All Together Now

All Together Now

Tactical Network training before more holistic and more versatile with every capability set fielding By Maj. Jonathan Swan, Capt. Keith Jordan and Mr. Larry Spence When fielding complex new equipment to a unit, there’s only one chance to get it right. If the training is off—in content, timing or audience—the unit can end up worse than it was without the new gear. To get the most out of the Army’s advanced communications network, Soldiers need to understand how to fully employ their systems to satisfy their mission requirements, and how to maximize system capability as part of a holistic network that spans the entire force. As the Army fields its […]

Training on the Virtual Net

Training on the Virtual Net

Video game-like approach reduces classroom time, increases engagement By Maj. Naim R. Lee, Ms. Caroline McCarthy and Dr. Samuel Johnson Today’s Soldiers have grown up in the digital age. They play video games that enable friends and even strangers to team up online to slay aliens, combat terrorists and save the world. They take advanced high school and college classes online, and their smartphones are almost an appendage. “Death by PowerPoint” is no longer an effective means of training, especially on the Army’s advanced network and communications equipment. Soldiers are now learning faster and more efficiently, immersed in operational scenarios within virtual training environments and using the power of their […]

Army creates common technology marketplace for communications hardware

Army creates common technology marketplace for communications hardware

By Claire Heininger, PEO C3T   ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (July 15, 2014) — The Army is creating a standard marketplace of tactical communications hardware to support the Common Operating Environment (COE) initiative and deliver a familiar and intuitive experience for Soldiers. The Common Hardware Systems (CHS) program office maintains a portfolio of commercial technologies that satisfy tactical requirements including servers, clients, network routing and switching devices, ruggedized laptops, handheld devices, operational transit cases and other peripheral devices. As the Army advances the COE framework to support the rapid development and delivery of secure, interoperable software applications, CHS is coordinating with multiple programs to facilitate efficient procurement and sustainment of […]

Network hotspot evolves with Soldier input

Network hotspot evolves with Soldier input

By Claire Heininger, PEO C3T   ABDERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (June 24, 2014) — The SNE is getting a mission makeover. The Soldier Network Extension (SNE), which delivers the Army’s mobile tactical network backbone to the company level, is evolving from a vehicle used by the company commander to an information hotspot allowing other Soldiers to plug in, make phone calls and send and receive data from anywhere on the battlefield — from an Afghan polling place to an air assault observation point. The changes, based on user feedback from Capability Set (CS) 13 fielded units and the Army’s Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) events, are also making the SNE more […]

Simplify, Simplify

Simplify, Simplify

Future network must make it easier for Soldiers to train, plan, operate from garrison to foxhole By Brig. Gen. Daniel P. Hughes and Ms. Jennifer Zbozny When you think “modernization,” the next word that comes to mind probably isn’t “simplify.” Progress often implies more systems, with greater complexity—saturating Soldiers with technology and then surging the underlying infrastructure necessary to support everything from power to training. But does it have to? As we plan the Army’s future tactical communications network—a top modernization priority as the Army transitions to a smaller but still highly capable force—we have a different vision. Picture a landscape in which Soldiers can start up a wireless command […]

Wi-Fi, 4G LTE hits battlefield

Wi-Fi, 4G LTE hits battlefield

FORT BLISS, Texas (June 13, 2014) — The Army is introducing the power of 4G to the battlefield, providing coverage that stretches across a forward operating base so Soldiers can access mission information from their smartphones, not their desks. The 4G LTE infrastructure is part of a new collection of advanced commercial technologies, including coalition and first responder capabilities and Wi-Fi for command posts, that answer Soldiers’ demands for tactical network systems delivering increased bandwidth and enhanced capabilities in smaller packages. “Soldiers and commanders in tactical operations centers need more bandwidth for data intensive tasks like sending large PowerPoint files, maps, and full motion video,” said Lt. Col. Joel Babbitt, […]

Getting a Fix on the Future

Getting a Fix on the Future

Even as it closes the books on the longest war in U.S. history, the Army must plan, in difficult circumstances, for what is to come   By Ms. Margaret C. Roth   As the Army draws down to what could be its smallest size in nearly three-quarters of a century, the focus is squarely on the future. So, what does the Army need to do today to get where it wants to be 30 years from now? In a word: Plan. But it’s more complicated than it sounds. A year and a half ago, the Army initiated a new strategic modernization planning process that combines a detailed analysis of investments […]

Fort Leonard Wood MPs test new body armor vest

Fort Leonard Wood MPs test new body armor vest

By Dawn Arden, Leonard Wood FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (May 16, 2014) — More than 20 Fort Leonard Wood military police officers tested the regiment’s newest body armor vests, last week. Both a concealed and non-concealed version were under scrutiny by MPs of the U.S. Army Military Police Corps. According to Connie Respress, Capability Development Integration Directorate, Requirements Determination Division program action officer, Fort Leonard Wood was a logical choice for evaluation of the newest Family of Concealable Body Armor, or FoCBA. “Fort Leonard Wood has the MP Corps leaders, SMEs (subject matter experts) and Soldiers providing day-to-day operations as military police,” Respress said. Repress noted that Product Manager Soldier […]

Army advances mid-tier radio for battlefield network

Army advances mid-tier radio for battlefield network

By Argie Sarantinos-Perrin, PM Tactical Radios   ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (May 13, 2014) — With the Army’s new tactical network, squads and platoons can share data and images, track friendly and enemy locations and stay connected while covering more ground. Now, the Army is advancing a new radio capability that will more seamlessly connect those units to their higher headquarters. Known as the Mid-tier Networking Vehicular Radios (MNVR), the system will allow Soldiers at the platoon and company levels to rapidly exchange digital information with battalion and brigade. With the recent approval of the program’s acquisition strategy and preparation for upcoming tests, the MNVR capability is on target for […]

USAASC announces April MOS 51C reclassification board results

USAASC announces April MOS 51C reclassification board results

By Tara Clements FORT BELVOIR, Va. (May 12, 2014) – Fourteen candidates were selected for reclassification as a result of the 51C Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) reclassification board held here April 22-23, 2014. The last board of the fiscal year was convened by the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC) and administered by the 51C Proponent Office. “We had a record number of applications this year resulting in one of our most competitive boards yet,” said Master Sgt. Eric Sears, chief 51C proponent NCO. “Out of 197 applicants, fourteen were selected meeting our end-strength goals for the fiscal year,” he added. As a result, the July board has been cancelled. The […]