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Today's Focus:

Brigade Combat Team Integration Exercise

SENIOR LEADERS ARE SAYING

"This is about how I get more capability to Soldiers and continue to build this network. Success is understanding the process of integrating multiple programs. What I am looking for is an enduring process to see what technologies are out there and how they are maturing."

- Col. Michael Williamson, deputy program executive officer, Networks, PEO Integration, emphasizing that the exercise is planned as merely an initial step in the broader development of the Army's network

Army plans network integration exercise

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

"I think you ought to take care of Soldiers regardless of how long it's been. The fact that the grandson could do it, I thought was a pretty big honor."

- Maj. Donald Bishop, officer in charge of communications, 1st Sustainment Brigade, ensured that his grandfather Cpl. Gus Bishop was awarded a Purple Heart nine decades later, for the injuries sustained in the largest American-led offense of World War I.

World War I veteran awarded Purple Heart 101 years later

A CULTURE OF ENGAGEMENT

CALENDAR

July 2010

Army Medical Department (AMEDD) Birthday

PROFESSIONAL WRITING

Army Professional Writing

TODAY'S FOCUS

Brigade Combat Team Integration Exercise

What is it?

The U.S. Army is planning a Brigade Combat Team (BCT) integration exercise at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., July 12th through 16th which will connect Soldiers, sensors unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), networked vehicles on-the-move, command posts and other nodes over long distances through satellite and software-programmable radio as part of an effort to evaluate the progress of its battlefield network.

The exercise, which is envisioned as a key step within the larger developmental trajectory of the Army's battlefield network, is aimed at informing the developmental cycle. It will involve less than 100 Soldiers and engineers at Fort Bliss, Texas, who will place Soldiers and technologies in a series of vignettes designed to stress and evaluate the network's multi-node terrestrial layer and broader satellite connectivity.

This will inform the Army's network development strategy as part of an ongoing process by bringing all of the piece parts together in an integrated fashion. This is the first time we have begun to connect from Soldier-leader levels up to company, brigade, battalion and beyond.

What has the Army done?

The exercise is designed to be separate and distinct from a planned Limited User Test of Increment 1 capabilities slated for September of this year; as opposed to functioning as part of a formal procurement cycle prior to a Milestone C procurement decision, the exercise is purely aimed at pushing the envelope of technological possibility as a way to further the learning process.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

The idea will be to connect network nodes to one another through one seamless battlefield network wherein Soldiers, commanders and sensors can share voice, video, data and images across the force in real time.

A terrestrial network of sensors will send voice, images and data through Joint Tactical Radio Systems (JTRS) software programmable radios using high bandwidth waveforms such as Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW); the information sent and received by the terrestrial layer will be connected to Warfighter Information Network- Tactical (WIN-T), a satellite network able to send information over long distances.

Why is this important to the Army?

The exercise is planned as merely an initial step in the broader development of the Army's network. It is about how to get more capability to Soldiers and continue to build the network. Success is understanding the process of integrating multiple programs. What the Army is looking for is an enduring process to see what technologies are out there and how they are maturing.

Resources:

Army Brigade Combat Team Modernization website

Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisitions, Logistics and Technology

Related article: Army plans network integration exercise

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