JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. — Soldiers here are testing new gear to achieve the Army’s top priority in communications to reduce its command post battlefield footprint while improving mobility and agility.
Under development in two increments, termed Increment 0 and Increment 1, Soldiers of the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team “Ghost,” 2nd Infantry Division, are testing Inc. 0 of the Command Post Integrated Infrastructure, or CPI2.
Maj. Joseph Brown, brigade fire support officer, and lead planner for the exercise and test, said, “CPI2 is intended to provide the Army a more survivable mission command platform.”
Brown said it is important for combat units like his to be able to tear down move, and stand up their capabilities rapidly.
“If it functions the way it is intended,” he said. “Brigades will consume less time in transitions and the improved survivability makes our C2 structure more resilient to enemy attack.”
“Soldiers are exercising the CPI2 by conducting real-world missions in an operational environment,” said Mr. Beresford Doherty, test officer with the U.S. Army Operational Test Command, based at Fort Cavazos, Texas.
“Nine production representative vehicles are being tested under simulated combat operations,” he added.
According to its website, Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communication Tactical at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, CPI2 is currently executing multiple phases of prototyping, integration, and experimentation.
Doherty said CPI2 will replace the dated Command Post Tent System with a family of more mobile systems.
“One of the most important elements of the test is Army Soldier feedback of how the CPI2 performs in support of their mission,” Doherty said.
“Soldier feedback and lessons learned during Inc. 0 will inform Inc. 1, which expands upon product lines with an additional mix of military vehicle platforms, including armored vehicles, Joint Light Tactical Vehicles and Medium Tactical Vehicles,” he added.
Sgt. 1st Class Austin Bradford, brigade help desk NCOIC said, “So far it’s been pretty good, we’ve run into some issues, but I think as we work things out it’s going to get better and faster.”
Platoon Leader 2nd Lt. Cassie Daly, working out of the brigade’s tactical action center, seemed excited about the overall set up of the “expando” vehicles and quick connection capabilities.
“It’s been cool to see the attachments to the S3, or our attachments to the BDE S6 and other S shops that are fielding these new expandos,” she said.
“The coolest part is that they can connect the services we provide through wireless, verses through fiber, across the battlefield. And just the whole set up of the expando is like a mini conference room.”
According to Mr. Robert Potter, chief of Mission Command at the U.S. Army Evaluation Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, data points collected during the test will be used to assess operational effectiveness, suitability, and survivability of CPI2, as well as any effects across the Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership, Personnel and Facility domains.
About the U.S. Army Operational Test Command:
As the Army’s only independent operational tester, OTC tests Army, joint, multi-service, and multi-domain warfighting systems in realistic operational environments; using skilled Soldiers to provide data on whether the systems are effective, suitable, and survivable. OTC is required by public law to test major systems before they are fielded to its ultimate customer — the American Soldier.
OTC’s Mission Command Test Directorate plans, conducts, and reports on independent operational tests, assessments, experiments and rapid initiatives of Enterprise and Tactical Mission Command systems to provide essential information for the decision-making process for acquisition and fielding.