Army Assembling New IT System

Col. John Morrison is reporting that the U.S. Army is readying its IT network for a major overhaul. The Army is looking to upgrade its system to a single interoperable enterprise, rather than the many localized programs it currently features.

A problem in the past has been that IT services, mainly tactical networks, were quite different to operate when troops hit the ground. The Army says it’s building a construct that will have soldiers training on and using the same network and equipment at the home posts, camps and stations that they do while at war. At Fort Bliss, Texas, the Army is gaining some trial-and-error practice in what is is calling Network Integration Evaluation.

“Before, if we wanted to fix a problem with the theatre network, the only place we could fix it was downrange,” said Col. John Morrison, director of the Army LandWarNet/Battle Command. “We have now replicated that theatre network at Fort Bliss, so that theatre, who’s engaged in the fight, can throw that problem over the fence and we can assist with it.”

A change in the way the Army runs its IT network will also mean changes in how government contractors sell their services. Army leaders are trying to make it easier for companies to provide more services.

“What we’re working this year is collapsing down all those stovepipes of excellence, all the domains, those things that are barriers to communications and collaboration off of the network,” said Maj. Gen. Jennifer Napper, a network operator.

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