Verification, innovation key to success for NIE 13.2 candidate capabilities
Lt. Col. Deanna Bague,
Brigade Modernization Command:
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – During an industry day here July 19 – meant to keep the industrial base informed about requirements to support the upcoming Network Integration Evaluation 13.2 – Army officials said the performance of systems in a controlled and repeatable environment will identify issues with equipment before placing it in an operational environment.
“We love to get new ideas and new innovation into the lab – to check it out, get through that process, get it out to the field, get Soldiers to evaluate it and move forward,” said Brig. Gen. Dan Hughes, director of Systems of Systems Integration Directorate.
Hughes told the more than 220 industry partners who attended the industry day event that it is important for them to ensure the capabilities their system offers to support the network are accurate.
Hughes said if the Army agrees a capability offered by industry is something that can be used, but subsequent lab testing shows the equipment doesn’t do what was advertised, then that can create setbacks for the NIE process.
Industry attendees toured the labs at Aberdeen that support industry candidate assessments, integration and validation before the candidates were sent to the NIE area of operations. The industry day focused on NIE 13.2, which is scheduled for May 2013.
Brig. Gen. Randall Dragon, commanding general of Brigade Modernization Command, said it is important for industry to understand what types of things they need to do to make sure Soldiers can operate effectively with their capability.
During the event, Army personnel informed industry of the requirements needed to support NIE 13.2 and provided updates on capability requirements and gaps.
Dragon discussed lessons from previous field exercises at Fort Bliss and White Sands Missile Range, N.M., which included NIEs 12.1 and 12.2.
The Army expects industry to apply these lessons in the upcoming NIE 13.1, which is scheduled for October and to chart a path ahead to NIE 13.2.
“If [industry] understands better what we need, what the Soldiers need upfront, we think we’ll get a better output and get better performance,” Dragon said.
As part of the NIE process, the Brigade Modernization Command – in conjunction with the Army Systems of Systems Integration Directorate and the Army Test Evaluation Command – puts potential Army network equipment into the hands of Soldiers of 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division. After an exercise is developed, Soldiers are sent to the field to evaluate how those systems work in a field environment.
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