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Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) Systems and Capability Set 13

Monday, October 01, 2012

The Network is the Army’s top modernization priority, and the Army is changing the way it supplies network systems and capabilities to operational units by incrementally aligning the delivery of new technology with the Army force generation (ARFORGEN) process. This effort will drive networked capabilities down to the small unit and soldier level—those at the tactical edge who need these critical capabilities the most. Through a process known as Capability Set Management, the Army has adopted acquisition practices and is aligning programs so that operational units receive better capabilities more quickly through integrated and sustainable network capability sets. The capability sets will enhance vertical and horizontal connectivity and provide an integrated network baseline from the static tactical operations center (TOC) to the dismounted soldier. Fielding the Network as an integrated capability set throughout a brigade, rather than fielding individual pieces of equipment, provides soldiers with the best capability gap solutions and dramatically reduces or eliminates the integration burden on deployed troops. The first capability set, Capability Set 13 (CS 13), will be fielded to Army brigade combat teams starting in fall 2012. CS 13 was developed and validated through the Network Integration Evaluations (NIEs) and agile process, the Army’s new strategy to rapidly evaluate, procure and field network technologies in a more cost-effective manner. The centerpiece of CS 13 is Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) Increment 2, a major upgrade to the Army’s tactical communications backbone that introduces mission command on-the-move and extends satellite communications to the company level. CS 13 will also deliver unprecedented connectivity to the dismounted soldier through the JTRS Rifleman Radio, a 2-pound radio carried by platoon-, squad- and team-level soldiers for voice communications that also links with handheld devices to transmit text messages, global positioning system (GPS) locations and other data. These devices, known as Nett Warrior (see Individual Equipment listings), act as a smartphonelike mission command system that connects to the Rifleman Radio to provide dismounted leaders with position location information (PLI), text messaging and other applications. CS 13 also reflects the Army’s efforts to converge its mission command applications providing situational awareness, collaboration, fires, sustainment, air defense and airspace management. Critical U.S. Army C4I capabilities are provided through U.S. Army offices such as the Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T), Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors (PEO IEW&S), and Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS). In addition, current and next-generation warfighter support is being delivered through the Joint Program Executive Office for Joint Tactical Radio Systems (JPEO JTRS). The Program Executive Office for Command, Control and Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T) provides soldiers with the networked mission command solutions they require to dominate now and in the future. PEO C3T supports 41 key acquisition programs that develop, acquire and field a diverse range of products for the Army including mission command software applications, power generators, radios, computers, satellite terminals, communications security devices, servers, and the integrators that allow all the systems and components to function seamlessly. PEO C3T also sustains the force with over-the-shoulder training and system troubleshooting so that soldiers can focus on their prime objective of engaging the enemy. Headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., PEO C3T has a workforce of almost 1,600 employees with a total annual budget of $4 billion. Facing emerging fiscal constraints, PEO C3T is using innovative methods to cut costs, streamline processes and quickly adapt in rapidly delivering advanced network technology to soldiers. The following representative program sampling reflects how PEO C3T continuesto improve and support current systems, while developing future systems to support the Army’s vision of a networked, information-enabled force. Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System (AFATDS) is the digitized sensorto-shooter link providing automated technical and tactical fire-direction solutions, fire asset-management tools and decision support functionality. AFATDS functions from firing platoons through echelons above corps. AFATDS is the fire support node of the Army Battle Command System (ABCS). It enhances dominant maneuver, survivability and continuity of operations for Joint force commanders. The AN/PRC-117G provides tactical and homeland defense forces and emergency operations elements with stand-alone, terrain-independent, robust communications for line-of-sight/beyond-line-of-sight (LOS/ BLOS) secure voice and data communications. It also provides long-distance, widearea, gap-free, fixed or on-the-move, ground, maritime and ground-to-air communications. The Army Key Management System (AKMS) consists of three subcomponents: local communications security management software, automated communications engineering software and a simple key loader. Under the umbrella of the National Security Agency’s electronic key management system, AKMS provides tactical units and sustaining bases with an organic key generation capability and an efficient, secure means of distributing electronic keys. The Combat Survivor Evader Locator (CSEL) is a handheld survival radio in use by Army Aviation units and special operations forces to assist in recovering isolated crews in the event of a downed aircraft. CSEL allows rescue execution orders to be delivered within minutes, increasing the probability of rescue and reducing risk to rescue forces. Command Post of the Future (CPOF) and the Mission Command Workstation provide the commander with a comprehensive view for informed battlefield decision making. CPOF provides situational awareness and collaborative tools for tactical decision making, planning, rehearsal and execution management from the corps to battalion levels. It provides 2-D and 3-D map-centric collaboration supported by voice over Internet protocol. CPOF is the core framework for the mission command collapse workstation, which provides collaborative command-and-control/maneuver, fires, sustainment and airspace functions on a common workstation. Command Web is a lightweight, Web-enabled tool that extends the strong collaboration capabilities of CPOF and Mission Command Workstation to additional users down to the company level. Data Products are software products that allow Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below (FBCB2)-Blue Force Tracker (BFT), Army Battle Command System (ABCS) and other C4ISR systems to share situational awareness, collaboration and mission command data with each other over the tactical Internet. Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below (FBCB2)-Blue Force Tracker (BFT) is a digital mission command information system providing integrated, on-the-move, timely, relevant information and situational awareness to tactical combat leaders and soldiers from brigade to platform and across platforms within the brigade task force and other Joint forces. It allows soldiers to track one another’s locations through blue icons on a digital topographical map and manually add icons representing the enemy and other obstacles to alert other units nearby. FBCB2’s next-generation technologies, the Joint Capabilities Release (JCR) and Joint Battle CommandPlatform (JBC-P), enhance these capabilities with the faster BFT 2 satellite network, secure data encryption, chat room functionality and an improved user interface. JCR-Logistics (JCR-LOG) also integrates FBCB2/BFT capability with the Movement Tracking System (MTS). The MTS is a vehicle-based system that tracks combat support and combat service support vehicles, as well as other assets. Forward Entry Devices (FED) are handheld devices used by forward observers and fire support teams to transmit and receive fire support messages over standard military radios. They provide a digitized connection between the forward observers and AFATDS, and provide a vital sensorto-shooter link. The Lightweight Forward Entry Device (LFED) and Pocket-Sized Forward Entry Device (PFED) are integral parts of the digitized system architecture. Tactical Electrical Power (TEP) is a family of ruggedized power generators and power distribution equipment that includes the military tactical generator, tactical quiet generator, advanced medium mobile power sources, power units, and power plants (trailer-mounted)—deployable power generation and distribution systems. PEO C3T’s Project Manager for Mobile Electric Power is working across its tactical electric power portfolio to cut fuel use, integrate alternative energy sources and improve operational energy efficiencies. The Warfighter Information NetworkTactical (WIN-T) Increment 1, the Army’s tactical communications backbone, provides “networking at the quick halt.” WINT Increment 1 is a joint-compatible communications package that allows the soldier to use advanced networking capabilities and retain interoperability with current force systems and future increments of WIN-T. The Warfighter Information NetworkTactical (WIN-T) Increment 2 introduces mission command on-the-move and extends satellite communications to the company level. It also provides a self-forming, self-healing network and improved Network Operations (NetOps) tools for planning and monitoring the network. The Warfighter Information NetworkTactical (WIN-T) Increment 3 will provide full network mobility and introduce the air tier, which provides a three-tiered architecture consisting of traditional LOS, an airborne layer through the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and other airborne platforms and satellites. The mission of Program Executive Office Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors (PEO IEW&S) is to provide affordable, world-class sensor and electronic warfare capabilities, enabling rapid situational understanding and decisive actions. PEO IEW&S products can be used for targeting, situational awareness, force protection, and reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition (RSTA). These critical systems are integrated into the network’s layers and enable persistent surveillance, allowing the joint and coalition warfighter to control time, space and the environment, while greatly enhancing survivability and lethality.