Tactical Operations

May 1, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman
A Joint Network Node (r) and a satellite transportable terminal, part of the U.S. Army’s Warfighter Information Network–Tactical (WIN–T) Increment 1, are set up at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. WIN–T Increment 1 has been fielded to the force, and work on Increment 2 aims to begin deployment this year.

The same approach used to test and implement the Army’s single largest networking system is laying the groundwork for extending the network down to the individual soldier. As laboratory tests and field exercises validate the interoperability of separate elements in a network, system conflicts are giving way to greater commonality among different elements.

This effort has borne fruit in the evolution of the Warfighter Information Network–Tactical (WIN–T). The last fielding of WIN–T Increment 1 took place in August 2012, and WIN–T Increment 2 is taking the final steps toward deployment. Meanwhile, WIN–T Increment 3 is beginning to take shape.

May 1, 2013
By Max Cacas
NATO coalition participants in CWIX 2012 man the Land Component Room at the Joint Forces Training Center in Bydgosczc, Poland. The facility will again host CWIX 2013 next month. (NATO Photo)

A military exercise designed to refine and improve the way coalition partners share vital information will, for the first time, include the network that is supporting troops in Afghanistan. Scheduled to take place in Poland next month, the event will feature military command and control communications experts from NATO, partner organizations and nations who share the goal of rigorously testing communications interoperability among coalition members. But one of the largest of those partners, the United States, is not taking a leading role in one of the newest, and most challenging areas, cybersecurity.

April 4, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

Future conflicts likely will be fought in degraded information technology environments, which will require the U.S. Navy to develop and exploit new capabilities to continue to operate in contested cyberspace. Technologies such as a flexible information grid, assured timing services and directed energy weapons must be part of the naval information system arsenal if the sea service is to maintain information dominance through the year 2028.

April 1, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman
The U.S. Army is striving to develop a multifunction electronic warfare, or MFEW, system that will provide a defensive electronic attack capability.

Melding the disciplines of spectrum combat will enable greater flexibility and more capabilities.

The growth in battlefield electronics has spurred a corresponding growth in electronic warfare. In the same manner that innovative technologies have spawned new capabilities, electronic warfare is becoming more complex as planners look to incorporate new systems into the battlespace.

April 1, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman
A U.S. Army soldier communicates inside his vehicle during the Army's Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) 12.2 in spring 2012.

Force support will change with both stateside relocation and a new way of functioning.

Support to the U.S. Army warfighter’s communications and electronics assets will be taking a new direction as the Army redeploys back to the United States following more than a decade of combat deployments in Southwest Asia. Years of field maintenance will transition to base support, and the many commercial devices incorporated into battlefield operations will require a new approach to service and sustainment.

March 1, 2013
BY Robert K. Ackerman
A Soldier from 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division uses the Joint Capabilities Release (JCR) during a U.S. Army Network Integration Evaluation (NIE). The successor to the Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below (FBCB2) system, the JCR will be a bridge to the Joint Battle Command-Platform, or JBC-P.

Aberdeen Proving Ground becomes the home of high-techology development, validation and deployment.

Consolidating its communications-electronics assets in a single location has given the U.S. Army vital resources and flexibility that it needs to address its changing information technology demands during a time of transition. This transition is twofold: not only is Army communications absorbing new commercial technologies and capabilities, the Army itself also is facing substantial changes as a force that has been overseas for more than a decade is redeploying back to its U.S. bases.

March 1, 2013
By Lt. Ben Kohlmann, USN

The defining images of the opening stages of the 2001 Afghanistan invasion were of bearded U.S. Special Operations forces on horseback talking with invisible air assets high overhead. Ancient transportation technology melded with cutting-edge communication protocols created an odd but appropriate scenario in the midst of a wholly unanticipated conflict. The synergy of high- and low-capability technologies likely will define 21st century conflicts, especially with foes we cannot currently imagine.

October 1, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman

The newly reconstituted Joint Staff office is not just picking up where the previous version left off.

November 2008
By Henry S. Kenyon

 
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA’s) LANdroids program seeks to solve urban communications problems faced by warfighters. The program is creating intelligent autonomous robotic relay nodes that can be scattered by soldiers as they enter a building.
Smart, mobile nodes will configure, manage tactical voice, data links.

November 2008
By Robert K. Ackerman

 
A U.S. Army sergeant communicates by radio with a tactical operations center as an Iraqi policeman stands by. Improved communications and networking equipment is pushing more data down to lower levels of operation in Iraq.
Yet power, weight, mobility and protection emerge as new issues.

November 2008
By Maryann Lawlor

 
Pfc. Christopher Dubios, USA, terminates fiber as part of the fiber upgrade project at Forward Operating Base Gardez in Afghanistan. The 4th Brigade Combat Team’s Signal Company conducted the project in support of the 1-61 Cavalry.
Tactical connectivity leads to strategic gains.

November 2008
By Clarence A. Robinson Jr.

November 2008
By Rita Boland

 
The Rifleman Radio is part of the Joint Tactical Radio System Handheld, Manpack, Soft Form Factor program and will bring communications to the tactical edge using an ad hoc network.
Warfighters will use devices to keep in contact and transmit location data.

October 2008
By Henry S. Kenyon

November 2007
By Rita Boland and Robert K. Ackerman

 
A U.S. Air Force MQ-1B Predator unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) takes off on patrol from Balad Air Base, Iraq. Not only do UAVs provide vital intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions over Iraq, they also may be called on to provide airborne communications links among forces throughout the region.
New battlefield capabilities are laying the groundwork for big-ticket programs.

November 2007
By Rita Boland

 
Soldiers from the 2nd Infantry Division, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, employ the Land Warrior system in Iraq. The 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry is the first unit to use the technology in combat operations.
The next generation of warfighting technology is deployed and changing how the military carries out missions.

November 2007
By Henry S. Kenyon

November 2007
By Rita Boland

October 2007
By Maryann Lawlor

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