Army prepares to field WIN-T Increment 2

The Army has received approval from the Defense Acquisition Board to proceed with limited production and fielding of the second increment of the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) system, the Army News Service reported Oct. 1.

WIN-T Increment 2 stands as a key upgrade to the service's tactical communications network. Increment 2 will provide initial on-the-move capability and a mobile infrastructure and enable network mobility by employing military and commercial satellite connectivity and terrestrial, line-of-sight radios and antennas to achieve end-to-end connectivity and dynamic networking operations. Increment 2 extends the network backbone to company level for maneuver brigades for the first time.

The effort will support the fielding of what the Army refers to as Capability Sets. These are fully-integrated packages of radios, satellite systems, software applications, smart phone-like devices and other network components that furnish an integrated connectivity from the static tactical operations center to the commander on-the-move to the dismounted soldier.

As a result of the Defense Acquisition Board's Sept. 25 decision, the Army remains on track to field Capability Set 13 (CS 13), starting in October to two brigade combat teams of the 10th Mountain Division, and to continue developing the follow-on CS 14, the story said.

"WIN-T Increment 2 provides an unprecedented on-the-move capability that the Army does not have today and builds upon capabilities that are already fielded and operationally proven," COL Ed Swanson, project manager for WIN-T, said in the Army News Service story.

At the same time that it fields to CS 13 units, the Army will continue to work with the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the test community to aggressively address items identified during the Initial Operational Test & Evaluation, or IOT&E, for WIN-T Increment 2, held in May as part of the Army's Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) 12.2. Upcoming NIE events will be leveraged for future testing focused on specific areas to continuously improve the WIN-T Increment 2 system.
"We will continue to take advantage of the semi-annual NIEs to obtain operational insights from soldiers and further enhance WIN-T capabilities," LTC Robert Collins, product manager for WIN-T Increment 2, said in the story. "This will enable us to incorporate technology improvements and get them into the hands of the soldier at a faster pace, which is exactly what the NIE and the Army's Agile Process are meant to achieve."

About the Author

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

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