Army Prepares for Second Network Integration Evaluation

Monday October 31, 2011

What is it?

The Network Integrated Evaluation (NIE) 12.1 is the second in a series of semi-annual field exercises designed to evaluate, integrate and mature the Army's tactical network. During the evaluation the Army will integrate and assess network and non-network capabilities and determine their implications across Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership and Education, Personnel and Facilities (DOTMLPF).

What has the Army done?

Doctrinal results from the July 2011 NIE have shown two broad network findings for Capability Set 13: the Army lacks Soldier-level connectivity and unit Mission Command capabilities, and must develop comprehensive requirements accordingly. The development of these requirements will provide much-needed direction to the Army materiel enterprise and provide common criteria against which hand-held and other Mission Command solutions can be evaluated in future NIEs. Recent Sources Sought notices issued to industry focus on these two critical capabilities as will future NIE activities.

What is planned for the future?

The NIE 12.1 evaluation will begin October 31 and conclude November 19 and will involve nearly 3,800 Soldiers and 1,000 vehicles of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division. The NIE's primary purpose is to continue required evaluations in support of Program of Record milestones while advancing integration and understanding of the objective and bridge Army network architectures. It will also continue to establish the Objective Integrated Network Baseline, common connectivity across the Brigade Combat Team structure, and introduce industry participation in the NIE evaluation cycle. This second NIE will build off lessons learned from the June and July NIE evaluation in order to support the Army's holistic focus to integrate network components simultaneously in one operational venue. NIE 12.2, the third of the series, will take place in Spring 2012 and focus on solidifying the network baseline with the formal addition of WIN-T Increment 2, the Army's on the move satellite based network connectivity.

Why is this important for the Army?

Establishing the NIE helped the Army employ a new Agile acquisition process; the Army now has a strategy to keep pace with industry and technological network advances and accelerate the pace of network modernization to a rate unachievable by traditional acquisition strategies. The NIE also has enabled an Army ability to integrate network hardware and software up front prior to deployment - this will lessen the integration challenges faced by deployed units.

Resources:

The Army's Brigade Modernization homepage

Related articles:
Army kicks off second Network Integration Evaluation
Army gears up for NIE 12.1
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Related STAND-TO!: Army Concludes First Network Integration Evaluation

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"As we look to the future, whether it be the our fiscal problems, whether it be the uncertainty of our security environment throughout the world -- then take that, think through those problems, help us define and develop the Army of the future."

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"Information is power. It's just having that information at my fingertips, whether I'm in a forward operating base or in a tactical operations center or on the move."

- Capt. Ryan McNally, a company commander in 2/1 AD, praising the Network Integration Evaluation capability, for the company commander, to be able to take his pick of digital systems to quickly reach both his Soldiers at the tactical edge and his higher headquarters; creating a significant operational advantage.

Army kicks off second Network Integration Evaluation

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