C5ISR

November 1, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
U.S. Air Force airmen monitor computers in support of the Advanced Battle Management System Onramp 2 exercise in September at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. The military held multiple exercises this fall that proved some of the initial concepts of joint warfighting across all domains. Credit: Air Force photo by Senior Airman Daniel Hernandez

The U.S. military is rapidly pursuing Joint All-Domain Command and Control, known as JADC2, as a way to confront near-peer adversaries China, Russia and other nations. The effort requires innovative computing, software and advanced data processing; emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud and 5G communications; along with integration of the military’s existing legacy systems. Leaders have learned that to fully implement JADC2, they have to shed some of the military’s old practices.

October 28, 2020
By George I. Seffers
The Tactical Assault Kit (TAK) is a map-based software application that enables coordination among thousands of users with features such as a position data, chat, mission planning and shared overlays. Army researchers say it is being integrated with unmanned vehicles, virtual reality, wearable computers and heads up displays. Credit: U.S. Army CCDC C5ISR Center

The U.S. Army’s infinitely adaptable situational awareness tool created a decade ago continues to find new uses thanks to artificial intelligence, wearable computers, virtual reality, unmanned systems and other cutting-edge technologies.

The Tactical Assault Kit (TAK) is a map-based software application that enables coordination among thousands of users with features such as a position data, chat, mission planning and shared overlays. It is compatible with Android, Apple iOS and Windows. The Air Force, FBI, Secret Service, U.S. Park Police and Special Operations Forces are among the organizations that have customized it for their own purposes.

October 19, 2020
By George I. Seffers
The Department of Defense has selected a mobile power program from Army Futures Command to increase the speed at which on-the-move power capabilities are delivered to the battlefield. Credit: Army photo by Dan Lafontaine, CCDC C5ISR Center Public Affairs

U.S. Army researchers plan to demonstrate in December and March capabilities that could lead to a secure, mobile power grid capable of automatically providing electricity from the best available source, including batteries, vehicles or diesel generators.

September 2, 2020
 

Compass Systems Inc.,* Lexington Park, Maryland, is awarded a $7,690,800 cost-plus-fixed-fee order (N68335-20-F-0698) against previously-issued basic ordering agreement N68335-18-G-0035. The order procures command, control, communications, computers, combat systems, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C5ISR) technology advancement to enhance communication techniques with Operational Mapping and Networked Intelligence technology (OMNI). The order provides support to the Aircraft Prototyping System division to include continued OMNI research for technology enhancement, prototype development, test, evaluation and labor for integrating these new techniques into C5ISR sensors, sensor systems and aerial platforms.

August 12, 2020
By George I. Seffers
The U.S. Army wants to automate planning for primary, alternate, contingency and emergency (PACE) communications. A so-called intelligent engine will suffice in the short term, but over time, service officials expect artificial intelligence to conduct PACE planning.  (U.S. Army photo courtesy of the Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications-Tactical)

The U.S. Army wants an automated communications planning system. In the short term, researchers expect to use an “intelligent engine” but in the future, artificial intelligence will likely take over the task.

Planning communications for different conditions is commonly known as PACE planning. The acronym stands for “primary, alternate, contingency and emergency” communications. Different situations call for different communications systems, explains Michael Brownfield, chief of the Army Future Capabilities Office within the Combat Capabilities Development Command’s research organization formally named the Command and Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) Center.

July 30, 2020
By George I. Seffers
The Army’s CCDC C5ISR Center uses field experimentation, such as the annual Network Modernization Experiment, to evaluate the maturity of DOD and industry technologies early in the research and development cycle and in a relevant, threat-based environment. Credit: U.S. Army

During the Army’s Network Modernization Experiment 2020 that kicked off last week, researchers are attacking fledgling systems with electronic warfare capabilities that near-peer adversaries are not expected to possess for years to come, officials say.

June 1, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Program Executive Office Command Control Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T), through its Program Manager Tactical Network, equips a brigade combat team in the 82nd Airborne Division with the an inflatable satellite communications system known as T2C2. Brig. Gen. Robert Collins, USA, takes over as the new PEO C3T on June 1 and says he will continue the key efforts to modernize the service's tactical communications. Credit: U.S. Army photo by Amy Walker, PEO C3T

With key knowledge of the Army’s necessary sensors, intelligence and electronic warfare capabilities, Brig. Gen. Robert Collins, USA, today steps into the role of Program Executive Office Command Control Communications-Tactical, or PEO C3T. Gen. Collins replaces newly promoted Lt. Gen. David Bassett, USA, who becomes the director of the Defense Contract Management Agency.

May 1, 2020
By George I. Seffers
U.S. Army soldiers take a break on a mountain in Afghanistan. The Army delivered its first tactical cloud computing system to Afghanistan about 10 years ago and is exploring the potential use of a data fabric to unify information across cloud systems, enhancing interoperability and mission agility.  Images provided by Sgt. 1st Class Jasmine L. Flowers, USA, and s_maria/Shutterstock. Edited by Chris D’Elia.

Officials at one of the U.S. Army’s premier research and development centers are exploring the possibility of adding a so-called data fabric to the service’s original tactical cloud system. The concept could improve interoperability, aid the convergence of intelligence and operations information and allow service leaders to completely rethink future Army operations.

March 25, 2020
 

CACI Inc. - Federal, Chantilly, Virginia, is awarded $180,336,750 for a single award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, performance based, cost-plus-fixed-fee, level-of-effort contract (N65236-20-D-8003) to provide special operations communications systems, satellite communications (SATCOM) and network support services. Work will be performed in Fayetteville, North Carolina (65%); continental U.S. (20%); outside continental U.S. (10%); and Tampa, Florida (5%).

March 1, 2020
By George I. Seffers
The Army Rapid Capabilities Office uses the Network Integration Evaluation exercises to gain soldier feedback on electronic warfare prototypes. The service expects to make advances this year on reintroducing sophisticated electronic warfare technologies back into the force.  Original image by Sgt. Maricris C.McLane, 24th Press Camp Headquarters. Edited by Chris D’Elia.

This year the Army will take several steps in the march toward reintroducing cutting-edge electronic warfare systems capable of countering near-peer competitors.

February 1, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
A U.S. Marine with 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, fast ropes from a MV-22B Osprey during drills in November at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Technologies fielded by the service’s Command Element Systems must be lightweight and effective for expeditionary forces.  U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Matthew Kirk, USMC

A Marine Corps of the future with a “reinvigorated Fleet Marine Force” and a strong Marine Expeditionary Force requires robust command and control and other advanced communications technologies, says the service’s top leader. As such, the Marine Corps Systems Command’s Command Element Systems is pursuing advanced satellite communications, electronic warfare, biometrics and other solutions.

December 1, 2019
By George I. Seffers
Army C5ISR Center employee Donovan Sweet conducts research for the C4ISR Modular Autonomy project at Camp Grayling, Michigan, in October. The Army wants to build a fast, agile and lethal Remote Combat Vehicle capable of avoiding electronic warfare and cyber attacks. Credit: Dan LaFontaine, Army public affairs official

The U.S. Army envisions future robotic vehicles that are easy for soldiers to operate while proving difficult for enemy forces to detect, jam or hack. Researchers at one of the service’s premier research and development centers are racing to build the sensors, communications links and software needed to make that vision a reality.

November 20, 2019
 

BAE Systems Technology Solutions & Services Inc., Rockville, Maryland, is awarded a $104,775,349 cost-plus-fixed-fee, cost reimbursable, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. This contract will provide engineering and technical services to support production, lifetime support engineering and in-service engineering for the radio communication system/command, control, communications, computers, combat systems, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems aboard Navy surface combatants and at associated shore sites.

October 1, 2019
By George I. Seffers
The Army Futures Command executed a radio rodeo with industry throughout June to determine the network requirements needed to enable autonomous vehicle support in contested, multidomain environments. The newly created command has overhauled the way it communicates its needs to industry, allowing companies to more quickly design and deliver systems to meet those needs.  U.S. Army illustration courtesy of CCDC GVSC

The U.S. Army’s recently created Futures Command achieved full operational capability in July, but improving communications with industry and delivering technologies into the hands of soldiers may be its most buzzed about achievement.

There’s a common phrase in military circles about building the plane while flying it. That phrase could easily describe Futures Command’s efforts to carry on the mission at the same time officials were hiring staff, deciding on a headquarters location, building that headquarters, educating others on the command’s mission, and handling myriad other tasks and challenges associated with establishing a brand-new command.

August 23, 2019
By George I. Seffers
C5ISR Center computer scientist Zach Kjellberg tests position, navigation and timing (PNT) system at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. The center is developing new PNT technologies in support of Army modernization efforts. Credit: Dan Lafontaine, CCDC C5ISR Center PAO

Potential adversaries studied the U.S. military’s former joint warfare known as LandAirSea, and developed long-range, or standoff capabilities to counter that strategy. To counter the standoff concept, the U.S. Army has developed a multidomain operations strategy, William “Chuck” Hoppe, director, Science, Technology and Engineering, at the Army’s Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) Center, explained on the final day of the AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2019 conference.

August 16, 2019
By Maryann Lawlor
During the radio rodeo, the C5ISR Center places industry radios into an operationally relevant field environment to assess their ability to operate on the move in a contested, multidomain environment. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army Photo Courtesy of PEO C3T)

The modernization, proliferation and commoditization of electronics make contending with peer and near-peer adversaries more difficult, according to Chuck Hoppe, director of science, technology and engineering at the U.S. Army’s Combat Capability Development Command C5ISR Center. “For every good thing we bring out of technology, someone inevitability wants to use it for nefarious purposes. That has been the biggest change in the past 20 years, and it’s what made things significantly more deadly and lethal,” he says.

August 1, 2019
By George I. Seffers
Soldiers participate in live-fire training during Exercise Saber Guardian in Varpalota, Hungary on June 5. U.S. Army Europe and Romanian land forces lead Saber Guardian, which is designed to improve the integration of multinational combat operations. Army Spc. Joseph Knoch

The Integrated Tactical Network is the name of the Army’s envisioned future network, and integration is the name of the game for one of the service’s premier research and development centers.

The mission for the newly named Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) Center remains largely the same, but seamless integration of those eight closely related technology areas is now a primary focus, according to Michael Monteleone, who directs the C5ISR Center’s Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate.

July 2, 2019
 

Yulista Support Services,* Huntsville, Alabama, was awarded a $226,911,155 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for maintenance and modifications of C5ISR flight activity platforms. Bids were solicited via the internet with zero received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of June 19, 2024. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity (W56KGU-19-D-0002). *Small Business

May 9, 2019
 

Atlanta-based Envistacom reported on May 9 that it will be providing Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Combat Systems, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) support to the U.S. Navy and the Marines Corps under two Department of Defense indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts: the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command​'s C4I Integrated International Solutions (CIIS) contract and the SeaPort-NxG IDIQ vehicle. The CIIS contract supports the acquisition and procurement of interoperable communication systems, and engineering, implementation and sustainment services by U.S.

August 23, 2018
 

BAE Systems, Technology Solutions and Services Inc., Rockville, Maryland, is awarded an $83,479,530 cost-plus-fixed-fee, cost reimbursable indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. The company will provide up to a maximum of 1,012,800 hours of direct labor support services. Tasking includes maintenance, integrated logistic support, management, life cycle sustainment, and the upgrade of current systems; such as the Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Combat Systems, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance system (C5ISR); using new and emerging technologies in support of the Special Communications Mission Solutions Division.

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