ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (May 12, 2020) — Army Futures Command (AFC) is helping the service to expedite the development and integration of situational awareness tools in support of the COVID-19 pandemic response.
The Team Awareness Kit (TAK) is a map-based software application that enables coordination among thousands of users with features such as a mission planning, chat and overlays. It is compatible with Android, Apple iOS and Windows.
The Army is providing TAK to active duty U.S. Army North units and Army National Guard teams responding the pandemic. TAK is not a medical diagnostic device; however, the tool allows users to create and view a common operating picture (COP). This will provide medical, signal and logistics personnel with a better understanding of regional COVID-19 impacts, while assisting commanders working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and local governments in their response efforts.
AFC’s Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) is helping program offices to speed up the deployment of this capability through the development of an elastic cloud server that can seamlessly scale to meet user connectivity demands and support bring-your-own-devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones.
This development is part of a larger network equipping effort by the Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) COVID-19 Response Equipping Team, which is made up of Army program offices, the Network-Cross Functional Team, Army research and development centers, sustainment commands and operational units, according to Josh Sterling, director of the TAK Product Center at CCDC’s C5ISR Center.
“A National Guard member stationed at a hospital, or responding to an emergency can quickly and accurately share critical mission data. The information could then be aggregated at a state level and forwarded to other federal agencies,” Sterling said.
The C5ISR Center rapidly integrated TAK within the Contingency Response Situational Awareness/Situational Understanding Tactical Applications Leader Kit (CRSSTALK), led by the Army’s Program Executive Office Soldier. CRSSTALK delivers a line of map-based, situational awareness software applications across multiple platforms to provide tactical capabilities for military and federal government operations.
The C5ISR Center also developed situational awareness, chat and file-sharing upgrades that integrate with awareness, response and geospatial tools already in use by the National Guard.
Under the current fielding effort, headed by PEO Soldier, the modified TAK applications can be provided without fielding new hardware as the application operates via personal or government-issued devices. To date, 20 states/territories and about 1,025 devices have been fielded to support COVID-19 operations.
“The Team Awareness Kit has proven to be useful in past disaster and domestic response situations,” said Maj. Ken Elgort, Assistant Program Manager for Ground Soldier Systems future initiatives. “We are leveraging it and our CRSSTALK capabilities to empower users at the lowest echelon with a shared common operating picture as they respond to the pandemic.”
As the central software development hub for all TAK efforts, including 15 Department of Defense programs of record, the C5ISR Center’s TAK Product Center is continuing to provide software updates and testing to provide an enhanced user experience for the National Guard COVID-19 response.
“The C5ISR community has been extremely responsive to the requirements of the Army National Guard and other Army agencies to assess and re-configure technologies originally developed for combat scenarios and apply them to domestic operations,” said Col. Lesley Kipling, Army National Guard Liaison Officer to the Network-CFT.
For more information, contact the C5ISR Center Public Affairs Office: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The C5ISR Center is the Army’s applied research and advanced technology development center for C5ISR capabilities. As the Army’s primary integrator of C5ISR technologies and systems, the center develops and matures capabilities that support all six Army modernization priorities, enabling information dominance and tactical overmatch for the joint warfighter.
The C5ISR Center is an element of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command. Through collaboration across the command’s core technical competencies, CCDC leads in the discovery, development and delivery of the technology-based capabilities required to make Soldiers more lethal to win our nation’s wars and come home safely. CCDC is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command.