Defense Media Network

The Boar Battlewagon: American Soldier Ingenuity at Work

During its ongoing rotation at the Joint Readiness Training Center, Ft. Polk, La., the U.S. Army’s 4th Brigade, 10th Mountain Division is preparing for possible deployment to Afghanistan as the first deploying brigade combat team equipped with the “Capability Set 13” (CS13)network hardware.

Boar Battlewagon-2

The Boar Battlewagon, with Capability Set 13 equipment – including satellite communications, tactical radios and friendly force tracking technology – can be transported by helicopter to remote locations. The innovative solution allowed the 2nd Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment to communicate in austere environments not accessible by heavier vehicle platforms. U.S. Army photo by Claire Heininger

According to Lt. Col. Alan Boyer, commander of the brigade’s 2-30 Infantry Battalion – “The Wild Boars” – the unit has yet to receive formal deployment orders but is training for its OEF deployment with a Security Force Advise and Assist Brigade (SFAAB) mission focus.

Highlighting how the soldiers in his battalion are comfortable in embracing the CS13 network technology, Boyer offered the example of “The Boar Battlewagon.”

“It’s really just a medium communications platform that can be air transportable on a CH-47,” he explained. “But it was because of some very smart young soldiers who understand and have a reference for how technology works, who were able to say, ‘I think I can make this work to meet the commander’s intent for operations.’”

The system is based on the CS13 company command post elements that have been integrated onto an Army “Gator” utility vehicle and powered off a 1 kW portable generator. The system provides the commander with unit position location information and extended range communications on the easily deployable platform.

“Essentially it equates to the same systems that my TOC has at the battalion level or that a company CP has at a hard site with a power grid,” Boyer said. “We can replicate about 90 percent of those solutions off a 1 kW generator, which clearly makes this expeditionary.”

He added that the system had already been deployed across JRTC aboard a CH-47 during the unit’s current training rotation.


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