Thursday December 22, 2011
What is it?
In November 2011, the Army concluded its second Network Integration Evaluation (NIE.) The NIE consists of a series of semi-annual field exercises to evaluate, integrate, and mature the Army's tactical network. During the evaluations the Army integrates and assesses network and non-network capabilities to determine implications across Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership and Education, Personnel and Facilities.
What has the Army done?
NIE 12.1 concentrated efforts to extend network connectivity to the Soldier and advance mission command on the move. The evaluation continued to establish the integrated network baseline and for the first time involved industry participation. NIE 12.1 "firsts" revealed innovative risk reduction efforts integrating Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) Increment 2 into the Network Baseline. These allowed the Army to establish the Objective Network Baseline, extend the network to the tactical edge, and advance Mission Command on the Move. The Army effectively reduced risk for the NIE 12.2 Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) for WIN-T Increment 2 and the Joint Tactical Radio System Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit (JTRS HMS) systems.
Observations during NIE 12.1 revealed the use of a networked aerial tier with Line of Sight systems improved Mission Command on the Move and simplified connectivity to remote company outposts. Although refinement is still required, handheld devices at the fire team leader level and above showed tremendous potential for dismounted operations, especially for location information and Synchronized Predeployment and Operational Tracker (SPOT) reports.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
Two NIEs are planned for calendar year 2012. NIE 12.2, the third of the series, will take place in April and May 2012 and focus on solidifying the network baseline with the formal test of WIN-T Increment 2, the Army's on the move satellite based network connectivity. NIE 12.2 will also validate the connectivity, architecture, and components of Capability Set 13, the first integrated group of Network technologies to be fielded to up to eight brigade combat teams starting in 2013.
Why is this important for the Army?
The process has aligned several key Army network programs and advanced the integration of radio waveforms to form an Integrated Network Baseline to which industry can build. NIEs have evaluated more than 70 industry and government systems to date and lead to almost $1 billion in test and programmatic cost avoidance/savings, while allowing the Army to now begin synchronized fielding efforts for Capability Set 13.
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Commanding on the move during NIE
Army kicks off second Network Integration Evaluation
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"Please know that your sacrifices were instrumental in liberating an oppressed people, in providing them an opportunity to enjoy a better way of life. You have set the conditions for democracy to take root in a region that is critically important to the United States of America again, thank you for a job extremely well done."
- Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, the last commander of U.S. Forces-Iraq, thanking the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, civilians and coalition partners who served in Iraq, at a star-studded ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Dec. 20, 2011
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- Spc. David Ponce, a human resources specialist with the 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, while deployed at Afghanistan, was reenlisted by the visiting Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Raymond T. Odeirno, Dec. 21, 2011.
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