Army Displays Cutting Edge C4ISR Technologies

Cutting-edge technologies for both land and air missions were viewed at Fort Dix (NJ) Tuesday at the C4ISR On-the-Move Event 08, culminating four months of high-tech testing.

C4ISR stands for Command, Control, Communication, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance, and that organization began the testing in April in collaboration with industry partners and the Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center , or CERDEC, headquartered at Fort Monmouth, N.J. Technicians from the labs rolled onto Range 1 at Dix this week to demonstrate technologies supporting future force capabilities.

The systems displayed are still under assessment, C4ISR officials said, adding that initial results of the four-month test will be published in November.

The exercise tested or assessed more than 100 systems. Those systems were augmented with virtual and constructive entities to represent the network that the Army will field in the future, said Lt. Col. William Utroska, product manager for C4ISR OTM.

After the final assessments are completed, the product is then put into a “System of Systems,” Utroska said. SoS is explained as “a structure of one entity working into a collaborative entity.”

C4ISR OTM conducts live events along with simulations to expand the number of systems and speed military development as part of the testing, officials explained.

The testing included emerging technologies such as the Boeing A160T Humming Bird unmanned aerial system to help Soldiers on the ground communicate with each other.

Another emerging technology created for Soldiers out in the field was
the Digital Alert Display, a computer that wraps around the Soldier’s
forearm. It allows Soldiers to communicate with each other via text messaging, while still being silent, motionless and keeping a grasp
on their weapon.

The exercise allowed Soldiers to use the Digital Alert Display technology and provide commentary and an assessment of the equipment, which had both positive and negative aspects. The light weight of the product and the ability to communicate in a modern, well-known method was part of the positive feedback. The amount of time it took for transmission, however, was a negative feedback that Soldiers did not anticipate.

This kind of feedback, both positive and negative, is the type of
information Utroska said his team is looking for. His motto is “Success is success and failure is success.”

“If the Army makes a decision in technology, and then it does not
appear as promising as we had originally thought, it is more beneficial to use that information as a map — a path not to go down. We find out what is wrong and that helps us find out what is right,” Utroska said.

Utroska also said that Fort Dix is a huge partner in supporting the transformation of the Army. The strong partnership Fort Dix has
with PM C4ISR OTM, he said, allows cutting-edge military technology to move forward with fewer detours.

Jennifer Chupko

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