As part of the Army’s efforts to eventually unify its tactical and enterprise networks, the service is developing three pilot technologies designed to simplify the planning and management of its tactical network.
Technological leaps in ground station capabilities will enable the U.S. Army to use new Internet of Things satellite constellations to boost combat communications. Innovative capabilities offer lower latency, higher throughput and greater network resilience with ease of use.
Recent Army experiments, including the Network Modernization Experiment and Project Convergence, have included a range of technologies for enhancing and protecting satellite communications (SATCOM). The capabilities will support the service’s modernization goals such a more resilient network, long-range precision fires, and air and missile defense.
Long-extant technologies will team with advances only dreamed of in laboratories if planners have their way in building the Army network of the future. The service is revamping its approach to networking in light of changes to the warfighting picture, and its scientists are working on a multitude of complementary technologies and capabilities that will be needed to empower future Army networks.
The U.S. Army is looking toward the Internet of Things to reshape the future force for multidomain operations. Faced with the challenge of networking vast amounts of diverse sensors, the service views this type of networking as the solution to greater efficiency combined with increased capability.
Bruce D. Jette, assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology, emphasizes the importance of the Internet of Things (IoT) approach across the service. “The IoT has the potential to greatly improve and economize the way we will operate as an Army in the future,” he declares.
The U.S. Army is building a tighter relationship with industry to tap commercial expertise and avoid long procurement delays that often render new information technologies obsolete before they are fielded.
At the heart of this effort is Cherie A. Smith, program executive officer for enterprise information systems (PEO EIS), U.S. Army. After she assumed her position last year, Smith relates, she focused on making promises and seeking help. Since then, she has emphasized a shared relationship with industry.
The U.S. Army will be ditching some programs, re-engineering others and seeking innovative technologies to fill networking requirements created by a new operational reality, say the service’s information technology experts. Having a deliberate period of acquisition now, the service is able to incorporate flexibility and innovation into its plans to meet new requirements.
The U.S. Army’s major overhaul of its network may lead to a communications structure capable of conforming to an array of operational situations, including the possibility of providing offensive cyber and electronic warfare capabilities.
Two U.S. Army generals intimately involved in the modernization of the service’s network are considering a competition for industry and academia to come up with cutting-edge solutions, such as artificial intelligence, for the future network.
In an example of great minds thinking alike, Maj. Gen. Peter Gallagher, USA, who leads the network modernization cross-functional team (CFT), and Maj. Gen. David Bassett, USA, the program executive officer for command, control and communications-tactical (PEO C3T), recently realized during an interview with SIGNAL Magazine that both were thinking along the same lines.
In a little more than four months, the U.S. Army has made significant progress in its thrust to modernize its network for the warfighter. Following “a lot of introspection,” the Army is undergoing ”a wholesale shift” that already has generated two real changes, declares Lt. Gen. Bruce T. Crawford, USA, Army G-6 and chief information officer (CIO).
The U.S. Army is making some long-needed changes to the way it’s configuring the networks required to prepare for, conduct and win wars. With the promise of increased resources, the service plans to do more than just upgrade its information technology. Instead, it has designed a strategy that incorporates the successes of the past, adjusts where needed in the present and sets the stage for a future that takes advantage of innovative solutions.
Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, Army chief information officer (CIO)/G-6, said the service is interested in small satellite technology, dynamic spectrum access, the ability to leverage existing infrastructure, alternatives to space-based precision, navigation and timing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and air and ground robotics.
Gen. Crawford specified that the technologies are not capabilities gaps but instead are technological areas of interest. He made the comments while presenting a keynote speech at the AFCEA Army Signal Conference in Springfield, Virginia.
The U.S. Army has awarded a five-year, $81.5 million contract to Herndon, Virginia-based LGS Innovations. Under the contract, LGS will support the Army's Program Executive Officer Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS) Power Projection Enablers (P2E) team at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. LGS will assist the P2E in data network modernization as part of the Pacific Data Project. The data project seeks to create a single, secure standards-based network across 100 sites in the Asia Pacific Theater. Also, the effort will reduce the number of entry and exit points to enhance network security.
U.S. Army stakeholders are working together to steadily modernize the network that reaches from the home station to the tactical edge. To understand this effort, one needs to understand the changing mission requirement for the command element at home station to maintain a consistent, secure, and reliable connection with dispersed, tactical teams maneuvering on the battlefield.
The Department of Defense is seeing its adversaries utilize off-the-shelf technologies, mobile networks and commercial applications that the U.S. military itself is not using as well. With this recognition, the “winds of change” are beginning to blow through the agency. The U.S. Army in particular must dust off some of its aging procurement processes and leverage commercial technology to regain the advantage over its peer adversaries, warned Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, USA, Army chief information officer (CIO)/G-6 at the MILCOM 2017 conference in Baltimore on October 24.
To say that the Army’s network needs an update is an understatement. The 1.1 million user-network has, among other things, 17 mission command systems—all “stovepiped,” designed never to interact together. Some of the systems were used in the early 2000s to fight a static war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Beginning later this year, the U.S. Army will be updating mission command network software and hardware across 400 Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard units. The goal is to reduce more than a dozen mission command network software and hardware versions to one standard baseline. As a result, system complexity in the command-post environment will be mitigated, allowing for easier network initialization and sustainment.
The Defense Department's continued collaboration to streamline the whole of the military's information technology networks and systems, known as the Joint Information Environment, tops leaders' agendas and fiscal spending plans—now available with a caveat for decision makers, officials said.
Lt. Gen. Robert Ferrell, USA, Army chief information officer/G-6, has unveiled the publication of the Army Network Campaign Plan (ANCP). The ANCP is described as the overarching game plan that will drive the Army’s focus and unify the service’s effort to optimize operational effectiveness and increase network and information security while achieving increased efficiencies.
The U.S. Army is standing up a cyber brigade and considering a cyber branch, which has some questioning the future of the service's Signal Corps, but the Signal Corps will survive, Lt. Gen. Robert Ferrell, USA, the service’s chief information officer, said during a luncheon keynote speech at the AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2014 conference, Augusta, Georgia. “The Signal Corps will be enduring. It will not be going away,” Gen. Ferrell said. “You’re still going to be required to build, operate and defend the network.
The generals who lead the U.S. Army's cyber force are responding to a diminishing budget believe that changes to its architecture already under way will not only save money but also greatly increase military cybersecurity. Among the first advances are the introduction of servicewide enterprise email-a move that will save the service an estimated $500 million-and the introduction of secure computer tablets that accept CACs and allows individuals access to the data they need. Lt. Gen. Susan S.
The U.S. Defense Department is primed to take a first step toward the realization of the colossal concept of connecting its entire network system under the Joint Information Environment (JIE).
For more than a year, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), along with the Army, Air Force and defense contractor Lockheed Martin, has worked on the joint regional security stacks (JRSS), a key upgrade to streamline network operations and, officials say, improve security.