ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Oct. 29, 2018) --Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division, III Corps and 1st Infantry Division convened at APG recently to contribute their operational expertise as part of continual improvements to the Army's new tactical server.
Lt. Col. Shermoan Daiyaan, product manager for Tactical Mission Command, and his team are charged with developing and fielding the system, known as Tactical Server Infrastructure version 2.
"We invited our developmental operations partner units here to give us their expert advice on the development of the future server stacks for the Army before we make final design choices," Daiyaan said.
TSI v2 will enable greater capabilities with reduced weight and size, as well as quicker setup and teardown times. Capt. Monica Holmes, assistant product manager for TSI v2, led the user panel discussions.
"We're gaining feedback from end-users, with priorities focused on early entry, forced entry and on-the-move," Holmes said. "This feedback will help us better understand how the force envisions its capabilities and what they need. Having a system that is ruggedized, scalable and easy to use are top requests."
TSI v2 supports the Command Post Computing Environment, which provides a central integration point for all tactical warfighting applications. It will also host additional authorized software from other Army programs of record. CP CE and TSI v2 will be undergoing operational testing at Network Integration Evaluation 18.2 in November. NIE and the subsequent Army Interoperability Certification will allow for TSI v2's formal fielding decision.
Feedback from the user panel and ongoing DevOps with units will shape how TSI systems are designed, packaged and employed. In addition, the TSI team is incorporating guidance from the Army's Network Cross-Functional Team, which is one of eight CFTs established to tackle the service's modernization priorities. N-CFT is emphasizing hardware that is lighter, faster and more expeditionary.
Decreasing size, weight and power, known as SWaP, is a priority across the Army, and TSI v2 brings several improvements compared with the legacy system. Weight is reduced by 800 pounds, setup and teardown time is cut in half, and the number of transit cases decreases from nine to three. TSI v2 is also available in two variants -- a large version for division and brigade level and a small version for battalion.
"When systems are being built, the Army must pay attention to the cybersecurity side of it. We need to build in cybersecurity at the initial stages rather than it being an afterthought," said Chief Warrant Officer 1 Chukwuemeka Echeozo, an information protection technician with 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division. "We don't want units to have to figure out cyber protection on their own; it has to be intuitive."
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Scott Wigge, an information services technician with 82nd Airborne Division Headquarters, is focused on a system that a squad can move easily, set up quickly and then use for early entry operations.
"We need to think about Soldiers on the move. For early entry, when Soldiers hit the ground, what is available for them? The system needs to maximize capabilities and then scale up as we escalate the force," Wigge said. "This was a really good experience because, through DevOps, the end-users start to have an impact on new technology."
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.