In support of the Army’s efforts to modernize logistics data exchange, both globally and locally on the battlefield, the service recently established three new data transport programs known as the Sustainment Transport System (STS): STS Satellite Communications (SATCOM), STS Line-of-Sight, and STS Wireless-Fidelity (Wi-Fi). The Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T), the acquisition milestone decision authority, granted Milestone (MS) C approval to all three of these programs on April 4, 2023.
MS C authorizes the programs to move into the Production and Deployment Phase and enter into Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP). Immediately following approval, Project Manager Tactical Network (PM TN), PEO C3T, initiated the process to execute orders and maximize the use of Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts to purchase LRIP quantities.
As part of the Army’s unified network modernization efforts, these new systems will improve logistics data exchange through enhancements in network security, capacity, resiliency, range and mobility. STS will enable Soldiers to access critical sustainment tools that ensure that U.S. forces always possess the supplies, personnel, medical and force protection when and where they need it, in any future fight, against any adversary.
The STS systems will modernize and ultimately replace systems in the current logistics network program, which have been in operation since 2004 and are nearing obsolescence. PM TN continues to deliver bridge enhancements across the Army’s current fleet of logistics systems to make the sustainment network more secure and capable. The program office will also continue to manage the current sustainment data transport systems until the new STS network systems are fully fielded across the force.
The PM TN will integrate STS into the unified tactical network to function both as individual systems as well as a system-of-system when mission dictates. On the current timeline, the Army plans to conduct an STS operational test in fiscal year 2024 to support final acquisition and fielding decisions, with fielding expected to begin under a conditional material release later that fiscal year.
STS SATCOM will enable global data exchange for the Army’s logistics information systems and applications, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Global Combat Support System-Army (GCSS-Army), Integrated Personnel and Pay System-Army (IPPS-A), Medical Communication for Combat Casualty Care (MC4) and General Fund Enterprise Business Systems (GFEBS). STS SATCOM systems will expand current logistics SATCOM capabilities to operate on both commercial and military satellites on Ku, Ka, and X bands.
Since 2021, PdM UNCI has been conducting early lab and field-based experimentation and Soldier assessments to inform capability and design requirements needed to modernize the logistics network. As part of the process, Soldier feedback continues to inform near-term Army requirements and future acquisition decisions for STS solutions that are secure, affordable, and in-line with the Army’s network modernization priorities.
“We will field the STS SATCOM, line-of-sight, and Wi-Fi solutions to ensure the Army’s sustainers, maintainers, and support personnel have the network connectivity they need to execute missions in tomorrow’s complex and continually evolving operational environments,” said Lt. Col. Mark Scott, product manager for Unified Network Capabilities and Integration (PdM UNCI), PM TN. “It’s all about ensuring readiness, delivering the right personnel, equipment and logistic support to be successful on the battlefield.”