Monday, July 13, 2015

US Army Targets Multinational Comms

US Army Targets Multinational Comms: As the shrinking US Army places greater emphasis on working with and through partner-nation militaries, it is struggling to link its communications networks with theirs.

The issue was highlighted during a multinational force-on-force exercise in Germany this year when an allied unit made a failed call for artillery fire from its Army partners. After waiting 30 minutes without success, the friendly forces advanced on the target — as the faux artillery finally arrived.

"Am I satisfied with where we are with interoperability, no I am not, and I can tell you our partners and allies aren't either," Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Daniel Allyn said on July 9. "The good news, between all of us in this environment of constrained resources, is that dialogue is happening at the developmental stage, and in our modernization process."

Speaking at an Association of the US Army event on networks (the electronic kind), Allyn talked about networks (the organizational kind). Specifically, he stressed the value of the "global land power network," which he described as linking Army forces with Marine, special operations and host-nation forces with the goal of preventing conflict by showing force, not using it.

"The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting," Allyn said, quoting Sun Tzu. "This global land power network is focused on doing just that."