By Spc. Jonathan WallaceApril 4, 2018
Fort Stewart, Ga.- What if you could visually see your unit's movements on the battlefield, like a minimap in a video game? That is exactly the purpose of the Joint Battle Command-Platform, a computer system that visually communicates battlefield changes.
Soldiers from 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division spent a week of mastering the basics of this system at Fort Stewart, Georgia, Feb 19-23.
According to the Army's JBC-P website, the JBC-P is the Army's next generation force tracking system, equipping Soldiers with secure data encryption, free draw, text, and messaging, thus delivering situational awareness to Soldiers at all levels on the battlefield.
"The system allows Soldiers to have a shared map, and see movements and updates on that map," said Anthony Kempson, a General Dynamics training integrator for the JBC-P system. It should seem familiar to computer savvy Soldiers, with it's tablet-like interface, touch-to-zoom maps, and drag-and-drop icons.
Stan Garden, Kempson's colleague, added that the GPS on the system tracks and updates positions every 100 meters, essentially real-time.
As Spartan Soldiers become proficient with JBC-P, they directly feed new information of everything from enemy activities to terrain changes up and across the chain of command. Soldiers regularly contribute information from the battlefield, thus allowing commanders to make more informed decisions with their assets during war.
"The JBC-P provides commanders at all levels a communication tool that helps them see the battlefield and help inform decision making," said Capt. Elise Neel, brigade signal officer. "This is one of many mission command systems we leverage to see ourselves, the enemy, and the terrain."
As the Army's 15th and newest ABCT the Spartan Brigade has begun fielding their ground combat vehicles and will begin crew and collective training this spring. Part of the fielding and training includes the installation of the JBC-P system on all three of the brigade's primary combat systems: Abrams Main Battle Tank, Bradley Fighting Vehicle, and Paladin Self-propelled Howitzer.
"It's just like sending an email," said Cpl. Mark Llorico, tanker, A Company, 2-69 AR. "It's nice to experience and talk about how much communication systems have evolved since my father was last in the Army."