FORT MONMOUTH, N.J. -- Closing current gaps in the design of more seamless and robust communications networks was the major theme this year of the annual worldwide DoD exercise hosted here by the Software Engineering Center (SEC), part of the CECOM Life Cycle Management Command.

The Joint Users Interoperability Communications Exercise (JUICE) 2009 had close to 1,000 objectives that involved all branches of the U.S. military as well as the Department of Homeland Security and local and state agencies.

The 16th annual JUICE exercise, which was held at the SEC annex and the exercise field just west of the Burger King here, ran from June 1-19. The exercise's theme this year was "Bridging the Gap, Breaking Down Communications Barriers."

Army Team C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) had a number of displays during JUICE 2009. Members of the media were also in attendance along with senior enlisted leaders in recognition of 2009 as the Year of the NCO.

Among the VIPs attending the exercise were Lt. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sorenson, the Army's Chief Information Officer; Maj. Gen. Dennis L Via and Maj. Gen. Nickolas G. Justice, Program Executive Officer, Command, Control and Communications-Tactical.

"The main thrust was to put equipment on the ground in a deployed environment that had never interfaced before," said John Caruso, chief, Executive Agent-Theater Joint Tactical Networks.

Before the exercise began, all instances of communications gaps were gathered and used to structure the exercise so that those shortcomings could be addressed, said Caruso, who was recognized during the exercise for being the "backbone" of the JUICE exercise for the past 16 years.

This year's JUICE activities involved a presentation of a "green" command post that uses commercial, off-the-shelf, alternative energy systems. Using such systems would lower fuel consumption, which in turn would reduce the size and number of fuel convoys.

Exercise field displays also included the Joint Incident Site Communications Capability, the communications hub for first responders in civil emergencies designed to link various radio networks with each other.

Page last updated Fri June 26th, 2009 at 14:43