Coalition exercise helps refine surveillance, comms systems

U.S. military and coalition partners just completed a joint exercise known as Enterprise Challenge 2012 (EC12) in which various tests were conducted to improve interporability of surveillance and communications systems used on the battlefield, according to a Sept. 13 story on the Army's website.

"[The exercise] allows us to work out the kinks in our systems before we deploy them to ensure they work and operate with all different services and coalition partners," U.S. Air Force Maj. Markyves J. Valentin, the project manager for Enterprise Challenge 2012, said in the story.

Valentin underscored the importance of interoperability; that is, the ability to share data between the various services in the DOD and coalition allies on the modern battlefield.

The services and coalition partners each had specific priorities at the event which concluded Sept. 7, but all of the efforts fell under the umbrella of interoperability.

"With the Army it was about ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) on the move, with the Navy it was about exposing data to another sensor and with the coalition it was about passing specific information on the SIGINT (signals intelligence) side," Gary Wang, director of Intelligence for Surveillance and Reconnaissance Programs within the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, said in the story.

EC12 was a multiple site demonstration conducted with the involvement of forces at nine locations, including eight U.S. locations and one international location at the Canadian Forces Warfare Centre in Ottawa, the story said.

The Joint Interoperability Test Command at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., furnished some unique characteristics for EC12, the story said,

"JITC provides data collectors and does a lot of the technical analysis for us [NGA] and [Defense Information Systems Agency]/JITC provides the [Distributed Development and Test Enterprise] network," Donnie Self, the chief for Sensor Assimilation Division at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, said in the story. "Having the command center, the white cell [exercise control center] and so forth, just seemed to fit in, with JITC."

About the Author

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

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