Network Modernization, Security Of Utmost Importance To U.S. Military
By Paul Kruczkowski, editor
Modernizing and securing U.S. networks is one of the military's top priorities. The U.S. Army recently met a major milestone in network modernization when it completed the fielding of Warfighter Information Network- Tactical (WIN-T) Increment 1, which enables “networking at-the-halt.” Throughout its deployment, WIN-T Increment 1 has made the U.S. military a more capable and lethal force by providing beyond-line-of-sight capabilities, supporting voice and video communications, and delivering secure and unsecure data to the battalion level.
The Army is now moving forward with WIN-T Increment 2 to add network on-the-move capabilities. The Army completed its initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) during the Army's Network Integration Evaluation 12.2 this summer. This month it started training two brigades of the 10th Mountain Division with WIN-T Increment 2 equipment. Now that the U.S military has deployed these advanced networks and is realizing their benefits, they are focused on securing their newfound advantage.
In a speech last week, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta stressed the need for increased network security, not only for the military but also for the rest of the nation’s networks. He pointed out that the U.S. military is trying to prepare for the worst-case scenario and called for the rest of the government and private sector follow suit.
The mission to keep U.S. military and commercial networks secure resonates with the theme of MILCOM 2012 — Trusted Communications…Awareness to Action. The world’s leading military communications conference commences on Monday, October 29, in Orlando, Fla., and I will be there to find out how the military plans to secure these networks and to see what’s next in military communications and network technology.
While I’m there, I also hope gain some insight into other important topics such as how the looming threat of sequestration will affect military budgets, and how the defense industry will deal with the issue. I certainly won’t overlook the 250+ companies that will be displaying their latest technological advances at the MILCOM exhibition. If you share my interest in military communications technology, check out our MILCOM 2012 preview newsletter, which provides a preview of the technology that will be debuted, demoed, and displayed at the event later this month.
What do you see as the most pressing issues in military communications?