Army Simplifies and Unifies the Tactical Network
August 17, 2021
Published in SIGNAL Magazine
By George I. Seffers
A pilot technology trio tackles network complexity.
As part of the Army’s efforts to eventually unify its tactical and enterprise networks, the service is developing three pilot technologies designed to simplify the planning and management of its tactical network.
The unified network is expected to provide a seamless integrated network management capability to simplify user experience, increase situational awareness and strengthen cyber network defense, according to Army officials. Under a unified network, communication offices from the tactical edge through corps level will have fewer network management and monitoring applications and tools to enhance their ability to plan, configure, manage, monitor and secure the network. Lt. Gen. John Morrison Jr., USA, the service’s deputy chief of staff, G-6, has described the separation of enterprise and tactical networks as a false divide.
As a part of the NOMS effort, the Army is consolidating 24 different software programs into one common tool that soldiers will use to monitor and manage approximately 15 systems already in the field. It will be the centralized monitoring and management tool within a network operation and support center, allowing a view of the network and the ability to push out software updates or patches.
The PacStar technology will benefit both on-the-move and at-the-halt communications. “It enables you to see an entire picture of your network, your data latency, your bandwidth and basically just a communications common operating picture with the ability to troubleshoot and fix it as needed. The at-the-halt version is going to be fielded later this year, and the on-the-move version is currently in production,” Maj. Perkinson reports.