Home Americas US Army trials commercial tech for on-the-move network solutions

US Army trials commercial tech for on-the-move network solutions

US Army soldiers preparing for the start of the armored formation on-the-move network pilot, Jan. 24, 2022. Photo: US Army

The US Army recently completed a pilot to evaluate new and emerging commercial network on-the-move technologies integrated onto available surrogate armored vehicle platforms.

The trial was carried out by a pilot unit and also tested expeditionary at-the-quick-halt satellite communications.

The pilot effort was conducted to inform the army’s Capability Set 25 network design, the concept of operations for on-the-move, or OTM, networked armored formations from division to battalion, and market research to determine currently available and maturing industry solutions for armored formation network integration.

The pilot unit – the “Spartan Brigade,” 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division – used and provided feedback on several commercial prototype equipment sets, as well as operational tactics, techniques and procedures, during the pilot at Fort Stewart, Georgia, from Jan. 24 to Feb. 11, 2022.

Of the three battalions in the pilot, the 3rd Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 2nd ABCT, 3rd ID, was tasked to assess the first of the three equipment sets in the pilot.

This equipment enabled upper tactical internet, or TI, mission command while moving in military armored vehicles. This technology empowered us to set up its operation centers faster and with greater ease than our current capabilities allow.

For the pilot, 3rd Bn., 67th AR’s focus was to assess a battalion line-of-sight, or LOS, mesh and a commercial flat panel satellite terminal link.

The satellite communications, or SATCOM, link that was assessed was facilitated through a flat panel, mounted on top of a communications vehicle. This SATCOM link enabled upper TI services between the battalion and brigade. With the flat panel, soldiers could successfully use mission command systems, including Command Post of the Futures, or CPOFs, Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data Systems, or AFATADs, and Command Post Computing Environment, or CPCE, as well as tactical operations center intercommunications voice calls.

The service explained that the armored formation on-the-move network pilot provided a glimpse of the future for army command and control nodes and how the formation is empowered through developing network and communication technology. During the pilot, the 3rd Bn., 67th AR, experienced faster, redundant and simplified communication equipment reaching from company to battalion nodes.