ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Maryland (February 6, 2023) -- New year, new mission command capabilities on the way to Soldiers. Such is the saying for the Army in 2023 as the service continues to roll out improved mission command applications, data management tools, software and associated hardware.
Anchored on the Command Post Computing Environment (CPCE) foundation, mission command transformation is being executed through a myriad of activity this year highlighted by fielding to a Corps, four Divisions, 10 Brigade Combat Teams and more than 50 additional formations. To enhance tailorable data visualization, the program office is also executing exercise-based experimentation to inform data fabric and management capability with units in the Pacific area of operations. Developmental test (DT) activities throughout the year will also continue to improve CPCE functionality and enhancements to the next iteration of Tactical Server Infrastructure (TSI) hardware, which houses critical Mission Partner Environment integrated capability.
Col. Matt Paul, Project Manager (PM) for Mission Command, said the activity this year centers around four lines of effort that enable continuous development and prototyping, and, ultimately, the delivery of enhanced and converged capabilities to Soldiers.
“Our experimentation and integration work this year in the Pacific will help guide and inform the future of Command Post capabilities needed across the force for the Army of 2030,” said Paul. The intent of such efforts is to establish a persistent Coalition-Joint C2 platform to enable USARPAC to function effectively as a Theater Army Headquarters.
Experimentation with DevOps partners – including USARPAC Headquarters, I Corps and the 25th Infantry Division – will inform further development and additional capability integration in CPCE Increment 2 (Inc. 2), and will also shape cloud and tactical data fabric architectures. Specifically, DevOps engagements with USARPAC will map to unit- or user-defined goals and will give the program office critical feedback to implement CPCE Tactical Data Fabric (CTDF) in a scalable and distributed architecture for enterprise, tactical edge, and on-premises data sources while also aligning to the Army Data Plan.
“DevOps activities are essential for CPCE software enhancement and future-fielded capabilities,” said Paul, adding that USARPAC’s Balikatan exercise, which begins next month, will be the first opportunity to test drive some of these new efforts.
The Army will conduct a limited Inc. 2 fielding to USARPAC in late-April which will provide an updated engineering release of CPCE (version 220.127.116.11) to conduct experimentation of a priority combat power application supported by CTDF capabilities, and to inform future development. This version also converges Cyber Situational Understanding (Cyber SU), Air and Missile Defense Workstation (AMDWS), Tactical Airspace Integration System (TAIS) and ENFIRE capabilities, and will head to DT in the spring, followed by Army Interoperability Certification in the fall. A second Inc. 2 release, which will undergo full operational test in March 2024, will also include Intel Apps, Sensor Computer Environment and combat support command and control convergence.
Following Project Converge 2022 (PC22) last fall, PM Mission Command is turning lessons learned into lessons applied. CPCE enabled automated data sharing within USARPAC, reducing the need to “swivel chair” all data to higher headquarters. For the first time during PC22, the CPCE Tactical Data Fabric successfully pulled information from the Enterprise Army authoritative data source to the tactical edge and validated the program’s integration of the CTDF solution, provided by Army Cyber Command’s Lower Echelon Analytics Platform – Tactical (L-TAC). L-TAC is responsible for providing connective tissue between the command post and various authoritative logistics, cyber, and intelligence data sources across the enterprise.
“This year, in addition to the development of a combat power application encompassing automated LOGSTAT and Sustainment Running Estimate capabilities, PM Mission Command will support additional prioritized data sets identified as part of the Army Data Plan Campaign of Learning,” said Lt. Col. Travis Rudge, Product Manager for Tactical Mission Command. Continuous feedback throughout the Army Data Plan Campaign of Learning will help refine and prioritize data sets to optimize CTDF, which will be delivered as part of Inc. 2.
Later this year, the Army will introduce new server stacks – known as TSIv3 – that will ultimately replace the currently fielded TSIv2a servers. In addition to the current large and small configurations, TSIv3 will offer a medium-sized server solution in a half-rack configuration to allow for increased computing in a smaller hardware footprint to meet space constraints and enable increased mobility.
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.