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Army Conducts NIE 14.1

Although delayed slightly by the budgetary indecision and wrangling that recently led to a temporary government shutdown, the U.S. Army is now conducting Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) 14.1 on the maneuver ranges north of Fort Bliss, Texas.

The semi-annual NIEs, conducted by elements of the Army’s 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division (2/1AD) with support from across multiple Army organizations, provide a field venue for the test, evaluation and demonstration of network components envisioned for fielding to brigade combat teams as full “Capability Sets.”

The “Joint Participation” aspect of NIE 14.1 included participation by the United States Marine Corps first unit equipped (FUE) with the Joint Battle Command Platform. NIE planners note that Marine Corps participation is expected to expand significantly for next springs NIE 14.2.

As with past NIEs, the ongoing 14.1 event [first NIE of FY14] is testing and evaluating a number of systems designed to satisfy a series of identified capability gaps. The final listing for the current event included three systems under test (SUTs), 18 systems under evaluation (SUEs), a “joint participation” element, five “carryover” efforts, and 13 “demonstrations.”

NIE 14.1

Soldiers From 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment at Fort Bliss head to the field For NIE 14.1 U.S. Department of Defense photo by Sgt. Aaron Palmer

For example, the NIE 14.1 SUT list included:

  • Operational Testing for the AN/PRC-117G;
  • Limited User Testing for Command Post of the Future (CPOF); and
  • Follow-On Testing for the Joint Warning and Reporting Network (JWARN)

Additional plans for testing of the Warfighter Information Network – Tactical (WIN-T) Increment 2 Joint Gateway Node (JGN) were withdrawn on Oct. 15, 2013.

The “Joint Participation” aspect of NIE 14.1 included participation by the U.S. Marine Corps first unit equipped (FUE) with the Joint Battle Command Platform. NIE planners note that Marine Corps participation is expected to expand significantly for next springs NIE 14.2. That NIE is also expected to mark the first largescale international participation, with units from Italy and United Kingdom expected to attend.

Current NIE 14.1 SUEs addressed a number of identified “Gaps” in Army capabilities. As an example, “Gap 1” explorations focused on brigade and battalion command post mobility and scalability. Identified SUEs included:

  • Efficient Mobile Support Infrastructure (EMSI);
  • Secure Wireless Distribution System (SWDS), and
  • A MaxxPro Command Post with On-Board Vehicle Power generation capabilities.

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Scott Gourley is a former U.S. Army officer and the author of more than 1,500...