U.S. Army officials scheduled an industry day in El Paso, Texas, on Sept. 8 for companies that want to learn more about the Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) a month before the Army plans to hold the exercise's second iteration.
The industry day was organized to allow business leaders to ask NIE officials questions about how the evaluation runs and how they can get their equipment tested. Col. John Morrison, the Army LandWarNet director and an NIE leader, said with each NIE the Army completes it will become easier for industry to submit solutions to service capability gaps.
In July, the service completed its first NIE, trying out various components of the Army radio and communications system in the most wide-ranging test of the service's network to date. More than 3,800 soldiers with 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, tested the new communications gear to include Ground Mobile Radio and smartphones at Fort Bliss, Texas, and White Sands Missile Range, N.M.
Service leaders, including Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli, left the first NIE pleased with the results, saying this model of allowing soldiers to test equipment early in development could spread throughout the Army. The service plans to hold NIEs twice a year: once in the spring and another in the fall.