ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- Senior communications leaders toured the 19th Annual Joint Users Interoperability Communications Exercise, or JUICE 2012, June 28, at the command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, C4SIR, Center of Excellence.JUICE is an annual worldwide Department of Defense national and global communications exercise connecting more than 40 diverse organizations under one common operating environment supporting Combatant Commands, as well as intergovernmental, interagency and multi-national partners in a Joint Task Force environment.Hosted by the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command's Software Engineering Center, the exercise joined Portugal, Poland, Norway, Spain and Sweden, with the Armed Forces Joint community. CECOM is currently the only joint unified capabilities tactical pilot lab in DoD, joining participants and systems worldwide to interconnect directly to a DISA provided Unified Capabilities backbone through Scott Air Force Base."JUICE is an exercise that connects the C4ISR community together, worldwide, to test, evaluate and certify new systems, at the joint level, and work through challenges before those systems are fielded," said Maj. Gen. Robert S. Ferrell, APG installation and CECOM commander.This year, U.S. Strategic Command, a key cyber-oriented combatant command, sponsored the event and issued commanders intent, mission and gained support of other Combatant Commands. The U.S. Air Force Reserve Air National Guard 281st Combat Communications Squadron staffed the Joint Network Operations Control Center and the Marine Corps Network Operations Security Center provides secure cellular capabilities and other cutting-edge voice technologies to the Warfighter.Successful execution of robust exercises such as JUICE is crucial as we face the future with a joint force that is smaller, more agile, flexible, ready, and technologically advanced, as outlined in the President's approach to national security, Priorities for the 21st Century Defense, said Elizabeth M. Durham-Ruiz, senior technical advisor, USSTRATCOM/J6, who attended the event. STRATCOM will play a major role in this strategy with global capabilities that underpin strategic deterrence, provide unique options to our national leaders, and enhance the joint force's combat effectiveness, Durham-Ruiz explained.Team C4ISR partner organizations, Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications-Tactical and the Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center also participated and demonstrated key technologies for the future more agile, responsive and adaptive Warfighter.JUICE's key objective is to validate interoperability among key Joint tactical and strategic communications systems in preparation for the Global Information Grid transition to Unified Capabilities and ensure NATO and Coalition interoperability, according to John Kahler, Joint On-demand Interoperability Network chief.This venue provides Joint and Reserve military participants the chance to leverage training on the latest fielded equipment prior to deployment, in a real-world tactical environment without disturbing the operations tempo. The lessons learned from JUICE will directly impact field operations and contribute to communications mission success on a global scale for both military, Defense Civil Authorities and Homeland emergency response operations, said Kahler.This year's theme is 'Unified Capabilities for the Battlefield of the Future' focusing on the information sharing from multiple sources to give our Warfighters a competitive edge. JUICE 2012 featured setting up command and control posts, crypto modernization efforts, and ground and air radio communications in remote environments.Managed from APG, the event participants work in concert with approximately 800-1000 Department of Defense personnel and Coalition partners to evaluate new and emerging technologies in an environment mirroring real-time battle field environments, said Kahler."Industry participants can leverage this opportunity to prepare and assess their systems before participating in the next iteration of Network Integration Evaluation, 13.1," said Kahler."As the Army continues to evolve to be the Army of 2020, we're hoping this event becomes even better as each year goes on year," said Ferrell.