ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- Seamless, simple and quick mission-command software upgrades are now available for thousands of Army vehicle platforms that use Joint Battle Command-Platform systems.
These improvements will provide increased modernization and readiness for Soldiers around the world, said Lt. Col. Shane Sims, product manager for JBC-P, which is assigned to Project Manager Mission Command. JBC-P encompasses the hardware, software and Blue Force Tracking network that enable secure data encryption, a common map, intuitive interface, chat and logistics information across the fleet of Army and Marine Corps vehicles.
The product office launched the self-upgrade program in June 2018, and about 750 vehicles have completed the process thus far. Light units, with platforms such as Humvees and Mine-Resistant Ambushed-Protected vehicles, are eligible.
The Mission Command Support Center, which manages the BFT network, sends daily notices to online units to increase awareness of the self-upgrade availability. Once a unit requests the new software, PM Mission Command ships a new hard drive with installation instructions. Soldiers can then complete the entire process in 10 to 15 minutes.
"We're always looking to modernize faster," Sims said. "Our team has worked with units through a pilot program to figure out this process, and Soldiers are taking the initiative. They have the skills to do this on their own."
Because the JBC-P fielding team can reach a limited number of units each year, the software self-upgrades provide an interim solution that brings greater functionality and capability, Sims said. The existing hardware and transceiver will remain until PM Mission Command personnel reach the unit through the normal fielding schedule.
This self-upgrade initiative also aligns with an Army mission-command priority of reducing the number of software versions that must be fielded and maintained, said Dan Ghio, JBC-P deputy product manager. PM Mission Command will move from three versions to two in 2020 in order to reduce sustainment costs and improve overall system speed and performance.
"We've created a standardized, repeatable and intuitive process that enables Soldiers to upgrade their existing capability. The key is that we've made it simple enough for a general purpose user," Ghio said.
For more information, go to https://mcsc.army.mil. Users must have a Department of Defense CAC to register on the website.
The U.S. Army Program Executive Office Command, Control and Communications-Tactical develops, acquires, fields and supports the Army's mission command network to ensure force readiness. This critical Army modernization priority delivers tactical communications so commanders and Soldiers can stay connected and informed at all times, even in the most austere and hostile environments. PEO C3T is delivering the network to regions around the globe, enabling high-speed, high-capacity voice, data and video communications to a user base that includes the Army's joint, coalition and other mission partners.