US soldiers experience mobile networking using GDs’ WIN-T

Soldiers of the US Army’s 2nd and 3rd Infantry Divisions have completed a Limited User Test (LUT) of the Warfighter Information Network – Tactical (WIN-T) Increment 2, which for the first time delivers on-the-move Internet-like broadband networking capabilities to military units dispersed across wide geographic areas.
A General Dynamics-led team supported the testing, during which soldiers from the two units planned and executed multiple missions, sharing command and control information from the command post down to the company level using WIN-T.
“This is the largest and most complex user test for WIN-T and demonstrates just how critical a weapon the network is in the Army’s arsenal because it is what soldiers will depend on to communicate on the battlefield,” said WIN-T Project Manager Colonel William Hoppe, Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communication-Tactical for the U.S. Army Communications and Electronics Command at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey.

The military exercises, which began March 18 and ended March 30, constitute the first time that actual soldiers used the WIN-T network across multiple geographic locations.

During the LUT, soldiers carried out realistic mission scenarios that tested WIN-T’s ability to support continuous command, control, communications and intelligence functions used by warfighters and commanders during an operation.

If deemed successful by the Army’s Evaluation Center, completion of the LUT paves the way for the Army to approve low-rate production of the system. Upon final approval, fielding of the new equipment to the first unit will begin in late 2010.

The WIN-T program consists of four increments. Increment 1 is now in the hands of more than half of the U.S. Army worldwide, providing the Army’s enterprise network for deployed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Beyond Increment 2, which enables initial mobile networking for Divisions, Brigade Combat Teams, Battalions and Companies, Increment 3 provides increased network reliability and capacity, smaller and more tightly integrated communications and networking gear, and supports the Future Combat System.

Increment 4, the last of the WIN-T developmental program elements, is a pending contract award.