White Papers

A Single TDL Training and Battlefield Operations Solution

May 31, 2021 | BY: Brian Bass, Steven Horsburgh

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Tactical data link (TDL) communication brings critical visibility to the battlefield by providing warfighters easily accessible, sharable, and precise location and identification information of everyone in the combat zone (support teams, adversaries, and friendlies in the air, sea, ground, and space arenas) which enables them to make better tactical decisions. TDL systems provide the backbone for network-enabled battlefield awareness and control with robust support for command and control message exchanges.

Ship to shore TDL solutions enable

However, training is essential for warfighters and operators to effectively communicate across multiple TDLs. The more personnel who are comfortable exchanging Link 11, Link 16, VMF, and other TDL communications, the more opportunities there are for friendly forces to interact and interoperate to protect lives and achieve mission goals. Unfortunately, navies today face multiple challenges that limit TDL training opportunities:

  • The cost of training in the field with ships and support aircraft is massive. Running realistic scenarios can easily cost millions of dollars. In most cases, it’s simply not financially or operationally feasible to incorporate all the platforms that would be present in a real-world battlefield situation, into training exercises. In addition, ships that are used for training purposes are not available for active duty, further straining naval fleets.
  • It’s also very expensive and time-consuming to transport personnel to training locations. Most navies have only one, or very few, facilities for TDL training. As a result, personnel are typically flown long distances to receive training, increasing costs and the amount of time warfighters are off active duty.

The good news is navies can finally leave their TDL training challenges behind. Innovative, new solutions that combine TDL training and battlefield communications capabilities in a single system are allowing navies to completely change the paradigm around TDL training. They can train personnel in Link 16 and other TDL communications anywhere, even on ships during missions. And they can use the same system to set up a TDL network quickly and easily for command-and-control operations on any battlefield, at any time.

Download the white paper to learn more about

  • Tactical data link training
  • Battlefield situational awareness
  • Combat readiness, rehearsal, and debrief
  • Battlefield TDL simulation and network deployment
  • A single training and operations solution 
Brian Bass

Author’s Biography

Brian Bass

Director of Operatiosl Support

Brian Bass is the Director of Operations Support at the Tactical Communications Group (TCG) of Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions. Brian is a U.S. Air Force Veteran, joining the service in 1986 as a Security Policeman ultimately becoming a commissioned officer after earning his bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University in 1990. He began working with tactical data links in the military 29 years ago, and has since instructed, planned, tested, and operated data links in 20 countries with numerous tactical platforms. Brian is a Graduate of the United States Air Force Weapons School and the United States Navy Carrier Airborne Early Warning Weapons School. Prior to joining Curtiss-Wright, Brian supported the Joint Staff at the Joint Interoperability Division as the contract program manager, Joint Interface Control Officer instructor, and lead Link 16 engineer. Today as the Director of Operations Support, Brian manages a talented team of military veterans and tactical data link experts responsible for the installation and training of TCG systems around the world.

Steven Horsburgh

Author’s Biography

Steven Horsburgh

Director of Product Management & IT

Dr. Horsburgh is the Director of Product Management & IT at the Tactical Communications Group of Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions. After obtaining his Ph.D. in Physics, he has 30 years of research and development experience designing solutions to complex, large, data driven applications for commercial and military use. He has 12 years of experience with Tactical Data Links software design and development in both engineering and management positions. Prior to joining Curtiss-Wright, Steve worked in satellite communications and data management for the Naval Research Lab, Mission Research Corporation, and ATK and subsequently joined Tactical Communication Group, LLC (TCG) to architect, design and manage agile research and development projects related to Tactical Data Links including Link 16, VMF, CoT, and CESMO. TCG was acquired by Curtiss-Wright in March 2019 and Steve continues to manage R&D, Marketing, and Information Technology projects.

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