Defense

September 10, 2012

Army evaluates coalition communications through NIE process

Tags:
Claire Heininger
Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.
Army photograph by Amy Walker
A company command post is shown at the Network Integration Evaluation 12.2. During a recent lab-based risk reduction event held as part of the Network Integration Evaluation process, the Army demonstrated the ability to share information at the company level across the various mission command systems used by the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.

The U.S. Army is bringing coalition partners into its future tactical communications network through the Network Integration Evaluation process.

During a risk reduction event held last month at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., the Army demonstrated the ability to share information at the company level across the various mission command systems used by the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.

The laboratory assessment will feed into the Army’s execution of the Network Integration Evaluations, or NIEs, a series of semi-annual, soldier-driven field evaluations designed to further integrate and mature the Army’s tactical network, and accelerate and improve the way network technologies are delivered to soldiers.

To date, the NIEs have focused on establishing an integrated network baseline that links all echelons of the brigade combat team from the static tactical operations center to the commander on-the-move to the dismounted Soldier. Future NIEs will connect partner nations to that network.

“The NIE will allow us to evaluate communications solutions for coalition forces in a realistic operational environment, and quickly improve them based on Soldier feedback,” said Brig. Gen. Daniel Hughes, director of Army System of Systems Integration, or SoSI. “By using the Aberdeen Proving Ground network labs, we get an early look at potential solutions in preparation for future NIE operational exercises, and allow the coalition partners to share lessons-learned on both technology capability and integration challenges.”

The demonstration scenario required the Army to transmit messages between company command posts for each nation, using industry radios that are under evaluation as part of the NIE. The goal was to combine the information from each country’s mission command technology into a shared commander’s vision of the battlefield, so “(you’re) seeing the same picture I’m seeing,” said C.A. Aiken, a senior systems engineer for the Canadian National Defence Department.

The scenario reflects the reality of circumstances faced by partner nations in theater today, where the force elements they contribute may be task organized at levels far lower than previously envisioned and yet need to communicate with one another directly and dynamically, said British Army Lt. Col. Philip Deans, SoSI international embedded officer. Performing such tests helps determine “how to be interoperable using our native systems, thereby reducing training times and removing costs,” he said.

Senior representatives from the visiting nations said the event offered an opportunity to collaborate on budget and requirements challenges as well as on innovative technology. They expressed interest in the Army’s new Agile Process approach to acquisition, which is designed to procure critical capabilities in a more rapid, cost-effective manner by soliciting mature solutions from industry, then integrating and evaluating them at NIE.

The strategy of integrating network technologies earlier in the development cycle will pay dividends not only for the U.S., but across the coalition, said Brigadier Barry Neil McManus, Australia. “The ability for us to do this from the start of an opportunity is the very clear emphasis here,” he said. “It’s activities like this that bring us closer and closer together.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines January 23, 2015

News: Two Marines identified in deadly California helo crash - Two Marine Corps officers killed when their helicopter crashed during a training exercise in the Southern California desert were remembered Jan. 25 as talented pilots. Greek F-16 crashes in Spain during NATO exercise - Ten people died Jan. 26 after a Greek air force F-16 jet crashed...
 
 

News Briefs January 26, 2015

Navy wants to increase use of sonar-emitting buoys The U.S. Navy is seeking permits to expand sonar and other training exercises off the Pacific Coast, a proposal raising concerns from animal advocates who say that more sonar-emitting buoys would harm whales. The Navy now wants to deploy up to 720 sonobuoys about 12 miles off...
 
 
Air National Guard photograph by SSgt. Annie Edwards

ANG conducts air refueling training with NATO allies in Germany

Air National Guard photograph by SSgt. Annie Edwards A NATO E-3A AWACS aircraft approaches a Utah Air National Guard KC-135R Stratotanker for air refueling during a training flight over Germany on Jan. 13, 2015. Nearly 30 airme...
 

 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Armando A. Schwier-Morales

Ramstein Airmen train with French air force

Air Force photograph by SrA. Armando A. Schwier-Morales Two U.S. Air Force pilots and a French air force navigator discuss the route to the drop zone during a simulated low-level drop Jan. 21, 2015, at Orleans – Bricy Air...
 
 

Marines receive first F-35C Lightning II carrier variant

The first F-35C Lightning II, carrier variant, for the U.S. Marine Corps touched-down on the flight line at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 13, from the Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth, Texas, to begin training in support of carrier-based operations. U.S. Marine Lt. Col. J.T. Ryan, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 501 detachment commander...
 
 

VA announces single regional framework under MyVA initiative

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Jan. 26 that it is taking the first steps under the MyVA initiative to realign its many organizational maps into one map with five regions to better serve Veterans. The new regions under the MyVA alignment will allow VA to begin the process of integrating disparate organizational boundaries into...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>