Monday, December 17, 2012

Equipment evaluated by troops in battle scenarios

Equipment evaluated by troops in battle scenarios

Fort Bliss is playing a vital role in the Army's ongoing efforts to keep up with technology and continually modernize itself.

The large-scale Network Integration Evaluation is held twice a year at Fort Bliss, at its surrounding training ranges and at White Sands Missile Range.

The NIE, as it's commonly called, evaluates radios, computers, batteries, software, antennas and other equipment.

"It runs the gamut," said Lt. Col. Andy Morgado, operations officer in charge of planning for the NIE.

The main purpose of the exercise is to put equipment into the hands of real soldiers in realistic warlike scenarios, Morgado said.

"We're now developing future concepts," he said. "The Army is focusing its time, energy and resources into this and that's keeping Fort Bliss relevant as an installation to the Army and the nation."

The 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, is attached to the Brigade Modernization Command, which is headquartered at Fort Bliss. The Brigade Modernization Command is one of three Army agencies that manage the NIE.

More than 3,000 soldiers from the 2nd Brigade and an additional 1,000 soldiers, civilians and contractors from the rest of the country participated in the most recent exercise, which ended in mid-November.