Army at work on network upgrade for Afghanistan

Operation Guardian Enable will reinvigorate the Global Network Enterprise Construct

The Army’s multi-phase plan for coordinating its IT networks across an enterprisewide platform is taking a new step with Operation Guardian Enable (OGE), a strategy that one Defense Department official said will improve the deployment process.

OGE is set to help units deploy more quickly and with seamless network connection as brigade combat teams (BCTs) move from home stations to bases in Southwest Asia, according to John Howell, director for integration and strategy with the Army Power Projection Enablers program under which OGE operates.

“This is to synchronize muscle moves throughout the Army,” such as major movements under the Base Realignment and Closure Act and through the Army Force Generation cycle, Howell said March 29 at the AFCEA Belvoir Industry Days at the National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md.

OGE is part of the broader Global Network Enterprise Construct, the Army’s effort to transform its enterprise-wide information network. Howell said all BCTs are expected to go through OGE by fiscal 2012.

“OGE is the means to an end for GNEC – it’s not the solution, but a piece of the solution,” Howell said. “We don’t just talk about it anymore – we get it out there and make it work.”

Howell said one example of making his team’s efforts work is the Centrix International Security Assistance Force network, part of the broader coalition force-wide Afghan Mission Network that enables information-sharing and collaboration between international partners on the ground in Afghanistan.

“We’re about a globally connected Army,” he said.

Howell’s office is working on a number of other enterprise-wide efforts, including an enterprise service desk that will offer tier-one help desk support and an enterprise service management system. However, the enterprise service desk project is currently on hold pending guidance from the Army CIO/G-6 office, he said.

An update is expected in the next week regarding the enterprise service desk, he said.

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a staff writer covering military networks for Defense Systems.

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