As he retires, Army Signal Command's Sutten shares thoughts SFC Jim Ward (Winter II; Vol. 24 No. 4);
Joint tactical radio system revolutionizing the ways and means of future battlefield communications CPT Steven Wall (Winter II; Vol. 24 No. 4);
Single-channel ground and airborne radio system retransmission planning during combat operations MAJ Trip Higgins, CPT Kris Ellis and MSG Robert Lipman (Winter II; Vol. 24 No. 4);
As he retires, Army Signal Command’s Sutten shares thoughtsby SFC Jim Ward
Vietnam was front-page news in 1967. More and more soldiers poured into that tiny country on the eastern edge of the Asian continent, as military and political leaders looked for ways to combat communist forces eager to seize South Vietnam. America was watching as reporters and anchormen struggled to get a handle on the story.
Still, for young lieutenants like Charles Sutten Jr., the issues were clear. He and his fellow U.S. Military Academy graduates knew their role meant at least a year in the combat zone, followed (hopefully) by a career in the Army.
As MG Charles Sutten, commander of Army Signal Command, looks back, he knows many of the operating principles he employs today were distilled during the year he spent in Vietnam.
Following a stint with 82d Airborne Division, Sutten went to Vietnam and served as a communications platoon leader in 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, at Quan Loi. Later, he served in 121st Signal Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, as a platoon leader and radio officer at Di An and Lai Khe.
"When you’re a junior Signal officer, you really feel your job is critical to the mission. When the senior officers are out of the area, you’re in charge. You have to make the right decisions and make things happen. That’s pretty heady stuff for a guy fresh out of the academy," Sutten said.
It was in these first few experiences that Sutten began to understand the role Signal plays on the combined-arms team. He discovered the lash-up between Signal and the rest of the tactical Army was critical to the fight.
But it was at the White House Communications Agency that he developed the style many see in him today. That style, one of empowerment and delegation, was born out of necessity.
As Sutten puts it, "The president wasn’t a training aid, so we had to execute in terms of minutes and seconds to provide instant support whenever he needed it. That meant there was lots of work to do, and I needed to be able to hand off a mission and know it would get done. That’s a little scary, but I think it’s the right approach. I also learned just how high standards really could be," he said.
This concept forms the backbone of what Sutten is all about. He believes that in the waning days of the 20th century, training on the basics and strict adherence to the standards are just as critical today as they were in the years before technology took over.
"If you train to standard, everyone in the unit knows what’s expected and can execute, even in the absence of orders and instructions," Sutten said.
Since the White House, Sutten has commanded a battalion and a brigade, both jobs he enjoyed and found professionally and personally rewarding. He also took 6th Signal Command from Fort Huachuca, Ariz., to Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, where his soldiers provided critical linkages that became standard throughout echelons-above-corps Signal operations.
Through these experiences he’s learned how important people are to the Army. Sutten says that going to the Persian Gulf and leading Signal soldiers was as critical to his success today as anything else he’s done in the Army. He learned that if he wanted to get the mission accomplished, he had to rely on the skills and work ethic of the soldiers he was charged to lead.
He also learned that for the Signal community to be successful, it would have to integrate into the warfighter community. That meant listening to what the Army wanted and learning to speak the language of operators.
"We’re an important part of the Army, and a lot of commanders knew it. We in the Signal Regiment also knew that, with the demise of the Soviet Union and the drawdown, our organizations had to change. We had to become a more operationally focused command. That’s what I faced as I took command (of ASC) in July 1995," Sutten said.
"I knew we had great people here and a real mission, if only we could sell the leadership on our true impact," Sutten said.
To succeed at turning ASC into the vital force it is today, Sutten and his organizational "SWAT" team had to develop a tutorial on what EAC Signal was and why ASC should be the Signal force provider of choice.
"I had some dedicated, smart people working this issue. And, slowly, we turned things around," he said.
Sutten thinks becoming a member of the Forces Command family was the smartest thing ASC ever did.
"We knew the Army wanted to get rid of major commands, but we also felt we had a home among the warfighter community. As it’s turned out, it’s been a perfect fit," he said.
Throughout his four-year command, Sutten has made the needs of the customer his top priority. He knows that as a Signal Regiment commander, his staff is here to provide the kinds of support soldiers and their leaders need.
"They have to view what we do as essential to their mission accomplishment, and we have to be there to make sure they get what they need and they know where to go if they need more help," Sutten said.
Besides guiding ASC through its transition from major-command status to a major subordinate command under FORSCOM, Sutten has also worked to ensure the Signal force structure is aligned and equipped to prepare it to deploy on contingency missions or conduct meaningful, realistic training.
Again, drawing on his White House lessons, he knows that today’s Signal Regiment has precious little response time to support the needs of a task force or Army headquarters. He also knows that it’s his job to create a climate where great, hard-working people can succeed.
"In my visits around ASC, I’m convinced the vast majority of soldiers and civilians want to do a great job. My mission has been to give them the assignments, provide the resources and watch them execute, knowing that if they get to the 80-percent solution, that’s pretty darn good," Sutten said.
And what of the future?
The one area Sutten feels needs considerable attention is the imperative of using commercial information technology to tie together power-projection platforms in the continental United States, Europe and the Pacific to tactical forces engaged in operations. "We haven’t got it right yet. We also get into trouble when our focus is too narrow," he said.
Another area of concern to Sutten is the whole information-assurance arena. He likens the current battle to the armor-antiarmor struggles of the past, where soldiers first confronted the need for improved protection against spears, javelins and the long bow by creating armor. With each succeeding advance in technology, a new round of improvements were needed.
He sees the same thing happening in the area of network defense. As a command, ASC has the mission to monitor Army computer networks and identify threats to their security. According to Sutten, ASC was ordered into this fight because high-level officials in the Defense Department knew ASC could tackle the job and wrestle it to the ground. Unfortunately, Sutten says, "The Army has a long way to go in this area. While we have received resources, the resources received don’t match the threat. Adjustments are definitely indicated and required."
Overall, Sutten remains optimistic about the Army. He knows the Army as an institution has been through a lot of change since the Cold War ended. He also knows the Army will remain true to its historic role as the nation’s chief defender.
He feels strongly that the Army will eventually have to create a permanent presence in the Balkans, and feels the Army should own up to that fact and provide this force.
"That’s the kind of thing we’re going to have to work on in the future. The missions the country has for the Army will continue to expand, and as they do, we’ll have to be ready to grow with them. But I think the Army is up to the challenge," Sutten said.
With the days dwindling down to a handful before he retires, Sutten can look back on a career that spanned two distinct eras. One born out of Vietnam, when the country still carried the World War II feeling of invincibility. The other one experienced around the sands of the Persian Gulf, where much of what the young Sutten felt was right about the Army bore successful, rewarding fruit.
This much can also be said of his personal life.
"I will also tell you that none of the good qualities that have made me successful would have come about without my wife, Sharon. She has always loved soldiers and has made me a better person," the general said.
SFC Ward, who is also retiring from the Army, is assigned to ASC’s public-affairs office.
Acronym QuickScan ASC – Army Signal Command EAC – echelons above corps FORSCOM – Forces Command
Single-channel ground and airborne radio system retransmission planning during combat operations
by MAJ Trip Higgins, CPT Kris Ellis and MSG Robert Lipman
Planning single-channel ground and airborne radio system retransmission-team operations is tougher than you think.
During the first Joint Readiness Training Center rotation at Fort Polk, La., in 1992, retrans-team operations were listed as "needs improvement" by the rotational unit. Every brigade combat team training at JRTC during the last two years also listed retrans-team operations as "needs improvement." We think we’re seeing a trend here.
This article will discuss the challenges associated with SINCGARS retrans operations under combat conditions and provide recommendations to the battalion S-6 for planning successful retrans operations. While we’ll focus on retrans-team operations, many of the concepts and tactics, techniques and procedures will apply to any Signal team employed remotely – to include radio-access-unit teams and line-of-sight radio-relay teams.
Here’s the bottom line up front for employing a retrans team: if the S-6 is the only member of the battle staff planning and coordinating for the team’s employment, go ahead and request replacement personnel and equipment before releasing the team and implement the contingency-communications plan. Employing a retrans team is a combat operation and so the retrans team should be organized as a combined-arms team. Compartmentalizing retrans-team employment as an S-6-only operation is a formula for disaster.
|SINCGARS retrans helps keep warfighters shooting, moving and communicating.|
This article is divided into two sections. The first section will discuss retrans planning as it relates to the military decision-making process, and the second section will cover detailed planning of retrans operations.
Retrans planning and MDMP
MDMP is a single, established and proven analytical process used to assist the commander and his staff in developing estimates, plans and orders. MDMP has seven steps: receipt of mission; mission analysis; course-of-action development; COA analysis (wargame); COA comparison; COA approval; and orders production. This process helps apply thoroughness, clarity, sound judgment, logic and professional knowledge to reach a decision. It produces coordination, integration and synchronization for an operation, and minimizes the risk of overlooking a critical aspect of the operation.
Let’s examine how Signal integrates with a maneuver unit’s MDMP by discussing some common pitfalls in Signal planning. Remember, retrans planning is a subcomponent of Signal planning, so we’ll discuss both processes.
THE COMMANDER’S GUIDANCE LACKS DETAIL (Step 15 of mission analysis). After the staff completes its mission-analysis brief, the commander provides the staff with enough additional guidance (preliminary decisions) to focus staff activities in planning the operation. By doctrine, the commander’s guidance identifies decisive points, addresses COAs to consider or not consider, and contains both initial commander’s critical-information requirements and reconnaissance guidance. Most commander’s guidance is fairly detailed; in-depth commander’s guidance allows the staff to complete the plan more quickly and efficiently. However, commander’s guidance often lacks detail in the area of command and signal.
If the commander doesn’t like to issue command-post positioning guidance or address his position during his commander’s guidance, request this information. At a minimum, you’ll need to understand the commander’s intent on CP location/function/capability and succession of command. In many maneuver units the S-6 writes Paragraph 5 (command and signal) of the operations order, and you’ll require this information to write the paragraph. Without this information, you’ll be unable to support COA development and will probably end up trying to hastily integrate command-and-control and retrans into the operation just before orders production.
Often during the commander’s guidance (following the mission-analysis briefing), you’ll hear the commander say, "Signal officer, make sure we deploy retrans." While this is doctrinally correct, determining retrans requirements should (generally) be a product of COA development. Most maneuver commanders don’t provide commander’s guidance in enough detail to address integrating retrans assets and aren’t familiar enough with Signal capabilities/limitations to employ retrans assets.
SIGNAL COA DEVELOPMENT ISN’T INTEGRATED INTO MANEUVER COA DEVELOPMENT (Steps 3 and 4 of COA development). After receiving the commander’s guidance, the staff develops COAs for analysis and comparison. Doctrinally there are six steps in COA development: analyze relative combat power; generate options; array initial forces; develop scheme of maneuver; assign headquarters; and prepare COA statements and sketches. The scheme of maneuver provides depth to the battle and governs the design of supporting plans or annexes.
Signal COA development should be integrated into maneuver COA development. Why?
|MDMP is a juggernaut. If you don’t conduct Signal COA development during maneuver COA development, it will be difficult to catch up.|
|COA development is fatal. Why do we say "fatal"? Because once all COA statements and COA sketches are completed, your unit will fight one of those COAs. Doctrine states a COA can be discarded during wargaming, but reality states the S-6 can’t cause a COA to be discarded during wargaming. If a given COA isn’t feasible for command and signal, you must identify it during COA development.|
|Allocation of space and resources are often implied during maneuver COA development. The earlier you reserve assets, the better.|
CP LOCATIONS AND RETRANS SITES DON’T APPEAR ON THE COA SKETCH (COA development, Step 6). COA statements and COA sketches are the final products of COA development. The COA statement must clearly portray how the unit will accomplish the mission and explain the maneuver scheme. The sketch provides a picture of COA’s maneuver aspects. Together, the statement and sketch cover who (generic task organization), what (tasks), when, where, how (method) and why (purpose) for each subordinate unit, plus any significant risks and where they occur. The COA sketch should include locations of CPs (required by doctrine) and retrans sites (see Field Manual 101-5-1, 4-22, for a retrans station’s graphic symbol). If retrans sites aren’t on the COA sketch, then retrans operations will probably be overlooked or insufficiently examined during COA analysis (wargaming).
|Faced with an enemy's Hind helicopter, it's a good time for the retrans plan to work.|
Detailed retrans planning
The final section of this article will address considerations that will influence your retrans plan. As you’re developing your retrans COA, you should consider each of the following areas.
BE THE ENEMY. The position of your retrans should be unpredictable. If you try to put your retrans team in the optimal location, you’ll probably encounter the maximum number of enemy. The enemy analyzes the battlefield and goes looking where it thinks your C2 nodes will be positioned. There is some risk in using an electronically marginal location, but the benefit is that the enemy is less likely to template that location as a retrans/C2 site.
When planning for retrans-team employment, maintain your focus on the enemy situation. Epic battles have been fought over a single piece of high ground; the fight for a retrans site could be harder than the fight for the objective.
|A SINCGARS retrans installed in an S-250 shelter. This team was well-equipped with an M-249 squad assault weapon, Global Positioning System, AN/GRC-193, AN/PSC-5, two AN/VRC-92s, AN/PRC-119, two power supplies and a multimeter.|
TO REMOTE SITE, OR NOT TO REMOTE SITE, THAT IS THE QUESTION. Co-locating a retrans team with another asset is generally a good idea. Notice we said it’s generally a good idea. A retrans team (a light-infantry brigade headquarters and headquarters company has modified tables of organization and equipment for two soldiers) will find it almost impossible to defend against even a Level I threat (a team of 10-12 well-armed, well-equipped soldiers). If a retrans team can’t avoid the attack ("hide with pride" should be the motto of all retrans teams), co-locating with another asset is the only way to survive. Co-locating the retrans team also facilitates logistics (to include casualty evacuation – have you ever tried to evacuate a casualty single-handedly?). The drawback of co-locating a retrans team is that you have little control over the asset with which the team is located (particularly, when/where that asset displaces). Consider the friendly asset carefully: the asset the retrans team is co-located with may be an enemy high-payoff target, and the team could suffer significant collateral damage (the Q-36 radar will be well defended, but it’s also an enemy magnet).
Always remember the conditions that require you to employ retrans will probably apply to other units in the combat team. Who else will need to use retrans to support this operation? Can you co-locate your retrans team with theirs? The daily S-6 conference call is a great opportunity to synchronize retrans team missions.
HOW DO I GET THERE FROM HERE? While a retrans team can "hide with pride," it can’t hide during a tactical movement. Retrans teams generally incur increased risk when they’re on the move. How do we mitigate this risk? First, remember that any time your retrans team leaves an approved route, you’re now embarking on a route-clearance operation. Most retrans teams aren’t trained for route clearance. You’ll have to work closely with the S-2 and staff engineer to manage the risk if your team leaves an approved route.
Second, even if your team is traveling on an approved route, make sure you know the last time the route was "proofed" (confirmed to be clear). This means knowing the last time vehicles successfully navigated that route without an ambush or mine strike. We would encourage you to map every mine strike that occurred on the route in the last 72 hours (minimum) and track the time those strikes occurred (pattern analysis). An armed escort is mandatory; three cargo humvees with two pax per vehicle and no crew-served weapons is not "armed."
Air-insertion of retrans teams is a proven technique (especially for dismounted teams), but you should carefully explore the signature of the insertion method and all logistics requirements (particularly recovery of the team after the mission is complete). A remote retrans team in an isolated area (no roads in) may enjoy excellent survivability.
Ensure that you build recovery of retrans assets into your plan. In some situations, recovery of the teams may be so difficult it will cause you to change the rest of the plan. The retrans plan isn’t complete until it includes recovery or exfiltration of the team.
SEMPER GUMBY. Plan for alternate sites; Mother Nature and the enemy will exercise their right to vote. Notice we said plan; simply identifying a second location isn’t a plan. You have to consider movement, force protection, logistics and operations security for the alternate site (all of which may be significantly different from the first location). Establish conditions to trigger movement to the alternate site, and ensure that both the team chief and the approving authority understand those conditions.
SLUMBER-PARTY MASSACRE. Soldiers at a remote site will have to sleep. A (non-doctrinal) technique often used at remote retrans sites is to "sleep away" from the vehicle; some units even set up an ambush on their own retrans vehicle. Another technique employed at remote retrans sites is the "one 31U retrans team." It only takes one 31U (combat communicator) to establish communications at a retrans site; some units will fill the rest of the team with 11Bs (infantrymen). A benefit of this technique is that if the retrans team is compromised and destroyed, you don’t lose all your 31Us (a low-density military-occupation specialty in an infantry unit).
WHEN IS THE LAST TIME YOU TALKED WITH YOUR RETRANS TEAM? (translation: your team is dead). Unfortunately, once a retrans team employs (usually from the tactical-operations center), it’s usually "alone and unafraid" on the battlefield. S-6s and communications chiefs don’t think through how they will C2 their team. A proven technique is to ensure your team employs with formats for standard reports, a report schedule and an AN/PRC-119 radio (manpack SINCGARS). The team submits scheduled reports and "salute" reports by using the AN/PRC-119 across its own retrans equipment. Sure, the team will clog the net for a few seconds while it makes its report, but using a format will dramatically reduce the time it’s on the net. This technique is especially important if the team is retransing from frequency hop to single channel (you can’t hear traffic at the retrans in this mode). The additional AN/PRC-119 gives the team a spare radio-transmitter, and it’s a great tool for testing its equipment. The current trend, in which the only "report" the S-6 gets from the retrans team is when it stops working (reason for outage: enemy contact), isn’t a good thing.
|A reason for outage from your retrans team is the team failed to maintain tactical discipline and didn't practice field craft, resulting in enemy contact.|
DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT. … A retrans team needs a precision lightweight Global Positioning System receiver. The team may navigate like Lewis and Clark at home station, but it’ll need a PLGR anywhere else in the world.
Bring jumper cables; vehicles are relatively common on the battlefield, jumper cables are not.
Should you bring an automated net-control device? Yes. If you run the retrans vehicle’s batteries down (and the radios are in operation), you’ll lose your communications-security fills. We recommend you have one team member carry ANCD, while a second team member carries the cryptographic ignition key. Ensure your team has solid over-the-air-rekey skills and uses the cue-and-man frequencies.
Employ your retrans team with a "risk kit": spare OE-254 feed cone, spare coaxial cable, spare retrans cable (CX-13298), spare handsets, etc. Remember that any two SINCGARS RTs with a retrans cable can function as a retrans; order a retrans cable for each dual long-range SINCGARS radio system (AN/VRC-92) on your unit’s MTOE.
A combat lifesaver with a complete (inventoried) CLS bag is practically a requirement. Pay attention to Class VIII: packing additional saline bags is a good idea. Ditto for calamine lotion. A team member who’s allergic to beestings must have a beesting kit or risk derailing the retrans operation.
Estimate enough Class I for the operation and double it. Never employ a retrans team with less than five days’ supply of Class I and water.
FM 11-43, "The Signal Leader’s Guide," has a great checklist for retrans employment. We also encourage you to conduct troop-leading procedures (GTA 7-1-38) and include a backbrief and rehearsal (react to contact, casualty evacuation, react to mine strike). Require the retrans team to set up its OE-254s and precombat-check equipment in-system before employing.
When SINCGARS retrans planning is integrated into MDMP, the chances of successfully accomplishing the retrans operation greatly increase. Whether they realize it or not, the other officers on the battle staff will author into retrans-team employment as a combat operation. This assertion applies to both combat missions and stability-and-support operations.
Become familiar with FM 11-32 ("Combat-Net Radio Operations"), FM 11-43 and FM 101-5 ("Staff Organization and Operations"). FM 11-43 is especially good because it’ll help you with site selection (Chapter 5, Section III), tactical movement (Chapter 5, Section II) and Signal site security (Chapter 5, Section IV). Your own soldiers will clue you in on TTPs not found in the manuals – like covering the head of a sledgehammer with empty sand bags so you don’t have metal-to-metal contact while pounding in antenna stakes.
A final disclaimer: this article is intended to be a retrans operations primer, not the definitive work on the subject. We intentionally left out discussion of some important battle staff members – such as the fire-support officer (no-fire areas and fire-support planning) and air-defense-artillery officer (enemy air avenues of approach) – and the importance of a SINCGARS equipment matrix.
Ladies and gentlemen, start your wargaming.
MAJ Higgins is the senior Signal trainer at JRTC. He has five rotations as an observer/controller, 18 rotations as the JRTC Signal planner and three rotations as a Blue Forces member.
CPT Ellis served as the mobile-subscriber-equipment company trainer and a light-infantry battalion Signal trainer at JRTC. He was recently reassigned from JRTC with 23 rotations as an O/C and one rotation as BLUEFOR.
MSG Lipman is the brigade communications-chief trainer at JRTC. He has eight rotations as an O/C and 13 rotations as BLUEFOR.
JRTC Signal team members MAJ Thomas Hood, CPT Roger McDonald, SFC Rafael Gonzalez, SFC Daniel Padilla and SFC Jaudon White also contributed to this article.
Acronym QuickScan ANCD – automated net-control device BLUEFOR – Blue Forces C2 – command and control CLS – combat lifesaver COA – course of action CP – command post FM – field manual JRTC – Joint Readiness Training Center MDMP – military decision-making process MTOE – modified tables of organization and equipment O/C – observer/controller PLGR – precision lightweight G(lobal Positioning System) receiver RT – radio transmitter SINCGARS – single-channel ground and airborne radio system TTP – tactics, techniques and procedures
Joint tactical radio system revolutionizing the ways and means of future battlefield communications
by CPT Steven Wall
"Red 5, this is Red 6."
The lieutenant powered his computer display and his commander’s image came up. "Red 6, this is Red 5."
"Red 5, take your platoon to establish a checkpoint along the highway, grid GL34519283, no later than 182300 June 1, provide real-time intelligence video and situation awareness of forces withdrawing along Route Yellow."
On the screen next to his commander, the digital-map display popped open, showing his sector and the adjacent units in the operations area. The electronic whiteboard showed units he was to coordinate with. Another list showed the intelligence requirements the commander wrote down during the battalion order.
"Red 6, roger."
"Red 5, operations order and communications package sent."
The file-transfer protocol icon came up. It showed that the order, communications-waveform software and map files had been received. The lieutenant clicked "save" and moved the map and text icons into his new mission folder and saved the communications files onto his computer.
"Red 6, message received."
"Red 5, good luck. Red 6 out."
This notional radio transmission is ready to happen. Our Kosovo-forces units are required to communicate with joint, multinational, foreign-national and civil authorities. We have the capability to send orders electronically. We can interoperate with joint and multinational forces. Civilian networks can be tapped. We have real-time video capability. The problem is we can’t do it all from one communications system.
Currently the Army relies on single-channel ground and airborne radio, enhanced position-location reporting system, near-term digital radio, mobile-subscriber equipment and satellite-communications systems. What we want is a wideband, multifunction digital radio capable of meeting our needs. This is where the joint tactical radio system will satisfy the user’s need for a wideband digital radio capable of simultaneous voice, video and data.
The road to JTRS is paved by Joint Vision 2010, which serves as the armed forces’ premier warfighting concept. Published in July 1996, the Joint Chiefs of Staff provided their best estimate on how the armed forces should fight in the 21st century. The joint doctrine and philosophy contained within JV 2010 have provided an indispensable, overarching framework for conducting future joint operations.
The four central pillars of JV 2010 are its key operational concepts: dominant maneuver, precision engagement, focused logistics and full-dimensional protection. Also, there are two "enablers": technological advances and information superiority.
|Joint Vision 2010 illustration.|
Information superiority and technological innovation are common to each operational concept. If we can provide our joint-task-force commanders with a mobile, dynamically reconfigurable, theater-wide information grid with enough reliability, capacity, interoperability and security – allowing tailoring of support networks for time-critical missions – it’s possible to achieve the necessary information flow to support each JV 2010 operational concept. To provide a communications infrastructure that doesn’t support these information-superiority goals would limit access to information and create a lack of interoperability among command, control and support systems, preventing optimum integration of operations, planning and logistics.
How each of these operational concepts and enablers relate to expected force capabilities greatly defines the qualities JTRS must provide the armed forces. Thus JTRS must be the centerpiece of the JTF information grid. It must span the requirements of each service while providing a common open-system architecture that will ensure total-force interoperability regardless of domain or application.
Army operational concept
JTRS will meet emerging needs for secure, multiband/multimode digital radios for Force XXI. The JTR family will be scaled for use in all environmental domains (airborne, ground, mobile, handheld, fixed-station, maritime, civilian and personal communication) and will be based on common communications-system architecture. The JTRS family will be an open-system architecture, interoperable with legacy communications systems, and capable of future technology insertion. It will provide a networked data waveform in addition to operation with current legacy waveforms.
When JTRS is ready for fielding, the Army will field it initially to battlefield functional areas where multiple radios are in use. Selected users needing multiple paths for voice and/or data information exchange will be served by JTRs that are configurable and programmable to simultaneously operate on multiple bands and modes across multiple networks while automatically routing data within and between applicable networks.
Characteristics desired in JTR are:
|Field-configurable modular hardware;|
|Field-programmable waveform software;|
|Embedded position location, plus automatic SA feed to network;|
|Secure data network;|
|Three or more other networks/modes (voice, video and data);|
|Automatic local and internet routing;|
|Dynamic networking, addressing and bandwidth allocation, plus power-consumption control;|
|Emulation of selected legacy radios;|
|Compliant with joint technical architecture and supports operational architectures; and|
|Self and "ad hoc" organization and mobility within the infrastructure.|
To get JTRS into the user’s hands, the joint program office took an aggressive approach for JTRS’ development and acquisition. JPO announced June 28 that the Modular Software Radio Consortium (Raytheon) system-architecture proposal had been selected as the system architecture for JTRS. The next phase, Step 2a, requires the consortium to develop prototypes and to demonstrate the architecture and its interoperability. In Step 2b, a second consortium will build to the same architecture and can develop some or all of the optional waveforms.
The two consortiums must then swap waveforms and related technologies with each other. Doing so will validate the compatibility and openness of the selected architecture.
Current waveforms Step 2 requires the consortiums to provide are:
|High-frequency automatic-link establishment;|
|Very-high-frequency frequency modulation;|
|VHF FM public service;|
|Ultra-high-frequency demand-assigned multiple access/demand-assigned single access;|
|VHF for air-traffic control (8.22/25 kilohertz channels);|
|UHF Have Quick I/II; and|
Optional waveforms that Step 2 asks of the consortiums:
|Internet controller (to be emulated as a software capability, not a waveform).|
The consortiums are to provide prototypes of JTR, one of which must be capable of running all eight waveforms. Solicitations were made in July, with the agreement award announced at the end of August.
The Army requirements for JTRS focus on the wideband waveform. This waveform, set forth in JTRS’ operations-requirements document dated March 23, 1998, is a vendor-proposed waveform. This unique requirement will help realize answers to many current challenges, which include the increase in data requirements for larger throughput as well as for faster and more reliable links. JTRS is a wireless, self-organizing and (more importantly) self-healing network. The wideband waveform holds the key to solve many obstacles.
The current Army waveforms and years required in the ORD are:
|SINCGARS system-improvement plan/advanced SIP, fiscal year 2002;|
|UHF DAMA/SATCOM, FY00;|
|Wideband, FY02; and|
|Mobile-subscriber radio terminal, FY02.|
The Army continues to focus on the user’s needs. Training and Doctrine Command’s system manager for tactical radios recently sponsored its second Army users’ conference. Proponent schools provided TSM-TR a hard look at the ORD and developed a list of priority waveforms to help guide development of JTRS waveforms.
TSM-TR also is working as part of the JTRS network integrated-product team in developing the network drivers, requirements and related technical features of the JTRS network. This portion of the radio capability will be a great asset to the user. It will provide dynamic, wireless routing and links for the services. The future battlespace will require creating seamless, mobile, ad hoc networks to pass survival and planning data; will give real-time and near-real-time voice, video and data; and will provide sensor-to-control-node-to-shooter data.
TSM-TR is working to best represent users and the requirements they bring to the battlefield. TSM-TR’s goal is to bring JTRS to the Army to capitalize on this technological capability and to maximize the information and communications transfer for 21st-century warfighters.
JTRS is designed to provide the warfighter the best communications possible. Its ability to reach back to legacy systems currently in the inventory will help reduce fielding costs and digitize the Army. JTRS has the ability to meet users’ needs and future joint requirements.
Information on JTRS can be obtained by linking to the JTRS JPO homepage at www.jtrs.sarda.army.mil or to TSM-TR’s homepage at www.gordon.army.mil/tsmtr.
CPT Wall is assistant TSM-TR at Fort Gordon, Ga. His other assignments have included assistant professor of military science at University of South Dakota; adjutant and company commander for 442d Signal Battalion at Fort Gordon; assistant operations officer and platoon leader with 125th Signal Battalion, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; and battalion Signal officer with 4th Battalion, 22d Infantry at Schofield Barracks. Formerly an infantry officer, he holds a bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University in law-enforcement administration and a master’s degree for University of South Dakota in administrative studies.