US to upgrade tactical network for coalition forces in South Korea

The U.S. Army plans to install in South Korea the same type of tactical network that it currently uses to enhance coordinated operations among U.S. and coalition forces Afghanistan, according to a Sept. 7 Army news story.

"These networks give commanders in a coalition environment, both U.S. and coalition teammates, the ability to collaborate on the battlefield on a common operational picture," Lt. Col. Greg Coile, product manager for Satellite Communication, and product manager for Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) Increment 1, said in the story.

The Afghan Mission Network (AMN) makes it possible for coalition members to share critical battlefield information with each other, the story said. AMN, which uses the International Security Assistance Force's secret network as the backbone, connects network extensions from each participating nation, thus allowing them to share data, situational awareness and commander's intent across the battlefield on this centralized network. 

The Combined Enterprise Regional Information Exchange System, or CENTRIXS,-ISAF (CX-I) is the U.S. component of AMN. After playing a major role in standing up CX-I, the Army's Program Executive Office for Command, Control and Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T) continues to support the network. As part of this continuing effort, Project Manager WIN-T, assigned to PEO C3T, furnishes the equipment, fields and trains CX-I, and is now conducting a similar mission in South Korea, with CENTRIXS-Korea, the story said.

Although the U.S. and South Korea have been on a shared network for some time, U.S. tactical WIN-T Increment 1 systems, such the Joint Network Node and Battalion Command Post Node in that theater do not possess the capability to operate on the shared network, said Shannon Jones, former WIN-T Increment 1 operations manager and former PM WIN-T project lead for CX-I.
"The U.S. tactical systems in South Korea are not 100 percent useful if they don't have a coalition network element," she said. "They really need it in order to be effective in that theater."


About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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