ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Oct. 1, 2012) -- The Army has received approval to continue with limited further production and fielding of a key upgrade to its tactical communications network backbone, Warfighter Information Network-Tactical Increment 2.

As a result of a Defense Acquisition Board review of Warfighter Information Network-Tactical, or WIN-T, Increment 2 conducted on Sept. 25, the Army will continue with production and fielding to support its Capability Set fielding and network modernization strategy. With the decision, the Army remains on track to field Capability Set 13, known as CS 13, starting this month with two brigade combat teams of the 10th Mountain Division, and to continue developing the follow-on CS 14.

Through Capability Sets, beginning with CS 13, the Army is delivering network systems as an integrated communications package that spans the entire brigade combat team formation, connecting the static tactical operations center to the commander on-the-move to the dismounted Soldier.

"WIN-T Increment 2 provides an unprecedented on-the-move capability that the Army does not have today and builds upon capabilities that are already fielded and operationally proven," said Col. Ed Swanson, project manager for WIN-T.

At the same time that it fields to CS 13 units, the Army will continue to work with the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the test community to aggressively address items identified during the Initial Operational Test & Evaluation, or IOT&E, for WIN-T Increment 2, held in May as part of the Army's Network Integration Evaluation,or NIE, 12.2. Future NIE events will be leveraged for future testing focused on specific areas to continuously improve the WIN-T Increment 2 system.

"We will continue to take advantage of the semi-annual NIEs to obtain operational insights from Soldiers and further enhance WIN-T capabilities," said Lt. Col. Robert Collins, product manager for WIN-T Increment 2. "This will enable us to incorporate technology improvements and get them into the hands of the Soldier at a faster pace, which is exactly what the NIE and the Army's Agile Process are meant to achieve."

Through follow-on testing, the Army will also ensure accountability in making continuous improvements to the system. Under the contract for additional production, awarded on Sept. 28, the government will verify that items identified during the IOT&E have been addressed before the additional equipment is accepted.