Network Fielding

Thursday, January 15, 2015

What is it?

The Army’s operational network provides the communications backbone for expeditionary and regionally aligned operations from garrison to foxhole. By providing a modernized network that is increasingly robust, mission-scalable and rapidly deployable, the Army can position teams in austere environments with the ability to connect and access information at the point of need. Today, Army program managers are continuing phased modernization of mission command network capabilities, fielding to both Active and Guard components.

What has the Army done?

The network is enabling connectivity for our Soldiers in overseas operations, including Operation United Assistance, Operation Resolute Support, the fight against ISIL, and European and Pacific operations. National Guard network upgrades are helping to ensure unit readiness to execute missions ranging from civil support and humanitarian assistance to full scale overseas deployments.

Since 2012, the Army has fielded integrated network Capability Sets (CS) to select infantry and Stryker brigades and division headquarters in accordance with Forces Command prioritization. Secure smartphones, digital radios, mission command apps and satellite-equipped vehicles – all part of CS fieldings – bring unprecedented communications, as well as the flexibility to operate as a “toolkit” where units can tailor systems for specific operational needs.

Even as the Army has fielded CS units, the service has also continued delivering other updated mission command network equipment to operational units through the unit set fielding process, a “one-stop-shop” for fielding planning and execution.

What does the Army have planned for the future?

In 2015, 75 Active and Guard units are scheduled to receive new network and mission command capabilities. These include seven CS-15 units as well as National Guard units receiving new communications gear that enables improved interoperability with local first responders at natural disaster sites.

Why is this important for the Army?

A robust, secure, interoperable, intuitive network is a key enabler for an agile, expeditionary Force 2025 and beyond, providing operational flexibility and enhancing leaders’ situational awareness in support of decisive mission command. The Army of the future will also need to dominate the invisible realm of cyberspace, where our adversaries grow more sophisticated on a daily basis. Continued fielding of incremental mission command network upgrades is critical to empowering our Soldiers and leaders with the right information at the right time to make decisions, today and into the future.

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