Digital experts optimize field support for regionally aligned, agile Army

Digital experts optimize field support for regionally aligned, agile Army

By Nancy Jones-Bonbrest ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (MARCH 11, 2015) — As the Army continues to modernize while simultaneously addressing drawdown and budget constraints, the service is streamlining the way it delivers field support for its communications and network systems. Taking on an increasingly crucial role in this realignment are Digital Systems Engineers (DSEs) – the go-to experts who link Soldiers with the right level of support. Bringing technical expertise and operational knowledge from deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan and other hotspots, DSEs are now fostering a system of systems approach to providing training, troubleshooting, cybersecurity and support for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) equipment. “The DSE […]

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 […]

Testing the Waters

Testing the Waters

ATEC, PEO C3T explore new paradigms for testing emerging technologies By MG Peter D. Utley and MG Daniel P. Hughes For as long as there has been a professional Army, there has been testing to make sure Soldiers get weapon systems that work. We are experts at testing tanks and trucks, howitzers and helmets, antennas and ammunition. But what about an Android app, downloaded in the field to a ruggedized smartphone or tablet? Or a commercially developed radio that adds range and drops weight every other year? These are the questions the Army test and acquisition communities are tackling today to align our testing approaches to the innovative and adaptable […]

History in the Making

History in the Making

By Steve Stark FORT BELVOIR, Va. — Every edition of the U.S. Army Weapon Systems handbook since 1989 is now available in the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center’s new online archive. Since 1989, the U.S. Army Weapon Systems Handbook has served as a critical reference document that informs key stakeholders and audiences—primarily Congress—about high-priority Army acquisition programs in a comprehensive and understandable format, while presenting essential information reflecting the strategic context in which the Army operates. Each handbook provides critical information through visual and written program profiles that describe each system’s purpose, capability, program status, projected activities and interdependencies with other key systems. Many of the systems from the first […]

#AAC25 Army releases Rifleman Radio draft RFP, opens competition, creates ‘radio marketplace’

#AAC25 Army releases Rifleman Radio draft RFP, opens competition, creates ‘radio marketplace’

By PEO C3T ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (May 28, 2014) — The U.S. Army has released a draft Request for Proposals to procure additional Rifleman Radios using full and open competition. The draft Request for Proposal, known as an RFP, which was posted May 21, to the Federal Business Opportunities website at www.fbo.gov, moves the Army toward Full Rate Production for the Rifleman Radio, part of the Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit program. Under the full and open competition approach, the Army will award contracts to multiple vendors, creating a “radio marketplace” where vendors will compete for delivery orders as needed, after they achieve technical and operational requirements. “The full […]

#AAC25 Army advances mid-tier radio for battlefield network

#AAC25 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 fielding […]

#AAC25 101st Airborne advances training with Army network

#AAC25 101st Airborne advances training with Army network

By Claire Heininger, PEO C3T FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (March 20, 2014) — As they prepare for their first large-scale air assault exercise since before 9/11, the Soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) are not just getting “back to basics” with their core mission — they are using the Army’s new tactical network to take it to the next level. In April, the 3rd Brigade Combat Team and other elements of the 101st Airborne Division will conduct Operation Golden Eagle, a four-day training event focused on executing the expeditionary air assault mission and updating the doctrine that supports it, known as the Gold Book. New to that fight are […]

#AAC25 Beyond JTRS

#AAC25 Beyond JTRS

Pentagon, Army realign radio programs, stand up Joint Tactical Networking Center By Mr. Kris Osborn and Ms. Claire Heininger To provide needed communication capabilities to Soldiers, the Army has placed significant emphasis on advances in tactical radio technology aimed at driving industry innovation in hardware while leveraging years of government investment in software. In recent months, DOD transitioned the Joint Program Executive Office Joint Tactical Radio System (JPEO JTRS), reassigning its key hardware programs to the Army and Navy. Additionally, the Joint Tactical Networking Center (JTNC) was established to provide secure joint tactical networking applications that can operate in a variety of hardware transport solutions through an affordable, government-controlled open […]

#AAC25 Mission command goes mobile

#AAC25 Mission command goes mobile

By Nancy Jones-Bonbrest, PEO C3T ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Dec. 3, 2013) — Just as many Americans continue to unplug and go mobile, so does Army mission command. As a vital link between dismounted Soldiers and their higher headquarters, tactical vehicles are evolving into mobile mission command centers – strapped with the latest in situational awareness and messaging technology. This fiscal year the Army plans to field Joint Battle Command-Platform, or JBC-P, the next-generation system providing mounted mission command, friendly force tracking and situational awareness capabilities. JBC-P will also serve as the first version of the Mounted Computing Environment, known as the MCE, one of six computing environments that make […]

#AAC25 New network provides ‘digital guardian angel’ for Soldiers in Afghanistan

#AAC25 New network provides ‘digital guardian angel’ for Soldiers in Afghanistan

By Claire Heininger and Amy Walker, U.S. Army ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Aug. 19, 2013) — The Army’s new, mobile tactical communications network has reached Afghanistan, where U.S. forces are relying on the technologies to stay connected and cover more ground. From tracking the progress of small groups of Soldiers at remote outposts to directing operations while traveling through mountainous terrain, the unit is leveraging Capability Set 13, or CS 13, to communicate and carry out its advise-and-assist missions in support of the Afghan National Security Forces. “The enhanced situational awareness given to us by this suite of technology has allowed us to maintain a ‘digital guardian angel’ as we […]