Army Using DevSecOps for Tactical Radio Program 

Nicholas Robertson/U.S. Army

Nicholas Robertson/U.S. Army Paratroopers use the Manpack AN/PRC-162 (right) and the Leader Radio AN/ PRC-163 (left) during the Handheld, Manpack and Small Form Fit Initial Operational Test and Evaluation in January at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

The iterative development approach allowed the program executive office to start making adjustments to network operations quickly, according to a news release. 

The U.S. Army is using a DevSecOps approach to improve tactical radios tested during a January event at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to gather the data required to make a full-rate production decision later this year, according to a Thursday news release

During the Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Factor, or HMS, Initial Operational Test, paratroopers tested new capabilities for radios. Using a DevSecOps strategy, the Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications-Tactical, or PEO C3T, was able to incorporate changes based on real-time feedback into the technology solution, according to the news release.

Some of these changes dealt with network operations: Issues with radio presets and configuration management tasks slowed soldiers down. Adjustments to help soldiers perform activities related to modifying the network plan will reduce the data planning cycle time by hours, according to Keith Whittaker, the project’s lead for Network Planning, said. 

“We have begun streamlining some of the load interfaces from two software programs down to one to allow us to incorporate mass-editing, mass-change and replication functions,” Whittaker said in the news release. 

Software updates, new training manuals and a new concept of operations will roll out in the third quarter of fiscal year 2021, Whittaker added. Some longer-term issues the tactical radio program will work through include more simplification of network operations planning tools and cybersecurity patches. Capability improvements will be evaluated throughout the year beginning with an event in June, according to the news release.

“Whenever a capability is ready for evaluation, we will attempt to move it into the next scheduled evaluation event to ensure we stay true to our DevSecOps iterative development and fielding objectives,” Col. Garth Winterle, project manager for Tactical Radios, said.