2014-01-17 / Front Page

SigCoE Network Battle Lab wins TRADOC Capability Developer of the Year award

By Sgt. 1st Class Kelly Jo Bridgwater
Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office

A team of signaleers assigned to the U.S. Army Signal Center of Excellence has won the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command’s Capability Developer of the Year team award for significant contributions to the Army’s ability to provide support to civil authorities in times of crisis.

The Capability Development Integration Directorate, or CDID, has six divisions who team in defining the Army’s future network requirements, its current network capabilities, and the development of doctrine and material solutions.

“The Signal Center of Excellence CDID-Experimentation Division team designed, developed, and installed direct commercial network access (Internet and telephone) capability for its Regional Hub Node-Experimentation facility as a pilot effort to determine a cost-effective, highly scalable solution -- and associated Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures -- for the Army’s five operational regional hub nodes,” said project lead Eddie Eidson, CDID-ED.

The CDID-ED partners with industry and Army engineering agencies to investigate state-ofthe art network technology; shape the development network capability to meet Army requirements; integrate technology into the Army’s operational network architecture; and assess the operational impact across a wide variety of mission sets.

“ We designed and implemented a suite of equipment that tunnels commercial internet and voice through existing networks,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Todd Chesser, officer in charge, CDID-ED RHN-E. “Our goal was to find a low-cost solution for the regional hub nodes to provide commercial Internet service for those units deployed to remote sites”

According to Col. Mike Brownfield, director, CDID-ED, the award-winning capability development project will help support the Army mission in the United States and around the world.

“Our Regional Hub Node-Experimentation developed an Internet network access and commercial voice capability for United States Army Northern Command to support homeland defense and humanitarian assistance missions,” he said. “These missions require active duty, Reserve, and National Guard units to link our commercial voice and data networks with local and emergency authorities in responding to a wide-variety of actions. We conducted experiments with the 63rd Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 35th Signal Brigade, here at Fort Gordon and five active and National Guard ESB units located across the United States to include units from Austin, Texas; Joint Base Lewis- McCord, Wash.; and Fort Carson, Colo. This system will also enable deployed logistics and medical teams to conduct commercial Internet transactions from remote locations.”

This is not the first time the center has been recognized by TRADOC for its contributions in capability development.

“This is the third time we have won the CD Team award in the last five years,” said Brownfield. “The first time the award was won, we developed a network distribution system that provides remote units in Afghanistan with access to strategic intelligence by tunneling through the existing operational

Warfighter Information Network-Tactical network. The second time we won by significantly reducing the bandwidth requirements and providing more units simultaneous access to intelligence feeds in Afghanistan. We configured an unused capability already residing in the WIN-T fielded equipment that broadcasted the intelligence data across the theater of operation rather than requiring point-topoint transmissions. Not only did this new technique develop a significant cost savings in satellite access procurement, but it also saved countless lives by delivering actionable intelligence to the right time, place, and unit.”

The system offers a costeffective solution for Internet access and speed to signaleers working outside the garrison environment.

“Overall, the system has the potential to save the Army over $20 million by reducing unnecessary commercial reach-back network facilities, backhaul leased circuits, and satellite bandwidth,” said Chesser. “The development of the direct commercial network access suite demonstrates the relevance of the Network Battle Lab to the overall Army mission.”

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