USA — Commanding troops ‘on the move’ during NIE

WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M. — The Army is eval­u­at­ing the mis­sion com­mand-on-the-move capa­bil­i­ties that allow Sol­diers to com­mu­ni­cate ver­ti­cal­ly and lat­er­al­ly through voice and data in a tac­ti­cal oper­a­tional envi­ron­ment.

Sol­diers from 1st Bat­tal­ion, 35th Infantry Reg­i­ment, 2nd Brigade Com­bat Team, 1st Armored Divi­sion, engage in a sim­u­lat­ed raid using wear­able com­put­er sys­tem and held hand devices dur­ing the Net­work Inte­gra­tion Eval­u­a­tion 12.1 exer­cise at White Sands Mis­sile Range, N.M.
Click to enlarge

The test­ing and eval­u­a­tion of the net­work com­po­nents, or tech­nolo­gies and sys­tem capa­bil­i­ties, is occur­ring through a series of semi-annu­al net­work inte­gra­tion eval­u­a­tion exer­cis­es, at Fort Bliss, Texas, and White Sands Mis­sile Range, N.M.

More than 3,800 Sol­diers from the 2nd Brigade Com­bat Team, 1st Armored Divi­sion, are oper­at­ing both sys­tems under eval­u­a­tion and sys­tems under test and employ­ing them in var­i­ous real­is­tic com­bat sce­nar­ios in oper­a­tional­ly-rel­e­vant ter­rain designed to repli­cate the envi­ron­ment in Afghanistan. 

“We have mul­ti­ple tasks out here. We are eval­u­at­ing 15 to 20 rapid-equip­ment-field­ing items, of which some are net­work and some are not, and they are intend­ed to go right into the­ater in Afghanistan and oth­er places,” said Col. Daniel Pin­nell, com­man­der of 2nd BCT, 1st AD

“On top of that, we have a longer term project to work for the Army, which is this data and voice net­work intend­ed to be field­ed from the indi­vid­ual Sol­dier up through the brigade com­mand post — brigade tac­ti­cal net­work, both voice and data,” Pin­nell said. 

The data and voice net­work will oper­ate and meet dif­fer­ent require­ments in dif­fer­ent types of fights, Pin­nell added. 

“I may use the same soft­ware or appli­ca­tions on each one of the devices in any type of con­flict or envi­ron­ment, but what I’m ask­ing of it may be com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent,” said Pinnell. 

An exam­ple Pin­nell gave was that of a typ­i­cal major the­ater of war between two near-peer competitors. 

“Cer­tain­ly, in the major com­bat oper­a­tions phas­es of that oper­a­tion, I’m not pay­ing very close atten­tion to per­son­al­i­ties,” he said. “I’m not col­lect­ing bio­met­rics, by and large; I am not doing a lot of detailed pat­tern work on a pop­u­la­tion or an area. I am ene­my focused, for­ma­tion focused.” 

“My ques­tions will be dif­fer­ent,” Pin­nel explained. “I’ll still use the same device at the Sol­dier lev­el to help me under­stand where I am, where my peers are, where I am being told the enemy’s been observed, and what he’s up to. But I’m doing it for dif­fer­ent rea­sons, and I’m look­ing at dif­fer­ent cues to help me make my deci­sions on what to do.” 

“That’s the same from indi­vid­ual Sol­dier all the way through brigade com­man­der,” he con­tin­ued. “If the data and voice net­work works as intend­ed — if we get the through­put in secu­ri­ty on it and the appli­ca­tions that we’ve envi­sioned — it’s going to be able to meet those needs.” 

Two fun­da­men­tal pri­or­i­ties of the cur­rent NIE 12.1 are, first, for com­man­ders to be able to com­mand and con­trol while they’re mov­ing, and, sec­ond, to pull infor­ma­tion out of the net­work and get it to a Sol­dier lev­el, said Brig. Gen. Ran­dal A. Drag­on, com­mand­ing gen­er­al for the Brigade Mod­ern­iza­tion Com­mand, Army Capa­bil­i­ties Inte­gra­tion Cen­ter, under the Army’s Train­ing and Doc­trine Command. 

Radios and hand-held devices are made avail­able down to the lev­el of the indi­vid­ual dis­mount­ed Sol­dier, added Dragon. 

“You can look back in his­to­ry and think about how we com­mand­ed on the move,” said Drag­on. “At one time we used mes­sen­gers or run­ners. We’ve used flags while we were mov­ing for­ma­tions. We’ve used radios to be able to talk to one anoth­er. In this dig­i­tal age, we’re now able to pass infor­ma­tion rapid­ly — large quan­ti­ties of infor­ma­tion to cre­ate a com­mon pic­ture so that com­man­ders can com­mand effec­tive­ly and get their Sol­diers to the right place at the right time.” 

Dur­ing NIE 12.1, Sol­diers from 1st Bat­tal­ion, 35th Armored Reg­i­ment, 2–1 AD, used hand-held com­mu­ni­ca­tion devices to eval­u­ate mis­sion com­mand-on-the-move capa­bil­i­ties in a sim­u­lat­ed sce­nario in which pla­toons of Sol­diers were search­ing for high-val­ue tar­gets in a sus­pect­ed impro­vised explo­sive device factory. 

Sgt. Ryan Moore, a team leader from C Com­pa­ny, 1–35 AR, said he used the Rifle­man Radio sys­tem that is designed to give voice com­mu­ni­ca­tion through every­body in the team– from the high­est to the low­est lev­el in the platoon. 

“I think it’s impor­tant for Sol­diers, because it gives each Sol­dier an over­all sit­u­a­tion­al aware­ness and it takes out a few steps,” said Moore. “As opposed to hav­ing to get up from where my posi­tion is — say if I’m dug in some­where, and [I have to] run over and check on a Sol­dier or pass infor­ma­tion on to a Sol­dier — if he’s got a radio I can call him and tell him what’s going on, or he’s mon­i­tor­ing the radio, so he’s hear­ing the same traf­fic that I am.” 

Sgt. William Wil­son, a team leader also from C Com­pa­ny, used the wear­able com­put­er sys­tems, Wire­less Net­work After Next and Nett War­rior, in a mock raid scenario. 

“Basi­cal­ly what that was sup­posed to allow us to do was to bet­ter shoot, move and com­mu­ni­cate,” said Wil­son. “And to give a first­hand view for all the Sol­diers on the ground; that way they can keep up to speed on the oper­a­tion in every phase.” 

Wil­son said the sys­tems are designed to accel­er­ate the flow of infor­ma­tion, giv­ing Sol­diers the added advan­tage to respond. 

“The faster that we know every­thing, the bet­ter we can be in react­ing to all the changes that can hap­pen on the bat­tle­field,” Wil­son said. “The Nett War­rior allows us to help pop­u­late from a bird’s‑eye view [using] satel­lite imagery. It helps us pop­u­late basi­cal­ly the maps giv­ing cur­rent check points, and things such as that.” 

Moore said he believes the Army should pur­sue tech­nol­o­gy that facil­i­tates fire and maneu­ver and sur­vival in close com­bat. The sys­tems should allow Sol­diers to access key infor­ma­tion any­where, at all times and all the way down to the small unit and Sol­dier lev­el, he said. 

“It goes back to the basics of what we all do — shoot, move and com­mu­ni­cate,” said Moore. “All this equip­ment lets us do that faster. There’s no shoot­ing flares in the air to sig­nal things any­more. I can call some­body, and every­body knows; we’re all on the same page at the same time.” 

US Army

Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →