FORT BLISS, Texas (June 2, 2014) - Disseminating information and providing up-close tactical situations to Army leadership such as Ms. Heidi Shyu, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, is vital to the ongoing process of the Network Integration Evaluation (NIE).

An integral part of Ms. Shyu's trip was dedicated to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division's Main Tactical Operation Combat area, where discussions were emphasized on the mobile command post capability, intelligent power and advanced air beam tent capability.

In addition to Army leadership, collaborators and visitors from across the country also received a first-hand experience of the systems under test and systems under evaluation demo at 2/1 Main during Distinguished Visitors Day on 9 May. Despite being the seventh evaluation, this was the first definitive Multi-National event with visitors from as far as the United Kingdom.

Guests were guided through field operational sites within Ft. Bliss and White Sands. They were given the full experience, from viewing power generators such as the, Command Post Operational Energy Systems, to learning about the, Joint Battle Command-Platform, a computer program that provides battlefield unit locations.

The visitors also met with industry partners and government research and development representatives to enhance their knowledge of the operational effectiveness the equipment may provide. Maj. Scott Huston, Assistant Product Manager and Brigade Trail Boss for System of Systems, Engineering and Integration Directorate, escorted the guests around the vendor's displays and provided them an overview of the semi-annual event.

"The benefit of bringing distinguished visitors to see the displays is that it is a good opportunity for the vendors to show them the capabilities they are bringing to the NIE as well as answer any other questions they may have," explained Huston.

NIE is critical in supporting real-time communication and providing straightforward access to data for the Army of 2020. With technology moving in strides, visitors were able to witness firsthand, new capabilities as Soldiers mastered the systems in a tactical environment.

In conjunction, an unprecedented visit from Nolan Richardson Middle School students came about and they were granted access to the systems under test and systems under evaluation displays.

With the NIE focusing on creating a more mobilized tactical network, these tech savvy students were able to relate to the needs of constant, dependable communication. Col. Gail Washington, Project Manager Current, System of Systems Integration Directorate, escorted the students and demonstrated upgraded commercial devices.

"The students and I were talking about engineering and how 'cool' it is and how it makes all of these communication efforts possible," said Washington, "I really enjoyed showing them the technology and how it sparked their interest in science, hopefully this will make an impact on their future."