Task Force at Bliss Testing FCS Spin Out 1
May 27, 2008
By J.D. Leipold
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, May 27, 2008) -- Future Combat System Spin Out 1 items, currently being evaluated by Soldiers at Fort Bliss, Texas, were demonstrated earlier this month on Capitol Hill.
"Right now, Spin Out 1 is down at the Army Evaluation Task Force at Fort Bliss, Texas, getting ready to be tested by about 1,000 combat-tested Soldiers this summer who will be employing this new technology, said Maj Marty Hagenston, FCS system coordinator. "They will be touching it, feeling it and learning how to fight it, then they will provide feedback to the program," he said.
Spin Out 1 consists of unattended sensors, seismic acoustic sensors that can be employed remotely and detect enemy activity. It also consists of a Non Lne-of-Sight Launch System - or six to eight "rockets in a box" - which can be deployed remotely.
"The other piece that Spin Out 1 contains is 'B kit' which consists of JTRS GMR (Joint Tactical Radio System Ground Mobile Radio) and that is the network pieces and parts we put inside current force vehicles that provide Soldiers situational awareness on screen, so it's three parts: a radio, computing system and an interface with the Soldier," said Hagenston.
The B kits will be used on Bradleys, Humvees and M-1 Abrams battle tanks. The unattended sensors come in two flavors, tactical and urban. The urban unattended ground sensors, about the size of a hockey puck are similar to home security devices which detect via motion whether someone enters or exits a door. A small, unmanned aerial vehicle is also being tested that would be employed at the platoon level and gives situational awareness to the platoon commander or platoon leader.
Hagenston said fielding for Spin Out 1 is expected to be in 2011.
The 14 FCS platforms that will eventually be fielded include manned ground vehicles, unattended sensors, unattended air vehicles, as well as network connectivity. They will provide Soldiers with superior situational awareness while maximizing lethality and survivability, Hagenston said. He added FCS is essentially a system of systems that show the Army focus is very real.
"Empowering Soldiers Through High Technology," sponsored by the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology, showcased products May 13 and 15 on Capitol Hill, giving House and Senate members the opportunity to hear and see where the Army is putting its money in support of the present and future warfighters.
"As FCS grows, it will consume more of the RDA budget," said Lt. Gen. N. Ross Thompson, military deputy to the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology. "It's not a question of should we modernize or should we do FCS, it's why would you not do that in order to give Soldiers the best capability to be able to fight today and in the future."