The Army’s Product Director – Installation Information Infrastructure Modernization Program initiates the Home-Station Mission Command Centers’ procurement and initial installation in the fourth quarter of FY16 to support the Army chief information officer’s HSMCC initiative.
By Scott Sundsvold
FORT BELVOIR, Va. – Referred to as a “tech refresh,” the hardware procurement and installation projects at the first Home Station Mission Command Centers (HSMCC) sites, managed by the Army’s Program Executive Office – Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS) in cooperation the Army’s chief information officer, will accelerate the standardized command post design envisioned for the future Army.
The Army’s Product Director – Installation Information Infrastructure Modernization Program (PD I3MP) will manage the projects at the first four sites: the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colorado; the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas; and the 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Georgia.
HSMCC captures the lessons learned from the Army’s recent wartime experiences to help ensure the future Army is well-suited to perform its mission to fight and win the nation’s wars. The U.S. Army Operating Concept has a vision of future armed conflict that considers both continuities in war’s nature and changes in its character. Dynamic in nature, the mission command warfighting function requires a trusted, flexible and scalable information infrastructure, capable of interoperability with the U.S. Army’s mission partners.
To prepare for future operations, the Army has implemented a next-generation command post strategy of enhanced garrison-based capabilities. The HSMCC objective is to provide Army division-, corps- and theater-level headquarters the ability to conduct mission command operations with common, standardized and fixed operation centers enabling reach-back and reach-forward support, tactical mission command suite availability, coalition capability, training, logistics and life cycle sustainment.
A phased approach has been developed to provide HSMCC with this capability. Phase one includes site survey assessments conducted by multi-organization teams to determine the operational state of each HSMCC. Information from these assessments will be used to develop and validate an interim technical baseline of existing mission command centers. The assessment teams also will provide recommendations for infrastructure upgrades and technical refresh of existing audiovisual (AV) systems.
As part of phase one, PD I3MP is scheduled to conduct hardware technical refreshes of existing network equipment AV systems including enterprise video teleconference capabilities at up to 26 mission command centers by 2020. The hardware technical refresh phase will provide enhancements to information sharing and collaboration, operational situation awareness and common operating picture for mission command leadership.
Significant operational enhancements during phase one include the installation of high-resolution multi-display video wall systems in operation centers and high-definition video display monitors throughout HSMCC facilities to deliver high quality visual clarity and high-definition AV content. In addition, high bandwidth AV cross-point matrix switchers are also used within an HSMCC facility to enable information sharing, dissemination and collaboration. Another operational enhancement is use of enterprise internet protocol video teleconference systems to facilitate real-time collaboration and meetings on different classification levels with geographically dispersed units and coalition partners.
“The mission command environment integrates the art of command with the science of control. HSMCC will enable warfighters with the improved situational awareness they require during all phases of operations.” said Lt. Col. Gus Muller, outgoing I3MP product director. “Technology advances have improved the performance and reduced the cost of deploying high-speed ethernet infrastructure across the Army, enabling the Army to upgrade existing command centers’ capabilities.”
Lt. Col. Muller on Oct. 7 relinquished control of I3MP to Brendan Burke, the incoming product manager. During the change of leadership, I3MP’s deputy product director, Thomas Olson, will support PD I3MP by managing the program’s day-to-day operations, to include providing program oversight of the four HSMCC sites.
“I feel confident that the FY16 HSMCC installations will maintain a steady course during this change of leadership,” said Olson. “I3MP’s assistant product managers for command centers have conducted the rigorous analysis required to successfully implement the appropriate management controls, ensuring the installations remain on-track and on-budget.”
Excited to take on his new role, Burke is known to “hit the ground running.”
“On the surface, the HSMCC tech refresh appears to be an upgrade of the video teleconferencing systems command centers,” Burke said. “Below the surface, the HSMCC tech refresh integrated state-of-the-art AV information infrastructure, setting the conditions for uninterrupted mission command in a standardized and sustainable manner.”
Muller and Burke participated in a change of charter ceremony on Oct. 7 in Fort Belvoir’s Heroes Auditorium.
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