Armor & Mobility

MAR/APR 2017

Military magazines in the United States and Canada, covering Armor and Mobility, focuses on tactical vehicles, C4ISR, Special Operations Forces, latest soldier equipment, shelters, and key DoD programs

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In today's complex world, U.S. forces are improving their readiness to rapidly deploy, maneuver and fight right-sized units across multiple contested domains at every stage of operations. "We are reducing our network footprint for increased unit agility, while simultaneously increasing network capability to enable mission command," said Col. Greg Coile, project manager for Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T), the Army's tactical communications network. "Although we are delivering diverse network capabilities and enhancements, they all support one robust interoperable tactical network." WIN-T delivers a line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight modular "tool kit" of network connectivity that enables commanders to best support the fight at every stage of operations -- from home station, to early entry to the most austere edge of the battlefield. FROM HOME STATION TO DROP ZONE As soon as the Global Response Force of the XVIII Airborne Corps is called to deploy, unit commanders begin planning the mission at home station, and once en route to the objective, Enroute Mission Command (EMC) enables them to continue planning onboard the aircraft. EMC provides critical in-flight mission command, plane-to-plane and plane-to-ground communications, and situational awareness so commanders can keep ahead of changing battle space conditions. Paratroopers and commanders can receive operational updates in flight and watch full-motion video of the target drop zone on large screens before parachutes even open. "These elite Soldiers drop from the sky under a variety of mission requirements, and must be both highly agile and responsive," said Lt. Col. Mark Henderson, product manager for WIN-T Increment 1, which manages several of the new expeditionary communications capabilities, including EMC. "Arming them for potentially life- threatening missions certainly includes providing real-time situational awareness and high-bandwidth network communications, so they can be more maneuverable and unpredictable by seeing first and acting first. It will change the way future airborne operations will be conducted worldwide." The Army first fielded the initial operational capability of EMC in fiscal year (FY) 2015 and expects to complete fielding the Ku-band capability by the end of FY 2017. EARLY ENTRY SATCOM Once on the ground and an airfield is seized, Soldiers can rapidly set up their Transportable Tactical Command Communication (T2C2) inflatable satellite terminal, which enables continuity of mission command during the initial phases of operation. Both the T2C2 Lite (1.2 meter satellite terminal) and Heavy (2.4 satellite terminal) provide robust high-bandwidth network communications and mission command for early entry and forward operations. Later in the mission, when follow-on forces fly in larger network assets, commanders can extend the battle space using T2C2 to support company-size forward operating bases and special team size elements that need an easily transportable network capability. Because the T2C2 solution is inflatable, when compared with other satellite terminal solutions, it can provide a larger dish size with increased capability and bandwidth efficiency in a much smaller package. Paratroopers can have it air dropped to the ground. "Supporting complex missions against increasingly capability enemies requires us to be agile, and T2C2 is easy to transport, easy to set up and easy to operate and maintain," said Lt. Col. Jenny Tam, product manager for WIN-T Satellite Communications (SATCOM), which manages T2C2 for the Army. "It also provides commanders with increased flexibility to support both offensive and defensive operations. They can quickly deploy to remote and challenging locations, where they can stay connected to the network and securely exchange information." EXPEDITIONARY TAC COMMS WIN-T NODE OPS www.tacticaldefensemedia.com Armor & Mobility | March/April 2017 | 17 New "Lite" versions of the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) Tactical Communications Node (TCN) and the Network Operations and Security Center can be integrated onto High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles, which can be sling- loaded from a helicopter for significantly increased agility and operational flexibility. Here, a TCN-L is being sling loaded during a test at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD. (U.S. Army ATEC)

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