The evolution of Trail Bosses, a one-stop shop for acquisition enterprise integration into the NIE

The evolution of Trail Bosses, a one-stop shop for acquisition enterprise integration into the NIE

By Lt. Col. Keith Taylor   One of the things that makes the Network Integration Evaluations (NIEs) so valuable is that the Soldiers judging equipment are not part of a so-called “test unit,” but an operational brigade combat team, but that’s also one of the things that makes the NIEs so difficult. The 2nd Brigade Combat Team (BCT), 1st Armored Division (2/1 AD) still has all of the responsibilities of a typical BCT: arms proficiency, physical training tests, developing the junior enlisted into noncommissioned officers and carrying out all of their standard training. At the same time, the Army requires them to learn and evaluate dozens of sophisticated communications systems, […]

Army prepares for next Network Integration Evaluation

Army prepares for next Network Integration Evaluation

Claire Heininger, U.S. Army   FORT BLISS, TEXAS — With two units now readying for Afghanistan with the Army’s new tactical communications network, the service will continue to drive technology forward through its next Network Integration Evaluation this spring. Soldier training, vehicle integration, system check-outs and other preparations are well underway in advance of NIE 13.2, which begins in May at Fort Bliss and White Sands Missile Range, N.M. It is the fifth in the series of semi-annual field evaluations designed to keep pace with rapid advances in communications technologies and deliver proven and integrated network capabilities to Soldiers. The NIEs are not stand-alone events, but build on previous exercises […]

Long-term strategic planning spurs agile consolidation

Long-term strategic planning spurs agile consolidation

Katie Cain   Army Acquisition leaders are implementing a new approach to equipment modernization—a comprehensive 30-year strategic planning process designed to harvest key lessons learned from more than a decade of war, identify current and anticipated capability gaps, recognize emerging threats and provide a detailed analysis of the service’s investments in science and technology (S&T) and material development. As part of the 30-year plan, the Army is re-assessing S&T across all portfolios to create a detailed road map of our future capabilities, linking S&T investments with Programs of Record (PORs) and long-term sustainment strategy. This approach seeks to harness near-term capability and identify emerging technologies for the future in order […]

Common Operating Environment assists Army modernization

Common Operating Environment assists Army modernization

Kris Osborn   WASHINGTON – As the Army matures its Agile Process, steps are being taken to align systems engineering and integration in an effort to project and synchronize trends in technology and standards across Army programs now and in the future. An outcome of this alignment is that the system of systems engineering community is now shaping the Army’s network infrastructure to be more capable and efficient, enabling industry to build devices and applications to standards and align research and development with the Army’s acquisition roadmap. To support this effort, the Army acquisition community is implementing the Common Operating Environment (COE). The COE is an approved set of computing […]

Army lays out Network path ahead at industry day

Army lays out Network path ahead at industry day

Claire Heininger   ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – Facing both new missions and fiscal constraints, the Army will use the Network Integration Evaluations to respond to emerging requirements, make smarter acquisition decisions and keep pace with technological change, Army senior leaders told industry partners last week. Attended by approximately 200 industry representatives, with at least 45 percent of participants representing small businesses, the Network Integration Evaluation, or NIE, 14.1 Industry Day served to emphasize the Army’s commitment to the NIE construct, outline improvements to the process and keep the network industrial base informed of the Army’s needs and plans. Having listened to industry feedback from the first four NIEs, the […]

Operational Test Command completes Network Integration Evaluation 13.1

Operational Test Command completes Network Integration Evaluation 13.1

Eloise Lundgren   ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Dec. 11, 2012) –Testers, Soldiers, engineers and combat developers completed the fourth iteration of a series of semi-annual field exercises, called Network Integration Evaluations, at Fort Bliss, Texas, and White Sands Missile Range, N. M., just in time to get everyone home for the holidays. Managed by a group known as the Network Integration Evaluation, or NIE, “TRIAD”– Army Test and Evaluation Command, System of Systems Integration Directorate and Brigade Modernization Command — NIE 13.1 included several program tests for record, additional tests for record from distributed sites and less formal assessments called SUEs, which is short for Systems Under Evaluation. NIEs are […]

NIE drives technology growth, cost savings

NIE drives technology growth, cost savings

Claire Heininger, ASA (ALT)   ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (December 4, 2012) — Initial findings from the Army’s latest Network Integration Evaluation show steady progress toward improved, user-friendly tactical communications systems, as well as new efficiencies from the consolidation of test practices. Although the final technical evaluations and responses are still pending, the Army is reviewing early assessments from NIE 13.1, which concluded Nov. 17, and planning for NIE 13.2, which gets underway in May 2013. Observations from NIE 13.1 included a more stable network backbone, demand for a “mid-tier” networking radio for use by lower echelons, and better user collaboration through a common framework for operations and intelligence tools. […]

The ‘New’ Acquisition Workforce

The ‘New’ Acquisition Workforce

COL Gail Washington When you think of Army acquisition, you might picture PowerPoint briefings, memos for signature, Pentagon strategy sessions, or testimony on Capitol Hill. You probably don’t think of innovation in the desert. But during the past year, a team of military, civilian, and contractor personnel from across the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology community has expanded what it means to work in acquisition. As the Army executes Network Integration Evaluations (NIEs) as a key component of the Agile Process, these individuals—engineers, technicians, planners, operations experts, and other staffers of all stripes—are working constantly behind the scenes to ensure a successful transformative process. The […]