile Radio, and the Network Integration Kit.

    As units disperse throughout Fort Bliss and White Sands, they will share voice, data, and other communications throughout the brigade over the terrestrial network provided by JTRS and the satellite communications backbone provided by the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T).

    More than two dozen other systems that are not part of the formal tests are also participating, including a rugged handheld known as the Pocket-Sized Forward Entry Device, which allows forward observers to send a digital call-for-fire within 10 seconds.

    Soldiers will be supported by more efficient energy sources, including an intelligent mobile power system that adjusts distribution based on need, and a hybrid energy system consisting of a lightweight tripod with a pair of 50-watt rigid-panel solar arrays, batteries, and a military generator.

    At brigade headquarters, the brigade combat team commander and his staff will view a real-time, integrated air picture and receive warnings of incoming rocket, artillery, and mortar attacks. Live and simulated feeds will create a realistic, comprehensive scenario to demonstrate and evaluate Counter-Rocket, Artillery, and Mortar Indirect Fire Protection Capability.

    In addition to offering vast terrain for such scenarios, Fort Bliss and White Sands will yield efficiencies as a central point for systems integration, as the Army enters the next phase of network modernization.

    “With reduced resources, the importance of evaluating new products and technologies in a realistic operational environment and being able to do it quickly is that much more important,” Walker said.


    • CLAIRE HEININGER is a staff writer for Symbolic Systems Inc., supporting the Army’s Program Executive Office Command, Control, and Communications-Tactical MilTech Solutions Office. She holds a B.A. in American studies and a minor in journalism, ethics, and democracy from the University of Notre Dame.

    Read more »
  • Dr. O’Neill Wins Rice University Alumni Award

    Kris Osborn

    Dr. Malcolm Ross O’Neill, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (ASAALT) and Army Acquisition Executive (AAE), received a Distinguished Alumni Award from Rice University in Houston, TX, May 14 for his outstanding professional accomplishments since receiving his Ph.D. in physics from the school in 1975.

    “Rice is my favorite academic institution. They were very nice to me when I was a young Soldier and I had been asked to attend graduate school,” O’Neill said upon learning of his award. “My professors treated me with respect and dignity. They treated me like they cared what I thought.”

    O’Neill, who attended Rice to do graduate work in physics for the first time in the late ’60s after serving in Vietnam, went on to a distinguished and accomplished career in the U.S. military and industry, culminating in his appointment in 2010 as the ASAALT and AAE.

    Dr. Malcolm Ross O’Neill accepts the Distinguished Alumni Award from Karen Hess Rogers, President, Association of Rice Alumni, and F. Barry Dunning, Sam and Helen Worden Professor of Physics and Chair, Physics and Astronomy Department. (Photo by Jeff Fitlow, Rice University Assistant Photographer.)

    Rice University honored O’Neill for his outstanding record of accomplishment in service to the U.S. military. The criteria for the Distinguished Alumni Award describe the honor as “reserved for those who have advanced the interests and standards of excellence of Rice University through distinctive professional or volunteer careers.”

    A Distinguished Career

    Before being nominated by President Obama to be the ASAALT, O’Neill served in a number of high-ranking positions to include a term as Vice President and Chief Technical Officer at Lockheed Martin Corp.; Director of DOD’s Ballistic Missile Defense Organization; and as the Director of the Army Acquisition Corps.

    O’Neill, a retired Army lieutenant general, also served as Chairman of the Board on Army Science and Technology for the National Academies; Commander, U.S. Army Laboratory Command; Director of Kinetic Energy Weapons at the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization; and Program Manager of the Army’s Multiple Launch Rocket System.

    During his time at Rice, O’Neill decided to pursue a career in atomic physics, something he describes as “the interface between physics and chemistry.”

    O’Neill credits academic and Army mentors for much of his success and said his graduate work in physics at Rice greatly contributed to his numerous professional achievements.

    Rice is my favorite academic institution. They were very nice to me when I was a young Soldier and I had been asked to attend graduate school. My professors treated me with respect and dignity. They treated me like they cared what I thought.

    “It opened up all kinds of doors in the Army, because the Army does not normally have a lot of Ph.D.s in physics,” he said. “It’s the scientific training that you get, asking the questions and probing for information, reading references, and then being able to distill out of that what is
    applicable to the challenges that you have,” O’Neill explained.

    When asked about his dissertation topic in physics, O’Neill seemed to recall the details as if it were yesterday, speaking enthusiastically about an experiment designed to determine the “spin” properties of electrons bounced off a crystal surface. Knowing the spin properties of how electrons behave can help scientists more easily predict the outcome of an interaction between electrons and matter, O’Neill explained.

    “They call it low-energy electron diffraction: When the electrons come off, they will have a preferential direction. An electron can have a spin where its magnetic moment is up or down depending upon which way it spins,” O’Neill said. “When you are doing scattering experiments in physics, you want to know everything you possibly can about the electrons … you want to know the velocity, the energy, etc. … One of the things they thought they could not know was the spin.”


    • KRIS OSBORN is a Highly Qualified Expert for the ASAALT Office of Strategic Communications. He holds a B.A. in English and political science from Kenyon College and an M.A. in comparative literature from Columbia University.

    Read more »
  • Preparations Underway for Large-Scale Army Network Evaluation

    Katie Cain

    As preparations for the Army’s Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) kick into high gear, Soldiers, engineers, combat developers, and test officials are joining forces at Fort Bliss, TX, and White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), NM, to provide full-time support to what will be the Army’s largest, most robust network test and evaluation effort to date.

    The 3,800-plus Soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division (2/1 AD) who are executing the six-week test and evaluation make up the first full brigade the Army has used in its test and evaluation process. The unit has spent the past several months preparing for the NIE in both field training and classroom exercises.

    “The brigade has been preparing for the June/July exercises almost nonstop,” said MAJ Rick Galeano, Information Operations, 2/1 AD. “We have Soldiers taking part in a variety of network and non-network program training events, which are very important to ensure that we have well-trained and prepared Soldiers for the evaluations. In addition to classroom instruction, all battalions have conducted intensive numerous field and live-fire exercises.”

    During a Battle Command System-of-Systems Integration Training exercise at Fort Bliss, 2/1 AD Soldiers established both brigade- and battalion-level networked CPs and participated in intensive CP integration exercises inside the tactical operations center. (U.S. Army photo.).

    In March, 2/1 AD Soldiers participated in Battle Command System-of-Systems Integration training at Fort Bliss to instruct the unit in the use of all current Command Post (CP) equipment in a battle command environment. During the 12-day training exercise, Soldiers established both brigade- and battalion-level networked CPs and participated in intensive CP integration exercises.

    “The goal is to build the infrastructure and architecture of a fully operational tactical operations center—14 large ‘tents’ filled with the unit’s own equipment,” said Galeano. “This not only ensures that the unit has the right level of connectivity to deliver mission command information to the brigade prior to going out into the field, but also determines how emerging network capabilities at both lower and higher tactical levels will integrate into the command post and then communicate with each other.”

    Establishing a baseline of current capabilities at the brigade and battalion levels allowed the unit to better assess how new capabilities at the platoon and company levels integrate with current and/or theater-provided systems during follow-on communication exercises in May. In addition, the exercise provides an opportunity for the brigade to carry out various tasks including validating CP infrastructure and network, managing tactical information, learning restoration capability in case of network malfunction, and creating a common operational picture.

    Classroom Training

    Many brigade Soldiers are also enrolled in daily classroom training to learn how to integrate and operate a broad array of capabilities, including the Joint Tactical Radio System Ground Mobile Radio, remote weapon delivery systems, and products provided in Connecting Soldiers to Digital Applications, an Army initiative aimed at developing and evaluating hand-held applications and capabilities.

    Soldiers attend the classes at brigade headquarters, where six new classrooms can accommodate up to 40 Soldiers in each. Others attend equipment training on acres of sprawling motor pool lots filled with the latest Army combat and tactical vehicles including Strykers and fully outfitted Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All Terrain Vehicles.

    ‘A Thorough Operational Workout’

    Throughout April, 2/1 AD Soldiers conducted Force XXI Battle Command Brigade-and-Below (FBCB2) Joint Capabilities Release training. The training, held by Project Manager FBCB2 within Program Executive Office (PEO) Command, Control, and Communications-Tactical, prepared 2/1 AD Soldiers to operate the new system effectively when they field-test the equipment at WSMR this summer.

    Soldiers from 2/1 AD attend equipment training on acres of sprawling motor pool lots filled with the latest Army combat and tactical vehicles, including Strykers and fully outfitted Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All Terrain Vehicles. (U.S. Army photo.)

    In June, the entire brigade, with a cadre of test officials, will occupy WSMR for the start of the test and evaluations.

    “By integrating systems across the 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, we will ensure these capabilities get a thorough operational workout,” said COL John Wendel, Deputy Program Executive Officer for Networks, PEO Integration. “When the Army fields network capabilities, not all Soldiers receive them at the same time. Part of our challenge during these upcoming rehearsal and evaluation events is to figure out how to make sure units who have the new capabilities can talk to units that don’t have all the new capabilities. It’s all about proper capability integration and real-world, Soldier-driven, operationally relevant evaluations—that’s what this entire community is working to solve.”

    The June/July NIE is the first of four major test and evaluation events aimed at synchronizing multiple programs and evaluating technologies to determine how well they fit into a larger, integrated tactical network. The culminating event in late 2012 will help slate the content for the first Capability Set to be fielded to deploying brigades in 2013-14. A Capability Set is a total package of networked and non-networked hardware and software fielded to a particular unit.


    • KATIE CAIN supports media relations and strategic communications activities on PEO Integration’s public affairs team. She holds a B.A.A. in integrative public relations, with a concentration in political science, from Central Michigan University.

    Read more »