CAMP SHELBY JOINT FORCES TRAINING CENTER, Miss. - Information officers and communication specialists from the active, reserve and National Guard components converged at Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center (CSJFTC) to take part in a first of its kind joint digital integration exercise coordinated by the United States Army Forces Command (FORSCOM).

The joint exercise aimed to improve connectivity between mission command systems (MCS) with an emphasis on tactical systems and networks across the Armed Forces.

Brig. Gen. Robert Edmondson, deputy chief of staff and chief information officer for FORSCOM (G6), visited the site to receive an update on the exercise and highlight the importance of all Army components working together to stress the importance of digital integration.

"We are testing the ability of the nation's Army to fight as one force," said Edmondson. "That is why my visit to Camp Shelby is all about Army readiness. There is nothing we do alone. This is about partnership."

During his visit, Edmonson received briefings by Col. Robert Ginn, CSJFTC post commander, on Camp Shelby's current and future digital capabilities. Edmonson also visited the headquarters of the Florida Guard's 50th Regional Support Group (RSG). The 50th RSG conducted annual training at Camp Shelby and supported the exercise through the training center's Directorate of Information Management.

"The objective of this joint exercise conducted at Camp Shelby was to confirm that specific unit's MCS can configure and connect to networks outside of theirs," said Capt. William McMillan, CSJFTC information management officer. "We are proud to be the first location to host an exercise of this kind."

Capt. Derek Hess, information officer with the 50th RSG, participated as an observer in the MCS' validation process and was impressed by what he saw. "As reliance on tactical networks continues to increase, it is imperative that unit systems are validated to best practice standards," Hess said. "We are looking forward to having additional oversight of this process as our partnership with Camp Shelby continues to grow."