Information Networks in the Army After Next
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Information Networks in the Army After Next

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Francis J. Huber
246x189x3 mm

The Army After Next envisions an Army which has two key attributes, Knowledge and Speed. Speed is the ability of weapons systems to move faster on the battlefield. Knowledge is the ability of forces throughout the battlefield to see themselves and the enemy through the advantages of Sensors, computers and the networks that connect them. In order for this vision to become a reality the sensors, computers and weapon control systems of the Army After Next must have a robust, reliable and secure data network to interlink them or the envisioned advantages of this force will be abrogated. This monograph examines the direction of the U.S Army at the end of the twentieth century through its Force XXI initiates, the Joint community in the Joint Tactical Radio System program, the U.S. Marine Corps in their Operational Maneuver from the Sea and the U.S. Navy with the High Speed MObile interNET (MONET). It also examines two commercial alternatives, Ricochet Micro Cellular and Cellular Packet Data (CPD) for their applicability and leverage for designing the Intelligent Information Grid for the Army After Next. The focus of the examination is on the applicability of the systems for echelons at Brigade and Below (EBB). Providing data communications networks at this echelon presents the greatest challenge to the Army After Next because of the lethal and mobile nature of the brigade combat environment in the twenty first century. The study concludes that the current U.S. Army architecture, Force XXI, is inadequate to meet the challenges of the Army After Next. However, the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) as it is currently envisioned with some incorporation of the technologies presented by the Ricochet commercial network does present a superior alternative for the Intelligent Information Grid (I2G).

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