Rakkasans develop System of Systems training
December 17, 2013
3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. - Soldiers of the 3rd BCT, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), recently completed initial fielding and training of new communication systems that will provide leaders with the ability to better command their troops while on the move.
While the Rakkasan Brigade is not the first to make use of the Capability Set 2013 equipment and other new technologies, they are the first in the Army to train their personnel to integrate all systems, rather than focus on training single components at a time.
"We set two weeks in early December to bring all of these systems together," said Capt. Jeremy Zevenbergen, the communications officer for 3rd BCT, 101st Abn. Div.
The System of Systems Integration training merges Tactical Operations Center control with a network and equipment that allows Soldiers to view maps and relay their position to commanders at all levels during training and real world missions.
The network utilizes CS-13 equipment such as the Nett Warrior handheld device paired with a radio to communicate through the chain of command as well as updated communications platforms on Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected All Terrain Vehicles. By combining these systems, commanders can control their battle space while stationary or on the move, and know where their Soldiers are at all times.
While 3rd BCT is the fourth Army Brigade to use this new technology, they are the first to develop their own communications infrastructure.
"The Brigade now has the capability to build its own internal network and share it with the individual Soldier," said Maj. David M. Conner, the executive officer for 3rd BCT, 101st Abn. Div.
The Brigade also developed an internal Master Trainer Program for CS-13 systems to grow their own experts and reduce the need for civilian contractors.
"Just like a master gunner or master driver, the intent for the master trainer is to be an expert on as many CS-13 systems as possible," said Capt. Jesse Powell, the 3rd BCT CS-13 Planner.
During the week of Dec. 16-19, Brigade leaders and planners incorporated the mission command technology into their Command Post Exercise. The four-day event allowed participants an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the new network systems in an operational environment.
"This validated to the Brigade TOC that we can internally communicate. Before we hadn't had the ability to cross talk amongst all these systems at one time," said Zevenbergen.
The CPX was designed to build the Brigade's capabilities and confidence in their network systems. Most individuals attending the exercise were working with the systems for the first time.
"It is a great exercise for them to train on these advanced pieces of equipment," said Powell. "Leaders are definitely wanting to better understand the capabilities the system can provide in terms of mission command and information dissemination."
Upcoming training exercises will incorporate the other technologies, such as the Point of Presence and Soldier Network Extension vehicles leaders will use to command and control their Soldiers while on the move.