By By: Cassandra Tomarchio, CECOMSeptember 20, 2013
Interoperability, or lack thereof, can pose great threats to the warfighters' ability to gather situational awareness and maintain communications to command and control headquarters.
That's why when the Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Systems, requested the delivery of software updates to the Joint Tactical Terminals (JTT), the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command's Software Engineering Center quickly assembled a team of software engineers to answer the need, according to Garrett Shoemaker, CECOM SEC Intelligence and Information Software Support Division Chief.
"The JTT ensures interoperability with the new Common Interactive Broadcast military standards for ultra-high frequency satellite communications," said Ned Rianhard, Program Manager for Integrated Broadcast Services Terminals, Program Manager Distributed Common Ground System-Army.
The Joint Tactical Terminal, otherwise known as the JTT, is a family of software-programmable intelligence radios that can operate at multiple security levels. The systems are designed to provide common communications and display systems for intelligence through a variety of intelligence broadcast networks within the Integrated Broadcast Service, as well as from tactical data links and secondary imagery dissemination systems.
SEC's team of software engineers traveled to numerous depots and operational sites with special equipment to install the system updates.
"These updates will ensure joint service warfighters can confidently and successfully continue to perform their missions using the Joint Tactical Terminal system to access time sensitive force protection intelligence data," said Rianhard.
To date, the team has updated 326 terminals since March, with plans to update an additional 84 terminals at installations within the next three months.
"Thanks to CECOM Software Engineering Center, we are going to meet our milestone for the Common Interactive Broadcast Initial Operational Capability date," said Rianhard.
The Joint Tactical Terminal uses this information to create a common operating picture which aids in the prevention of fratricide as well as combat search and rescue operations to rescue stranded warfighters.
"I'm proud of our team. They quickly learned how to upgrade the radios and are now independently visiting units around the world to perform the critical work," said Shoemaker. "This is also a great opportunity for us to engage the Soldiers who use our systems to better understand their unique requirements so CECOM can continue to provide exceptional support for the Joint Tactical Terminal."
"Once again, the Software Engineering Center has stepped up to fill a critical need," said Rianhard.