ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (October 27, 2015) -- Across history a commander's ability to act effectively and decisively on the battlefield is critical for achieving mission success. As battle landscapes have changed, the commander's role has stayed the same; the only difference now is leaders are better equipped and better trained.

As the Army continues to enhance its network capability, a critical step in mission command agility is fielding the new Joint Battle Command-Platform, or JBC-P.

JBC-P is the next generation friendly force tracking system that equips Soldiers with a faster satellite network, secure data encryption and advanced logistics features. As an enhancement to the Blue Force Tracking II capability, JBC-P brings an additional set of applications to commanders giving them the ability to tailor data on a simplified platform while providing connectivity on the battlefield.

"It not only provides the operator with a near real-time picture of friendly forces; but it also allows users to alert others of obstacles and threats, such as improvised explosive devices, very quickly," said Lt. Col. Michael Olmstead, product manager, JBC-P.

A part of the Army's fielding plan, the 10th Mountain Division Artillery (DIVARTY) is the second Army unit to receive the JBC-P upgrade. As a stand-up DIVARTY, 10th Mountain was chosen as a fielding priority in unison with upgrades that will be robustly populated at Fort Drum, N.Y. across Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCT) as fielding to the rest of the Army ramps up.
Since its initial fielding in January to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division (2/3ID) at Ft. Stewart, Ga., JBC-P has been put through the full rigors of assessment and Soldier feedback proving to be a command asset. Capability improvements provide Soldiers a more intuitive user interface and simplified operating space.

As a vehicle mounted system, JBC-P is a mission command tool that will be found at every echelon, from Corps down to platoon and below. Now, coordinating with a vehicle from another unit is as easy as hooking an icon on your map and sending a chat message, said Olmstead.

Technical improvements to platform applications include those to maneuver networks geospatial data for enhanced route planning and terrain analysis. Critical communication improvements from the top down provide "Chat", a mission command tool used to send reports and maintain near real-time situational awareness by enabling JBC-P platforms to connect into Command Post of the Future (CPOF) chat rooms. This is in addition to interoperability with the dismounted Soldier through Nett Warrior, a chest-mounted end-user device that allows messaging and situational awareness information to be relayed.

JBC-P collaboration also brings the integrated Tactical Ground Reporting System (TIGR ASCOPE) capability, which enables planning from historical event analysis, to the commander's finger tips. Further, the system allows for greater access to this historical data including basic intelligence and understanding of special regions of interest in theater. ASCOPE data is shared among the platforms using a Mission Data Loader (MDL) device or by leveraging TIGR sync, where applicable.

Additionally, Soldiers are able to rapidly send casualty reports with Electronic Casualty Report, an Army Medical Command initiative that allows for an accurate record of the casualty - injuries, vitals and treatment.

What this means for Soldiers and commanders is they now have a set of tools in one place with increased accuracy and density of situation awareness to further mitigate the risk of fratricide.

"The system is designed to be intuitive and easy to operate, but most importantly it provides the same operational picture to everyone who has a system in their vehicle or command post which enables greater situational awareness" Olmstead said.