Information Papers - Transform
Warfighter Information Network–Tactical
What is it?
Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) is the Army’s fully mobile, tactical communications network system. It is designed to provide reliable, secure, and seamless video, data, imagery, and voice services that enable decisive combat actions. It will move information in a manner that supports commanders, staff, and functional units while enabling full and continuous mobility of large formations.
As the Army’s tactical portion of the Global Information Grid (GIG) network, WIN-T will enable deployed forces to collaborate with GIG services and capabilities (databases, collectors, and national agencies) to increase information-enabled operations. Such collaboration to date has required various Department of Defense (DoD) and other governmental agencies to create multiple private networks or deploy agencies forward. WIN-T was designed not only to replace the mobile subscriber equipment (MSE), but will also replace the current tactical intelligence and logistics networks as a single integrated network.
It will be optimized for offensive and Joint operations by providing bandwidth on the move through a network that is:
- Self-forming. Units moving on the battlefield can automatically switch communications between WIN-T nodes without massive configuration changes.
- Self-healing. The loss of one element doesn’t disrupt the network.
- Scalable. Support can be easily expanded from a small task force to a large formation.
- Interoperable with current Army and Joint Forces.
WIN-T’s architecture contains individual configuration items consisting of switching, routing, and subscriber access nodes; relays; transmission systems; and personal communications devices—all fielded from corps level and above to battalion level. This infrastructure guarantees high-capacity throughput, assured security, and network management. It manages, prioritizes, and protects information in an uninterrupted means to get the right information to the right Soldier at the right time.
What has the Army done?
The Army has recognized the need for technical adaptation to modernize its network to meet the demands of asymmetrical warfare. Meeting the networking needs of the current and the future modular forces is an urgent necessity. The Army examined the information, automation, and communication lessons learned from Soldiers’ experiences such as Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom, and determined operational concepts had changed significantly and Soldier expectations for mobility and offensive orientation had outgrown the scope of the current communications capabilities. WIN-T was designed to fill the gap and implement the Army’s tactical portion of the GIG architecture for the transforming Army force.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army is working to incrementally introduce enhanced capabilities to the force. Joint Network Node (JNN) is an at-the-halt communications system and an interim replacement for the antiquated MSE to support the current Soldier until WIN-T arrives. As the bridge to WIN-T, JNN provides the very basic support requirements of the current Soldier. WIN-T will provide the enhanced communications network required for the future force. The Army has shifted WIN-T’s focus to support the future modular force and future combat systems. Its immediate priority is to enable the integration and testing of points of presence for Future-Combat-System platforms, with key delivery dates in the period 2008–2009. As select technologies become available, they will be introduced as potential capabilities to enhance current force systems, including the JNN.
Why is this important to the Army?
WIN-T provides an unprecedented network reliability and flexibility, enabling continuous flow of communications that is interoperable with Joint, allied, coalition and current Army modular force networks. It also allows for on-the-move communications and en-route planning and rehearsal. Such tailored capabilities look to provide the right information to the appropriate place. This increased capability will enhance both the staff planning process and the Commander's ability to execute the close fight. A key capability of WIN-T is its integrated network operations, enabling network monitoring, planning, and control so that it is completely responsive to the needs of the warfighting commander.