US Army evaluates company command posts at NIE 12.1

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Army News Ser­vice, Dec. 2, 2011) — Sol­diers recent­ly fin­ished eval­u­a­tion of three vari­ants of the “Com­pa­ny Com­mand Post Node” as part of Net­work Inte­gra­tion Eval­u­a­tion 12.1.

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Sol­diers recent­ly fin­ished eval­u­a­tion of three vari­ants of the “Com­pa­ny Com­mand Post Node” as part of Net­work Inte­gra­tion Eval­u­a­tion 12.1. One of the three pri­ma­ry vari­ants of the CoCP eval­u­at­ed dur­ing NIE 12.1 was the Caiman mine-resis­tant, ambush-pro­tect­ed, or MRAP, tent-based CoCP. That vari­ant pro­vides Sol­diers mis­sion-crit­i­cal com­mand capa­bil­i­ties onboard the MRAP vehi­cle. When the mis­sion becomes more sta­tion­ary, Sol­diers can employ the system’s tent to max­i­mize the CoCP capa­bil­i­ties.
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The three-week eval­u­a­tion, which end­ed Nov. 19, helped demon­strate the abil­i­ty of each of the sys­tems to deliv­er com­mu­ni­ca­tions capa­bil­i­ty to those in the low­est ech­e­lons of the Army — the Sol­diers who phys­i­cal­ly exe­cute the Army’s mis­sion “at the tac­ti­cal edge.”

“I see the com­pa­ny as a mas­sive intel­li­gence and infor­ma­tion-gath­er­ing point,” said Capt. Scott DeWitt, who pre­vi­ous­ly served as a com­pa­ny com­man­der with 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Divi­sion. The 2/1 AD was the unit involved in the Net­work Inte­gra­tion Eval­u­a­tions, or NIEs. “It is the point where you are going to dis­sem­i­nate your orders, and they are going to get exe­cut­ed at the final tip of the spear — the squad lev­el.”

Among the key pri­or­i­ties eval­u­at­ed dur­ing the var­i­ous NIEs is the role of the Com­pa­ny Com­mand Post Nodes, or CoCPs, in “mis­sion com­mand on-the-move.” Extend­ing the net­work to the indi­vid­ual Sol­dier is also a pri­or­i­ty.

“Extend­ing the net­work down to the indi­vid­ual Sol­dier is a pri­or­i­ty in the Army,” said Maj. Bri­an Mack, CoCP trail boss at NIE 12.1. He said the CoCP is an impor­tant part of pro­vid­ing Sol­diers at the tac­ti­cal edge the abil­i­ty to both send and receive data.

One of the three pri­ma­ry vari­ants of the CoCP eval­u­at­ed dur­ing NIE 12.1 was the Caiman mine-resis­tant, ambush-pro­tect­ed, or MRAP, tent-based CoCP. That vari­ant pro­vides Sol­diers mis­sion-crit­i­cal com­mand capa­bil­i­ties onboard the MRAP vehi­cle. When the mis­sion becomes more sta­tion­ary, Sol­diers can employ the system’s tent to max­i­mize the CoCP capa­bil­i­ties.

A sec­ond vari­ant is called the “Trail­er Mount­ed Sup­port Sys­tem-Medi­um.” This tent-based sys­tem is mount­ed in a trail­er, and includes an 18-kilo­watt gen­er­a­tor and an envi­ron­men­tal con­trol unit. The sys­tem is inte­grat­ed with crit­i­cal mis­sion com­mand sys­tems that take advan­tage of a SIPR/NIPR Access Point, or SNAP, ter­mi­nal to pro­vide satel­lite con­nec­tiv­i­ty.

The third vari­ant sys­tem eval­u­at­ed was an indus­try-pro­vid­ed option that may pro­vide pos­si­ble solu­tions to cur­rent mis­sion require­ments.

Inside the CoCP, com­pa­ny com­man­ders can uti­lize crit­i­cal col­lab­o­ra­tive mis­sion com­mand appli­ca­tions that were pre­vi­ous­ly only avail­able at lev­els above bat­tal­ion. Includ­ed among those appli­ca­tions is Tac­ti­cal Ground Report­ing, which gives Sol­diers the abil­i­ty to col­lect, share and ana­lyze patrol data in a cen­tral data­base.

“Syn­the­siz­ing all of these things togeth­er into one ele­ment gives you the abil­i­ty to have com­pa­ny-lev­el sit­u­a­tion­al aware­ness in a uni­fied pack­age,” said Capt. Joseph D. Per­ry, a com­pa­ny com­man­der with­in 2/1 AD eval­u­at­ing a pro­to­type Com­pa­ny Com­mand Post dur­ing the cur­rent NIE.

“With this I can inter­act and pro­vide feed­back to my bat­tal­ion com­man­der, my bat­tal­ion staff on the move, and com­mand my com­pa­ny on the move, uti­liz­ing real-time SA (sit­u­a­tion­al aware­ness) and pro­vid­ing real-time intel­li­gence up and down the chain,” Per­ry said.

Dur­ing the next eval­u­a­tion, NIE 12.2, which will hap­pen in the spring of 2012, the Army will be eval­u­at­ing two new vari­ants of the CoCP, based on solu­tions cho­sen by the Depart­ment of the Army.

The ulti­mate com­mand post vari­ant field­ed in the Army’s future capa­bil­i­ty sets must be scal­able to sup­port the many dif­fer­ent oper­a­tions exe­cut­ed by a dis­mount­ed, air­borne, or mech­a­nized com­pa­ny ele­ment.

“The com­pa­ny com­mand post solu­tion is evolv­ing and 12.1 is just anoth­er iter­a­tion of that evo­lu­tion,” said Lt. Col. Carl Hol­lis­ter, prod­uct man­ag­er for Com­mand Post Sys­tems and Inte­gra­tion. “We don’t yet know what the 100-per­cent answer will be. But what­ev­er the final solu­tion may be, it is key, par­tic­u­lar­ly to a com­pa­ny, to pro­vide a ful­ly-inte­grat­ed com­mand post pack­age that is sus­tain­able with a train­ing pack­age that goes along with it.”

Source:
US Army

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