Soldiers from 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division drive vehicles equipped with Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) Increment 2 during training for the Army's Network Integration Evaluation 13.2. ()
Army officials are outlining plans for network capabilities in the coming years and decades, with a focus on capitalizing on commercial technology and routing high-tech communications to soldiers on the ground.
BG Daniel Hughes, Program Executive Officer for Command, Control, Communications Tactical (C3T), said he wants to do for the Army network what the Macintosh did for home computing in 1984.
“We’ve got to get to the point where the network works; it is omnipresent; soldiers do not need to understand the parameters of each and every radio to communicate across those networks,” Hughes said March 13 at an Army event at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. “The network should be something that is just there and just works. Absolutely the concepts much change for us to get better and for us to support Force 2025 and for us to create the network that our soldiers deserve going forward.”
With priorities focused on increasing capacity, simplifying network complexity, driving competition and deeply integrating capabilities, planning for the future Army network – including that which will serve soldiers in the Asia-Pacific and other potential new areas of responsibility – the goal is to have systems that are fundamentally easier to operate.
“We have systems that require weeks of training – who spends a week in iPhone training?” Hughes said.
The move toward a next-generation PEO-C3T network strategy means new opportunities for industry, Hughes added.
“The opportunities are out there – we are still building our network, we are still building our Force 2020,” he said. “Small business needs to play a big part of this going forward. I’m telling you the future is really bright on the network side. These are the beginning of our great days going forward and what we can provide for the soldier.”