By Mr. David G Landmann (CECOM)May 19, 2010
FORT HOOD, Texas- The Whitfill Central Technical Support Facility (CTSF) has assumed a key role in efforts to envelope all United States and coalition force activity in Afghanistan in the strands of a single mission network.
According to CTSF Capability Set Coordinator Robert Boerjan, technicians are working pre-dawn Texas hours in coordination with NATO technicians seven hours ahead in the United Kingdom to validate the interoperability between U.S. and coalition systems and applications.
"Right now," Boerjan said early this week, "we're in the middle of a five-week event with a focus on battle space management."
"This is the first time," he added, "we have executed a test event with coalition partners."
Currently, the CTSF is working with the United Kingdom, NATO and the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) as a member of the Coalition Interoperability, Assurance and Validation (CAIV) working group. Soon to become part of the working group will be Canada, Germany, Italy and Australia.
The group, with Boerjan in attendance, met recently at The Hague to discuss details of the work that lies ahead in the development of a lone Afghan mission net.
"At that time," Boerjan said, "we were looking at ground and air tracks, and symbology."
The CTSF's efforts are now centered in a representative brigade-level Army Tactical Operations Center equipped with what Boerjan described as "warfighting mission systems."
Although the current CIAV event is scheduled to be brought to a conclusion in mid-June, the development of a joint U.S.-coalition Afghan network will continue.
"I'd say there will be a persistent effort for the foreseeable future," Boerjan said. "This part may be over in June, but there will be considerable follow on as time progresses."
The CTSF, located on Fort Hood since 1996, performs system of systems integration functions, Army configuration management, and interoperability certification testing. It is under the command of Col. Steven G. Drake.