Fixed Regional Hub Nodes (FRHNs)
What is it?
The fixed regional hub nodes (FRHNs) are one of four types of Warrior Information Network–Tactical (WIN-T) increment one satellite nodes. Five FRHNs will be deployed at fixed operational base locations so that they can provide near worldwide coverage. FRHNs will allow satellite, voice, and data services to be provisioned and pre-positioned to support deploying forces as they flow into a theater of operation. They will be located in the European, Southwest Asia, and Western Pacific theaters, as well as on the United States east and west coasts. The first FRHN is expected to be operational in Southwest Asia in December 2007.
The largest of the four hub node types, the FRHN can accomplish the following:
- Provide primary hub node connectivity frequency division multiple access and timed division multiple access and services for tactical users during their initial arrival and subsequent movements into a theater of operation
- Provide timed division multiple access management support enabling intra-theater brigade-to-brigade level routing and network services
- Provide continuity of operations for mobile and tactical hubs
- Provide primary hub node connectivity and services to expeditionary units (e.g., brigade combat teams) not deploying with a tactical hub node
The FRHN can be divided logically into three subcomponents: satellite communications, baseband services, and network operations and user services. Each FRHN is co-located with a Department of Defense gateway, which enables cost savings by the sharing of common infrastructure (e.g., power, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) and access to that infrastructure.
What has the Army done?
The after-action reviews from operations in Iraq and Afghanistan illustrated a need to transition from a primarily voice-switched network to a data-based network. To further support this requirement, a task force from the Army’s Signal Center identified critical network communication gaps in support of maneuver elements. To remedy these gaps in the network and to provide communication support for “battle command on the move” and at the “quick halt,” a net-centric multipoint satellite network is required. This type of network provides crucial battle command information from theater to corps, division, brigade, and for the first time, down to maneuver battalion at a high speed.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army is planning to continue the deployment of these FRHNs. The node in Southwest Asia will be commissioned in January 2008, followed by the node in Europe. These nodes will back each other up and provide continuity of operations for tactical hub nodes also. After the deployment and activation of these nodes, the Army will continue with the node in the Western Pacific theater, followed by the nodes on the east coast and then the west coast of the continental United States. These nodes will support Army forces worldwide, as well as forces involved in future natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina.
Why is this important to the Army?
The FRHNs play a critical role in the Army’s migration to the WIN–T. As a centralized operational base support node to tactical assets, the FRHNs facilitate the projected migration to a network architecture with ubiquitous low-latency access to operational base (strategic) services and begin the transformation from the current “federation of networks” to an integrated network service provisioning and management paradigm.