The Army is two years into its aggressive front to modernize and shift to be a more agile, lethal force, moving away from counterinsurgency warfare. One of the service’s major priorities as part of that modernization effort is to create an integrated tactical network that can support soldiers fighting anywhere at anytime against near-peer adversaries in a contested environment, explained Maj. Gen.
The Army’s Project Manager Tactical Network Program is fielding the PacStar Secure Wireless Command Post solution that provides secure classified and unclassified Wi-Fi through a commercial solutions for classified (CSfC) component, the company reported on June 6. The Army began by outfitting the capabilities to the Expeditionary Signal Brigades, corps and division headquarters and Army brigade combat teams.
Portland, Oregon-based PacStar announced on May 21 that the U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) selected aspects of the company's Secure Wireless Command Post solution to support the Marine Air Ground Task force (MAGTF). The equipment includes network infrastructure, encryption and cybersecurity for the Marine Common Handheld (MCH) program. The MCH, a digital information processing and display system, provides integrated command and control (C2) and situational awareness to commanders, leaders and other C2 nodes, during tactical combat and combat support.
Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, USA, chief information officer/G-6, U.S. Army, suggests the possibility of an Internet of Strategic Things in addition to the Internet of Tactical Things.
“We’ve had some really good discussions about the Internet of Things. That was a thing a couple of years ago. And then we started talking about the Internet of Tactical Things. I think what’s on the horizon is more of a discussion of the Internet of Strategic Things,” Gen. Crawford told the audience on the second day of the AFCEA TechNet Cyber 2019 conference in Baltimore.
The U.S. Army is leading the charge on the military’s multidomain battle concept—but will federal IT networks enable this initiative, or inhibit it?
The network is critical to the Army’s vision of combining the defense domains of land, air, sea, space and cyberspace to protect and defend against adversaries on all fronts. As Gen. Stephen Townsend, USA, remarked to AFCEA conference attendees earlier this year, the Army is readying for a future reliant on telemedicine, 3D printing and other technologies that will prove integral to multidomain operations. “The network needs to enable all that,” said Townsend.
Army leaders are tackling the integration of modern network capabilities to push out broadly across the Army force structure over the next decade.
Maj. Gen. David Bassett, USA, program executive officer for Command, Control, Communications-Tactical (PEO-C3T) and Maj. Gen. Peter Gallagher, USA, director, Network Cross-Functional Team (Network CFT) are overseeing the effort and have developed an iterative plan to bring together network transport, mission command applications and services, all easily deployed to soldiers.
The U.S. Army already is delivering several components of an integrated tactical network (ITN), a concept designed to allow the service to keep pace with technological advances, insert new capabilities as they become available and address emerging threats.
The ITN focuses on a simplified, independent, mobile network solution that does not rely on a single component to provide enhanced network availability down to the small unit dismounted leader. It takes advantage of both commercial and military network transport to enable communications in disrupted, disconnected, intermittent and limited bandwidth environments, according to an Army article.
The division at the U.S Army’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC) that covers Expeditionary Mission Command (EMC) technologies has been busy. It has completed the development of more than 15 projects as part of its science and technology objectives.
Science Applications International Corp., Reston, Virginia, is awarded a potential value $116,232,173 indefinite-delivery/indefinite quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to provide sustainment support of integrated afloat and ashore tactical networks. The three-year contract includes one two-year option period which, if exercised, would bring the overall, potential value of this contract to an estimated $196,526,884. Work will be performed aboard Navy ships and Department of Defense installations and facilities worldwide by Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) Systems Center Pacific in San Diego, California (60 percent); and SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic in Norfolk, Virginia (40 percent). Work is expected to be completed J
Taking the network into battle can be challenging for Army soldiers operating on the tactical edge. The Army’s Command Post Computing Environment, known as CP CE, is an integrated mission command system that supports warfighters across intelligence, fires, logistics, maneuvers and airspace management capabilities. The need for this system to include open system architecture and be interoperable, cost effective and cyber secure are key goals of the Product Manager Mission Command (PM MC) of the Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T).
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.
As the military, including the U.S. Army, works to update network command systems, size, weight, power and capability improvements are central, especially when paired with cybersecurity protections. The network improvements provide key flexibility and operations for tactical missions and command posts.
Oceaneering International Inc., Hanover, Maryland, is being awarded a potential $19,331,128 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to develop and demonstrate novel technology options and designs to restore connectivity for tactical data networks using small diameter optical fiber and buoy relay nodes. This is an 18-month contract with no options. Work will be performed at the contractor's facilities in Maryland (75 percent); and government test facilities in Southern California (25 percent). Work is expected to be completed September 5, 2018. Fiscal 2017 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount $4,000,000 will be obligated at the time of award. Contract funds will not expire at the en
While today’s U.S. Army tactical network provides commanders with voice and data capabilities to connect soldiers at the lowest echelon, it is pieced together with myriad mismatched systems that were not designed to work well together. The solution, born of necessity, increases the number and size of communication platforms for soldiers and introduces a great deal of complexity to how they interact with networks.
iGov Technologies, Reston, Va., received an increase in the contract maximum from $530 million to $566 million for U.S. Special Operations Command’s (USSOCOM) tactical local area network (TACLAN). The contracting office is USSOCOM MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.