recommended reading

Army equips 375 vehicles with radios for network tests

More than 360 vehicles sit at the Integration Motor Pool (IMP), located at Fort Bliss, Texas.

More than 360 vehicles sit at the Integration Motor Pool (IMP), located at Fort Bliss, Texas. // Defense Department

As the Army prepares for its latest Network Integration Evaluation exercise this month at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., at nearby Fort Bliss, Texas, Col. Gail Washington ran what she described as a “Ford or GM assembly line” to equip 375 vehicles with network and radio gear.

Workers stuffed NIE test vehicles, including mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle, Strykers and Humvees, with 1,800 separate systems, said Washington, project manager for the Army’s Systems of Systems Integration Directorate. She previously served at the Pentagon, where she ran a classified network for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Washington, who started her career in the enlisted ranks and went on to earn her commission along with computer and marketing degrees, said it’s her marketing degree that most prepared her for the job at Fort Bliss and with NIE. Good communication, she said, is essential for managing a mixed military and contractor team that includes personnel from the Space and Naval Warfare System Center in Charleston, S.C. The team already has installed network gear in MRAPs slated for delivery to the 10th Mountain Division, which is scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan in 2013.

Her job at Fort Bliss is to take engineering schematics and turn them into reality, a task that includes ensuring the NIE gear, which includes Joint Tactical Radio System radios undergoing a formal evaluation process along with 20 commercial systems, works. Tests must show that the systems have the right IP address on the tactical network and can transmit position and location information.

During the NIE exercise, which will be conducted in October and November by 3,800 soldiers of the 1st Armored Division’s 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, Washington will help monitor the test, track problems and take care of her team of 600 military and contractor personnel, she said.  

The radios and network equipment the Army will put through its paces at White Sands are the service’s top modernization priority. Washington’s priority, she said, was making sure her troops stay sufficiently hydrated to withstand the hot, dry climate at White Sands.


Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.