By Scott Sundsvold
While the 1st Infantry Division (ID) was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, the Installation Information Infrastructure Modernization Program (I3MP) performed a technology refresh on the 1st ID Command Center at Fort Riley, Kansas, as part of the Home Station Mission Command Center (HSMCC) initiative.
As the Army prepares to operate in a contested, multidomain arena that combines land, air, sea, space and cyber, the HSMCC initiative takes an evolutionary approach to providing joint command centers with the capability to host and operate mission command systems while at home station. The HSMCC technology refresh, the initiative’s first phase, standardizes the disparate, off-the-shelf technology at division and corps headquarters with the standard, bottom-line capability set required to support mission command systems. The HSMCC technology refresh delivers a complete, integrated package of networking equipment and functional software to support multiple combat formations from a command center at home station to the dismounted Soldier in the field.
“In the information age, network readiness enables Army readiness, the Army’s No. 1 priority,” said Brendan Burke, I3MP product manager. “Network readiness in a complex world requires an integrated, secure, uninterrupted network that allows our Army to remain agile. As such, the HSMCC tech refresh delivers the mission-critical IT [information technology] solutions to keep the Army’s fighting edge as agile and expeditionary as possible.”
To prepare for future engagements, the Army network is adapting to meet the business and expeditionary mission command needs of the joint force commanders across the full range of military operations in a joint, inter-organizational, multinational partner environment. The HSMCC will enable units to execute warfighting functions to support geographically dispersed subordinate units.
“The HSMCC tech refresh provides the required architecture, infrastructure, technology and processes to retain our technological overmatch against current and future adversaries,” said Maj. Aleyzer Mora, I3MP assistant product manager for command centers, who managed the day-to-day activities of the 1st ID tech refresh.
The future of Army mission command promises autonomous, self-learning technologies that will anticipate commander’s intent and aid in the military decision-making process. Robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) offer new dimensions of survivability and lethality. By automating routine, time-consuming tasks, commanders and their staffs can focus on high-value, strategic initiatives. Through automation, AI can speed up information-gathering and maximize the quality and accuracy of gathered data to support timely decisions.
The HSMCC tech refresh lays the foundations for commanders to seamlessly share a common operating picture with their staffs and Soldiers, no matter their location. Whether “X marks the spot” with a global positioning system or a virtual location on a cyber battlefield, the Army will have the network capability and capacity to operate the required mission command systems and quickly share vital data with mission partners anywhere at any time.
“On today’s fast-moving and complex battlefield, commanders must be able to communicate their intent to geographically dispersed forces,” said Mora. “HSMCC enables commanders to communicate their intent and share detailed information with Soldiers in the fight. While commanders and their Soldiers may not be standing on the same terrain, they are in the same fight together.”
Mora was assisted by Sarah Mullins, I3MP deputy assistant product manager for command centers, and Thomas “Karl” Brenstuhl, project team assist, in handling the tech refresh. The 1st ID deployed in November 2016, and the installation at Fort Riley took place in May and June 2017.
The rapid delivery of the mission-critical IT solution was made possible by the strong support and coordination between 1st ID, I3MP and its industry partners from Net-Centric Enterprise Solutions Associates. “Mission command is more than a buzzword,” said Mullins. “The HSMCC tech refresh improves readiness by enabling Army leaders to implement mission command, empowering agile and adaptive Soldiers on the battlefield to win.”
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