Army realigns tactical network initialization process for increased efficiency

Army realigns tactical network initialization process for increased efficiency

By Nancy Jones-Bonbrest ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (March 3, 2015) — Turn on a new computer for the first time and you are met with a few questions before the computer is registered and recognized. In Army command posts, Soldiers must also complete this initialization step when their communications hardware is first turned on, so it can recognize and exchange critical information with other systems across the battlefield. Only a year ago, this process required installing a disc preloaded with unit information known as data products. If something changed and revisions were needed, a new set of data products would have to be created, with units waiting up to 15 […]

Always Connected

Always Connected

Satellite communications network enables more expeditionary Army to move beyond the FOB By Mr. Darren LeBlanc For the past 13 years, much of the Army fought from forward operating bases (FOBs). The FOBs housed command posts with well-established network infrastructure, which served as an information “home base” for troops between patrols. That approach was well-suited to the operational environment and counterinsurgency mission in Iraq and Afghanistan, but future contingencies and support operations—even the current Ebola response mission in West Africa—demand more flexibility. Command posts must be smaller and more agile to support rapid deployment. Forces must be able to connect to critical information while en route to a developing situation. Network […]

Army simulates battlefield environment in labs to prepare for cyber threats

Army simulates battlefield environment in labs to prepare for cyber threats

By Nancy Jones-Bonbrest, PEO C3T and Matthew C. McVey, SoSE&I ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (August 4, 2014) — As new technologies are introduced into the Army’s network, they are evaluated during semi-annual, Soldier-driven operational exercises in the mountains and desert of Fort Bliss, Texas, and White Sands Missile Range, N.M. Though the Soldier-executed test is the focus of these Network Integration Evaluations (NIEs), the overall success of the effort rests heavily on lab-based planning and integration testing back at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., where months of risk reduction activities and evaluations are conducted prior to the operational event. After all, if the capability doesn’t work in the lab, it’s not […]

Network Forensics makes an impact at the Army’s NIE

Network Forensics makes an impact at the Army’s NIE

A potent mix of software and methodologies borrowed from civilian industry makes a tremendous impact for the Army’s large-scale technology evaluation By Ray K. Ragan FORT BLISS, Texas – The Army’s semi-annual, large-scale Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) saw the technology of network forensics make an impact at NIE 14.2, the latest NIE, which concluded earlier this month. The U.S. Army Electronic Proving Ground (USAEPG) traditionally provides expertise in instrumentation for technology-based systems and is the Army’s designated tester for C4ISR systems, as part of the Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC). USAEPG supported the U.S. Army Operational Test Command, under ATEC, during this latest NIE. This year, in addition to […]

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, […]

Under SecArmy Carson stresses network modernization, thanks troops at Fort Bliss

Under SecArmy Carson stresses network modernization, thanks troops at Fort Bliss

By Claire Heininger, PEO C3T FORT BLISS, Texas (May 19, 2014) — Trading Beltway briefings for a Black Hawk and a backpack, Undersecretary of the Army Brad R. Carson visited what he described as one of the Army’s premier installations to highlight one of the service’s top modernization priorities, the tactical communications network. Less than a week after he was formally sworn in for his new position, the Army’s second-highest-ranking civilian leader toured the site of the Network Integration Evaluation, or NIE, 14.2 here, Thursday, and reiterated the importance of a robust, flexible network to ensure information dominance for future missions. “As we secure our interests throughout the world, we’re […]

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 […]

Army holds first terrain walk ahead of Manpack Radio test

Army holds first terrain walk ahead of Manpack Radio test

By Argie Sarantinos-Perrin, PM Tactical Radios   ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (May 2, 2014) — Combining new Google Earth technology and old-fashioned walking, the Army used a creative approach to prepare for a key test on the Manpack Radio. With the AN/PRC-155 Manpack Radio scheduled for a Follow-On Test and Evaluation (FOT&E) at the Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) 14.2 in May, the Handheld, Manpack, Small-form fit (HMS) program team wanted to address any potential concerns in advance. By using Google Earth and scouting areas on foot at Fort Bliss, Texas, the HMS team found a place to assess the effectiveness of the Manpack Radio in rugged terrain that was representative […]

Army improves network build for NIEs, gives Soldiers the power of change

Army improves network build for NIEs, gives Soldiers the power of change

By Claire Heininger   ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – The Army is introducing a more efficient process to produce the digital “glue” that ties together the network architecture for the Network Integration Evaluations (NIEs). The new method is not only faster, but also provides greater flexibility as the Army adds industry systems to the network baseline for evaluation and incorporates capability improvements for each NIE event. By automating key parts of the process used to create the data products that enable communications across the tactical network, the Army is also setting the stage to simplify network start-up procedures for users and give operational units more control over their networks. “We […]

Army network stays connected even when ‘jumping the TOC’

Army network stays connected even when ‘jumping the TOC’

By Amy Walker, PEO C3T   FORT BLISS, Texas (Dec. 9, 2013) — Brigade and battalion command posts, the heart of battlefield operations, are more mobile and agile than ever before, and through ongoing improvements in network capability, the Army is increasing their ability to move forward in the fight while retaining commanders’ critical situational awareness. Current technologies such as Warfighter Information Network Tactical, known as WIN-T, Increment 2, the Army’s mobile tactical communications network backbone, and emerging solutions like the Modular Integrated Command Post, or MiCP — a vehicle that efficiently provides networking equipment and power to support a command post — are enhancing a commander’s ability to lead […]