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[ISN] Report: Army network tests failed to adequately assess mobile operations


By Bob Brewin

Large-scale Army battlefield network tests last summer did not include mobile operation scenarios and did not feature robust attacks against the networks, the Defense Department's test organization said in its annual report to Congress.

The ambitious six-week Army network integration evaluation at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., last summer, which had 3,800 soldiers from the 1st Armored Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team put battlefield systems through their paces, cost $67 million, or roughly six times more than previous tests. The benefits from the larger tests remain unclear, said Michael Gilmore, the Defense Department's director of operational test and evaluation, in his annual test report submitted to Congress in January.

The report said the Army tested 25 experimental systems in the summer of 2011, the expense of which stressed the service's evaluation capacity.

In addition, the Army should develop operational scenarios in future evaluations, the report said. Last summer, brigade and battalion tactical operations centers and company command posts operated from fixed sites and were dependent on a fixed-aerial tier of 100-foot towers and aerostats to establish network connectivity.


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