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.


 
 

 
Army photograph

Fifth generation Army tank cartridge reports loudly for duty

Army photograph A new tank cartridge was recently tested at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. Pictured here are: (from left) Kent Evans, TRADOC Capability Manager – Armored Brigade Combat Team; Kevin Mulligan, Armament Researc...
 
 

Acquisition community works to improve tradecraft

Everything the defense acquisition community is doing now is being done to improve its tradecraft, Katrina G. McFarland, the assistant secretary of defense for acquisition said April 16. McFarland made the comments at the National Defense Industrial Associations National Logistics Forum. Improving tradecraft is something DOD would want to do in the best of times,...
 
 
B1a

B-1B software upgrade to ensure future warfighting capabilities

Air Force photograph by Ethan Wagner An Edwards B-1B Lancer takes off on April 1, 2014, to begin testing its new Sustainment Block 16A software upgrades. The SB 16A software will work in conjunction with the long-range bomberĂ­...
 

 

45th Space Wing launches NRO Satellite on board Atlas V

The 45th Space Wing successfully launched a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., at 1:45 p.m. April 10 carrying a classified national security payload. The payload was designed and built by the National Reconnaissance Office. “I am proud of the persistence and focus of the...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Carlin Leslie

Smarter spending for Air Force acquisitions

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Carlin Leslie Maj. Gen. Wendy Masiello briefs attendees April 16, 2014, on how today’s budget environment is driving change for both government and industry as part of the Air Force Associati...
 
 
DOD photograph by Marine Corps Sgt. Aaron Hostutler

U.S., Poland defense leaders find new areas for cooperation

DOD photograph by Marine Corps Sgt. Aaron Hostutler Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel hosts a press briefing with Poland’s Minister of National Defense Tomasz Siemoniak at the Pentagon, April 17, 2014. Amid deep concerns about...
 




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>