The Network Integration EvaluationsWhat is it'The Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) is the first in a series of semi-annual evaluations designed to integrate and mature the Army's tactical network and is a key element of the Army's emerging Network Strategy. The exercise is a six-week event conducted in June and July 2011 and will involve all 3,800 Soldiers of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division.Its primary purpose is to conduct parallel Limited User Tests of several Army programs of record. A secondary purpose is to less formally evaluate developmental and emerging network capabilities. The exercise will also assess non-networked capabilities. The 2011 exercise is the first of this type of combined test and evaluation and demonstrates the Army's holistic focus to integrate network components simultaneously in one operational venue.What will the NIE do'The Network Integration Evaluations will provide a means to evaluate relevant capabilities in parallel and make incremental improvements based upon a disciplined feedback cycle. The effort will help facilitate rapid evaluation of commercial and government network solutions to establish a Network Baseline and then rapidly build from it.What is planned for the future'The June/July NIE is not a stand alone "pass/fail" event but the first of a series of semi-annual events. These events will allow the Army to build the network and then fill it with the best applications and systems that the network can handle. These events will help the Army achieve an iterative and agile process towards optimizing the BCT network.Why is this important to the Army'The NIE is a new way of doing business - a fundamental change in how we deliver capabilities to our Soldiers. The Army has adopted a strategy that will align the tactical network to the ARFORGEN process through Capability Sets that will enhance vertical and horizontal connectivity and provide an integrated network baseline from the static TOC to the dismounted to the Soldier. Network Integration Evaluations are key enablers to executing this strategy.Resources:<a href="" target="_blank">Army Brigade Combat Team Modernization website</a><a href="" target="_blank">Focus on: Network Integration Evaluation (NIE)</a>Related articles: <a href="" target="_blank">Army gears up for large-scale network evaluations</a><a href="" target="_blank">Key tactical communications applications to join in Army network exercise </a>May 23: <a href="" target="_blank">Media/Bloggers Roundtable: Army discusses new network strategy</a>