Changing network, new name

Changing network, new name

In continuing evolution of its network, Army renames WIN-T program office PM Tactical Network by Ms. Amy Walker As the Army continues to modernize its network in today’s complex world, it has renamed its tactical communications network transport program office from the Project Manager for Warfighter Information Network – Tactical (PM WIN-T) to PM Tactical Network. The new name, which the Army initiated over a year ago, more accurately reflects the numerous programs within the PM’s portfolio, not just the core at-the-halt WIN-T Increment 1 and on-the-move WIN-T Increment 2. PM Tactical Network still manages WIN-T Increment 1 and WIN-T Increment 2, and those names will remain the same. But […]

Partnering at the Speed of Cyber

Partnering at the Speed of Cyber

Stakeholders broke out of traditional roles while testing and evaluating cybersecurity at NIE 16.2, learning that when red and blue teams talk earlier and more often, cyber systems get stronger. by Lt. Col. Jeff Strauss and Mr. Robert Wedgeworth The ever-increasing complexity and interconnectivity of Army tactical networks and mission command systems, along with the requirement for mission assurance in the contested domain of cyberspace, present a unique challenge to operational testing and evaluation (T&E). The challenges in cyber (T&E) stem from several factors, first among them the sheer number of devices and the amount of data they exchange. These, when coupled with the growing size, evolution and complexity of […]

Rapid prototyping leads to quick delivery of airborne command post solution

Rapid prototyping leads to quick delivery of airborne command post solution

By Kathryn Bailey, CERDEC Command, Power & Integration Directorate ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — The Army recently began fielding a network communications system that provides real-time, in-flight situational awareness to commanders and paratroopers to better support forcible entry operations from takeoff to jump. The Enroute Mission Command Capability, or EMC2, came about by way of a government-to-government development partnership that produced a ruggedized network and workspace solution for the C-17 aircraft. “When we received the EMC2 requirements from the Army, we knew we would require specialized engineering support to quickly build what is essentially a flying command post,” said. Lt. Col. Joel Babbitt, product manager for Warfighter Information Network-Tactical Increment […]

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 […]

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 […]

Smart Sustainment

Smart  Sustainment

Tobyhanna workforce supports the current and future Army network, one idea at a time By Mr. Gary P. Martin, MG Daniel P. Hughes and COL Gerhard P.R. Schröter When you’re at war, sustainment can be one of the last things on your mind. The Army acquisition community’s top priority for the last 13 years was to get equipment out the door rapidly and into Soldiers’ hands. If that required the occasional but necessary increased cost for repair or field support to ensure that troops had what they needed when they needed it, that was something to sort out later. Later has arrived—and with it, an opportunity to be more strategic […]

Training on the Virtual Net

Training on the Virtual Net

Video game-like approach reduces classroom time, increases engagement By Maj. Naim R. Lee, Ms. Caroline McCarthy and Dr. Samuel Johnson Today’s Soldiers have grown up in the digital age. They play video games that enable friends and even strangers to team up online to slay aliens, combat terrorists and save the world. They take advanced high school and college classes online, and their smartphones are almost an appendage. “Death by PowerPoint” is no longer an effective means of training, especially on the Army’s advanced network and communications equipment. Soldiers are now learning faster and more efficiently, immersed in operational scenarios within virtual training environments and using the power of their […]

Network hotspot evolves with Soldier input

Network hotspot evolves with Soldier input

By Claire Heininger, PEO C3T   ABDERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (June 24, 2014) — The SNE is getting a mission makeover. The Soldier Network Extension (SNE), which delivers the Army’s mobile tactical network backbone to the company level, is evolving from a vehicle used by the company commander to an information hotspot allowing other Soldiers to plug in, make phone calls and send and receive data from anywhere on the battlefield — from an Afghan polling place to an air assault observation point. The changes, based on user feedback from Capability Set (CS) 13 fielded units and the Army’s Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) events, are also making the SNE more […]

Simplify, Simplify

Simplify, Simplify

Future network must make it easier for Soldiers to train, plan, operate from garrison to foxhole By Brig. Gen. Daniel P. Hughes and Ms. Jennifer Zbozny When you think “modernization,” the next word that comes to mind probably isn’t “simplify.” Progress often implies more systems, with greater complexity—saturating Soldiers with technology and then surging the underlying infrastructure necessary to support everything from power to training. But does it have to? As we plan the Army’s future tactical communications network—a top modernization priority as the Army transitions to a smaller but still highly capable force—we have a different vision. Picture a landscape in which Soldiers can start up a wireless command […]

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 […]