Army streamlines tactical network capabilities’ evaluation, assessment events
JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. (April 12, 2016) — Army research center hosted a planning meeting to discuss possible technologies and systems they will evaluate and assess the remainder of Fiscal Year 2016 and into Fiscal Year 2017 at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, March 8–9.
Engineers and scientists from the Army’s research and development community attended the U.S. Army Material Command’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, or CERDEC, Ground Activity’s Fiscal Year 2016 Campaign of Events Planning Meeting. The CERDEC Ground Activity architects and executes operationally relevant events to test, assess, analyze and fix solutions for the Army’s communications and electronic needs.
The CERDEC Ground Activity supports the maturation process of these solutions by assessing them through data collection, reduction and reporting in a non-attribution environment. It also provides the Army with an operationally-relevant, field-based risk reduction venue that specializes in systems engineering and integration and provides relevant tactical networks architectures, said Adam McCauley, branch chief of the CERDEC Ground Activity, which is under the CERDEC Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate Systems Engineering, Architecture, Modeling and Simulation, or S&TCD SEAMS, Division.
This year, the CERDEC Ground Activity has transitioned from hosting a single, generalized, yearly event to three operationally themed, more specialized campaigns.
“By coming up with a campaign of events that are smaller and more detailed, we can better support the community, and our demonstrations can be better focused on the output,” McCauley said.
The three campaigns slated for this year include “Cyber Blitz: Converged Command Post,” “Cyber Blitz II,” and “Networking to Improve Maneuver/Expeditionary Operations.”
Cyber Blitz: Converged Command Post spans numerous Army organizations and looks to better define how the Army should set-up Command Posts to better leverage its cyber capabilities. Cyber Blitz II will be a follow-on campaign that will continue to expand upon the Army’s use of cyber.
Networking to Improve Maneuver/Expeditionary Operations will look at the interoperability and efficiency of communications capabilities for expeditionary forces and troops on the move. This campaign will include hardware convergence, network simplicity, and cellular and intra-Solider wireless capabilities.
“With the first campaign being completed this spring, we will have a pretty good indication of whether this is a better construct than the annual venue when you look at the outcome and when we look at what stakeholders we are able to attract and bring out there to see what we are doing,” said John Willison, CERDEC S&TCD director. “It’s not just about the products, it’s about getting people familiar with what we are trying to do.”
The change to the campaign construct also ties into a larger effort for CERDEC S&TCD. Moving the CERDEC Ground Activity under the CERDEC S&TCD SEAMS’ Division allows for better alignment of the center’s modeling and simulation, lab-based risk reduction and field-based risk reduction capabilities.
“I organizationally moved the CERDEC Ground Activity under SEAMS because that put modeling and simulation, lab-based risk reduction and field-based risk reduction under the same executing unit. We talk a lot about what we are going to do up at Dix in the field-based risk reduction, but it’s always meant to have that flow from modeling and simulation to lab-based, field-based. It’s really a total experimentation construct,” Willison said.
Beyond the three “themed” events throughout the year, there is still an opportunity for organizations whose technologies do not fit into a campaign to leverage the CERDEC Ground Activity.
“We’ve got at least 10 smaller events also scheduled in the white space between those three different events,” Willison said. “They’re still kind of at a customer-funded level effort. There’s still the ability for them to come up and use that capability. It just may not be in a major event, but they should still get the results they want out of it.”
The CERDEC Ground Activity will continue to refine its campaigns leading up to their execution to ensure continued field-based risk support to the Army.
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The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to ensure decisive overmatch for unified land operations to empower the Army, the joint warfighter and our nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.