Triad partners rehearse for third Network Integration Evaluation
Brigade Modernization Command Public Affairs:
Network Integration Triad partners are now in the last planning phases for the Network Integration Evaluation 12.2 that will culminate in the field phase at Fort Bliss and White Sands Missile Range, N.M., at the end of April. One of the most important planning events was a rehearsal of concept, or ROC drill, conducted at the Mission Command Center March 15.
Chief of Staff Doug Fletcher, Brigade Modernization Command, which is organized under the Army Capabilities Integration Center, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, opened the meeting by noting that NIE 12.2 is the third of its kind to be conducted, and incorporating lessons learned from the first two NIEs has made the process run more smoothly. The purpose of the ROC drill, he said, was to go over the NIE scenario in detail, using a scale model of the exercise area, “producing a credible evaluation that will result in valuable recommendations to the Army on modernization.”
He then introduced the Triad leaders who were participating, including Col. Dave Wellons, director of the Integrated Test and Evaluation Directorate, U.S. Army Operational Test Command, Army Test and Evaluation Command; Lt. Col. Sandy Sizemore from the System of Systems Integration Directorate (SoSI), representing Col. Gail L. Washington, Program Manager Current; Col. James Donnelly from Department of the Army G3/5/7; Lt. Col. Keith McGuire from BMC’s Bridgade Modernization Integration Division (BMID), representing Col. Mike Harris, chief of BMID; Col. Robert Menti, BMC’s Training Evaluation Division (TED) chief; Col. Frank Huber, chief of the BMC Network Integration Division (NID); and Col. Dan Pinnell, commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, a heavy brigade combat team tasked with the mission of evaluating new technology for the Army.
Participating in the NIE for the first time will be the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), which has been training on the latest generation in communications equipment for several months. According to Lt. Col. Jason Jones, chief of 101st Abn. Div. G5/Exercises, “In the upcoming event, the 101st will provide command and control from Fort Campbell, Ky., to the units in the field at Fort Bliss and White Sands using WIN-T Increment 2 equipment to transmit voice, video and other data. Ideally, this equipment will be transparent to our leadership and operations center as they execute their wartime tasks during the IOTE (Initial Operational Test and Evaluation).”
The 86th Expeditionary Signal Battalion from Fort Bliss will provide personnel to work in the Network Operations Security Center in the Exercise Control Center at WSMR. The unit will also provide four-Soldier teams to support the 2/1 AD’s manuever company command posts. Their mission, considered by planners to be critical, will be to install, operate and maintain the satellite communications systems for those companies. The unit was represented at the ROC drill by Maj. Eric Posern.
The 2nd Engineer Battalion from WSMR will control the opposing force (OPFOR) for the combat scenarios. Its Soldiers will act as insurgents and friendly and enemy forces, according to battalion commander Lt. Col. Andre Balyoz. During the NIE, he said, they will be deployed at various locations at WSMR and Fort Bliss. Balyoz said his Soldiers will receive training from the OPFOR Academy at Fort Bliss during the third week of April. BMC’s TED is responsible for training all supporting unit personnel.
SoSI will again provide engineers to properly set up all items that will be tested – Systems Under Test (SUT). SoSI also manages field service representatives (FSRs) to maintain and repair systems if they break down during the NIE. Procedures to troubleshoot systems that are not operating properly were discussed during the ROC drill.
BMC’s BMID will conduct the Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership and Education, Personnel and Facilities, or DOTMLPF, test and evaluation of all the Systems Under Test, SUT, and Systems Under Evaluation, SUE. For NIE 12.2, there will be three SUTs, to include the WIN-T Increment 2, the HMS Manpack Two-Channel Radio and the JTTRS Enterprise Network Manager that merges all network inputs. Currently, 38 systems are scheduled to be under evaluation. Field phase dates are April 23 through June 8.
ATEC will provide data collectors to document how the systems perform. They will also collect feedback from the Soldiers who are using the systems. Details of how the feedback will be collected were discussed to ensure participants understand the procedures.
By late afternoon, most details of the NIE 12.2 plan had been addressed, and issues raised had been discussed and resolved. In concluding remarks, Fletcher thanked everyone who participated.
“One of the take-aways … is that we are in a battle rhythm,” he said. “Since we are now doing these NIEs twice a year, we are coordinating at a much higher level than we were when we began conducting them a year ago.”
Perhaps the most important aspect of this NIE is that it will continue required evaluations in support of Program of Record milestones and funding decisions and validate the connectivity, architecture and components of Capability Set 13, the first integrated group of networked technologies to be fielded to up to eight brigade combat teams starting in the fall of 2012.
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