The Army’s Tactical Network
A 21st century expeditionary Army cannot succeed without a robust network. In order to prevent conflict in support of national objectives, shape the environment, and win in operational engagements, Soldiers in combat, deployed forces at all echelons, and both the Operational and Institutional Army rely on the network and the information and capabilities it stores, hosts and carries.
The Army’s portion of the Department of Defense (DoD) network, LandWarNet, will provide Soldiers, civilians and mission partners the information they need, when they need it and in any environment. LandWarNet will be a completely integrated and interoperable network, from the highest to the lowest echelon.
The Army is pursuing critical initiatives to build an enterprise capability, including Enterprise Email, calendar- sharing and directory services, and ID and data center consolidation. Enterprise Network initiatives will increase warfighting effectiveness, improve network security, save hundreds of millions of dollars and greatly reduce infrastructure. Additionally, the Army is transforming business systems IT to better support our business operations and strategic decision making. The Army’s enterprise concept requires a Common Operating Environment (COE), which is an approved set of technical standards to which all network applications and systems must adhere.
The Tactical Network
The Army has changed 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 adapted 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/eliminates the integration burden on deployed troops.
Providing Network Capabilities
To support Capability Set Management and to ensure that the Army can keep pace with rapid industry and government lab network technology maturation, the Army has implemented the Agile Capabilities Lifecycle Process. The Agile Process provides an opportunity to introduce and evaluate commercial and developmental government technologies in an effort to maintain technological relevance. The evaluations provide the Army with the relevant technical, Soldier, and integration observations and data to make an informed decision on a path forward for procuring and integrating these technologies into Capability Sets. The semi-annual Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) is helping shape “agile” capability integration by assessing Soldier provided and technical operational test data to influence not only how the Army should procure capability, but also how integrated network capability requirements should be validated and refined. NIEs inform the ways the Army will field, train, sustain and continuously improve capability acquisition and life cycle management.
Agile Capabilities Lifecycle Process
Unlike urgent fielding efforts, which often lack capability integration and robust developmental and operational test, the Agile Capabilities Lifecycle Process is an enduring process designed to align and influence capability requirements, incorporate Science and Technology initiatives and integrate mature industry technology into a package of network components that make up a Capability Set. The Process provides an opportunity to introduce and evaluate commercial and developmental government technologies in an effort to maintain technological relevance. Those evaluations will provide the Army with the relevant observations and data to make informed decisions on the path forward for procuring and integrating these technologies into Capability Sets.
Capability Set Management
Capability Set Management has adapted acquisition practices and is aligning programs, doctrine, testing practices and technology insertion so that units receive synchronized and integrated network capability. This entails an overarching network architecture that connects all echelons from squad to joint task force to ensure our leaders have the right information at the right time to make the best possible decisions. This is a significant departure from the previous practice of fielding systems individually and often to only one element of the operational force at a time. Capability Set Management is executed in a deliberate and disciplined process in accordance with the Army Force Generation Process, or ARFORGEN.
An outcome of the Agile Process, Capability Set 13 (CS 13) is the integrated fielding of a network baseline anchored on integration of satellite-based communications and terrestrial networking radios paired with handheld end user devices. The network baseline can be adjusted annually based on changing requirements, emerging technology and operational feedback from theater and through the NIEs. CS 13 provides integrated and interoperable Mission Command on the Move capability, through Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) Increment 2 and drives networking down to the squad level through a variety of tactical radios including Rifleman Radio and the Nett Warrior System.
The Agile Process supports synchronized fielding by providing Capability Sets that are integrated and validated (technically, operationally, sustainment and training) prior to fielding. Synchronized Fielding takes prototype designs that have proven technical and operational merit during the NIE and matures them into producible products, while ensuring final system integration and sustainment plans prior to fielding a Capability Set to an operational unit. The Army is synchronizing the implementation and fielding of the Army’s first fully-integrated Capability Set – Capability Set 13 – to Brigade Combat Teams beginning in fiscal year 2013. Capability Set 13 will extend the Network down to the individual Soldier and enhance Mission Command on the Move.Network Integration Evaluations
Click here to learn about the Army's Network Integration Evaluations
To learn more about the Army's Tactical Network composition and program management, please visit the Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T) website
Network Modernization Resources