Circuit check

News

Signal brigade opens computer-security center

by SSG Don Smith

FORT GORDON, Ga. 93d Signal Brigade moved a step toward transformation during a ceremony Nov. 29, 2001.

The ceremony marked the opening of the Southern Command Theater Network-Operations and Security Center as well as activation of the Regional Computer Emergency Response Team-South. These two entities are responsible for computer security and monitoring SOUTHCOM’s information network.

“Today is a special day for 93d Signal Brigade and U.S. Army South,” said COL Daniel Gerstein, the brigade commander. “(The ceremony is) a move that will provide significant capabilities to the warfighter for computer-network operations and moves the brigade a step toward transformation.”

“What a great day at the home of the Regiment – another significant addition to the Regiment’s mission capabilities in support of our great Army and joint warfighting forces,” said BG James Hylton, Army Signal Command’s commander. (93d Signal Brigade is part of Army Signal Command.)

Hylton said the action was significant for several reasons.

He said several Army documents related to transformation place special emphasis on information superiority. The capability to deliver seamless and protected information anywhere is central to achieving and maintaining information superiority.

“The cutting of this ribbon symbolizes not a material separation, but rather the continued expansion of the Army’s enterprise network operation and security capabilities,” Hylton said. “Mallette Hall, and the advanced technologies therein, is at the forefront of our Army and joint-warfighting network-operation and security capabilities – and in a very real sense, on the perimeter defense of our critical information-management capabilities.”

Charles Stephens, a network administrator at the TNOSC, said it’s hard to describe the operation there without making it sound complex, but it basically boils down to monitoring the network for maintenance trouble and providing network security. Stephens said a secure system is a challenge to hackers because their motivation is to get into information systems.

“This is real time and it’s serious business,” Stephens said. He added that about 50 employees are now available around the clock to deal with this serious business.

Charles Stephens explains TNOSC to retired LTC Robert Donahue Charles Stephens, a network administrator at 93d Signal Brigade's TNOSC, explains operations to retired LTG Robert Donahue.

Mallette Hall is named in honor of LTG Alfred Mallette, who died in 1994. Among other assignments, Mallette commanded 93d Signal Brigade when the unit was located in Ludwigsburg, Germany.

SSG Smith is 93d Signal Brigade’s public-affairs noncommissioned officer.

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StopLoss Phase II begins

WASHINGTON – The Army’s assistant secretary recently expanded previously approved and implemented StopLoss authority for the active Army and certain Ready Reserve members. StopLoss Phase II will suspend more officers and enlisted soldiers from separating from the Army if they hold certain additional skills and specialties.

Ready Reserve members affected by StopLoss II includes soldiers serving on Active Guard Reserve status and those on active duty pursuant to the president’s call-up of the Reserve under U.S. Code Title 10 12304. The expanded StopLoss authority includes, but isn’t limited to, voluntary separation and “refrad” due to a soldier’s expiration-of-service-obligation and retirement.

According to a Department of the Army message, the Army’s intent is to ensure retention of trained and experienced officers and enlisted soldiers supporting Operations Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom. The expanded StopLoss authority will generally be under the terms and conditions of Personnel Command’s military-personnel message 02-048, the message said.

StopLoss II began Jan. 15. Affected soldiers are those whose established date of separation (discharge, release from the Army, retirement) is on or after Jan. 15 and who are in the categories specified following:

Active Army commissioned officers with specialty 39. Ready Reserve (Army Reserve and Army National Guard) commissioned officers with specialties 18, 38 or 39. (Active Army, USAR and ARNG commissioned officers who are no longer in these specialties aren’t affected by this StopLoss.);
Ready Reserve (USAR and ARNG) warrant officers with specialty 180A;
Ready Reserve (USAR) aviation warrant officers with specialties 152C, 153D, 153E, 154C and 154E, and Ready Reserve (ARNG) aviation warrant officers with specialties 153D and 154C;
Ready Reserve (USAR) warrant officers with additional-skill identifier K4, K5 or K6; and
Active Army enlisted soldiers with military-occupation specialty 37F and 92M, Ready Reserve (USAR) enlisted soldiers with MOS 18B, 18C, 18D, 18E, 18F, 18Z, 37F, 38A, 67U, 92M and 00Z (career-management field 18 background), and Ready Reserve (ARNG) enlisted soldiers with MOS 18B, 18C, 18D, 18E, 18F, 18Z, 67U, 92M and 00Z (CMF 18 background).

StopLoss doesn’t, in most cases, apply to soldiers being processed for involuntary administrative separation for cause, pending action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, facing mandatory retirement, being processed for discharge/retirement for physical disability or pending separation for the government’s convenience.

No new requests for transition leave were to be approved after Dec. 28, 2001, according to the DA message. However, soldiers subject to StopLoss II who began transition leave, shipped household goods, etc., before Dec. 28 will continue to separate/retire/refrad.

Commanders may submit requests for exception to the StopLoss II policy provisions on a case-by-case basis to Personnel Command. These requests must be limited to cases in which the commander considers the soldier’s separation to be warranted for compelling, compassionate reasons or to be in the Army’s best interest.

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Fort Gordon tests new Signal equipment

by SSG Kerensa Hardy

FORT GORDON, Ga. – In the two years since Army Chief of Staff GEN Eric Shinseki announced the concept of brigade combat teams, there has been work Army-wide to make this a reality.

Testing concluded here in November 2001 for the equipment that’s an essential communications link to the BCT: the brigade subscriber node.

“BSN is the Army’s modular-styled compact switching transmission and nodal control system for BCT,” said Harrison Jones III, test officer. In simpler terms, BSN is a radio, switch and router housed in a single shelter that provides the BCT commander with voice, video and data-traffic capabilities.

“Within this system … the brigade can transmit situation-awareness video and high-speed data, as well as voice traffic, within their own network as well as to their higher command,” Jones explained.

This integral piece of equipment was established as a direct result of Shinseki’s initiative for a medium-sized brigade force that has the capability to deploy at a moment’s notice.

“(Shinseki) wanted to be able to transport a combat-capable unit anywhere in the world as quickly as possible,” Jones added.

Each BCT has a brigade Signal company within it. BSN is responsible for managing the information network that supports the BCT.

“BSN being organically assigned to that brigade provides an area common-user system for elements of the brigade – it allows them to talk among themselves,” Jones said. “The main emphasis for BSN is for the brigade-headquarters-level connectivity.”

The BSN concept has been under construction for about 16 months, Jones said. Testing and evaluation and the development of the system went on simultaneously. So, Jones added, the test phase is the culmination of the design, evaluation and planning effort.

BSN’s limited-user test was conducted Oct. 29-Nov. 21 by an 80-person team from Operational Test Command at Fort Hood, Texas.

Two other pieces of equipment were tested along with the BSN: battlefield videoteleconferencing and the tactical local-area-network encryptor.

“BVTC provides the picture of the commander’s vision to subordinate elements in real time so they can clearly understand his intent,” Jones said.

TACLANE supports secure Internet-type connectivity on the battlefield. Jones added that this was the first time OTC tested a piece of communications-security equipment.

Although test results can’t be released at this time, each system – at its present state – that was evaluated demonstrated the ability to perform its intended mission. Some modifications will be applied to the systems.

BSN was designed by the Communications-Electronics command in conjunction with the program manager for Warfighter Information Network-Terrestrial. The manufacturers made BSN modular so they could do more with less equipment. Most of it is commercial-off-the-shelf equipment, and some of it is government-furnished equipment.

The Army’s goal is to have two BSNs assigned to each BCT. Two BSNs are assigned to 334th Signal Company at Fort Lewis, Wash. Two are at Fort Gordon, and two are being refurbished.

SSG Hardy is news editor for The Signal, Fort Gordon’s post newspaper.

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Army headquarters transforming

WASHINGTON – The Department of the Army’s headquarters will reorganize, Secretary of the Army Thomas White said Dec. 18, 2001. The secretary announced decisions from a review begun in June 2001 of the organization’s structure.

The review’s purpose was to streamline decision-making, achieve greater unity of effort within the headquarters, remove unnecessary layers in the organization and gain greater control over resource management, Army officials said. The effort complements the ongoing Army transformation, the direction of which was reaffirmed since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The changes will provide a more capable, responsive Army headquarters to address the urgent requirements of the next few years, officials said.

As White explained when he initiated the review in late June, “No successful corporate headquarters in the world today is organized the way we are in Headquarters DA. We currently have two separate staffs, often performing some of the same or similar functions. The level of individual performance and dedication is very high, but we need to ensure those great individual efforts yield the best results. My goal is to reshape the two staffs into a headquarters that maintains civilian oversight and runs much more efficiently.”

The realignment of the Army headquarters is part of the Army vision articulated in 1999 to transform the entire Army. Addressing the changes announced Dec. 18, Army Chief of Staff GEN Eric Shinseki said, “This alignment creates a more effective and efficient headquarters and enables us to increase our momentum in achieving the objective force this decade.”

A full description of the realignment is in the executive summary on the web at http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Dec2001/d20011217realignment.pdf.

The guiding philosophy behind the assessment is to enhance effectiveness by clearly defining responsibility and authority within functional areas; realigning fragmented organizations; eliminating duplication of effort; incorporating, where appropriate, better-business practices and organizational concepts that have proven successful in major corporations; and optimizing the use of technology.

While performing as a unified staff in executing policy, planning and resource-management responsibilities, the secretariat and Army staff organizations will maintain separate and discrete functions as required by law. However, the organizational changes will facilitate greater collaboration between the secretariat and Army staff by clarifying responsibilities and authorities of each staff and establishing support relationships between elements of the staff.

The secretariat staff will retain responsibility for formulating policy and providing strategic direction, as well as overseeing the execution of Army plans and programs. The Army staff will continue to prepare plans, supervise their execution and coordinate activities Army-wide in support of both Title 10 functions and combatant-command missions.

The secretary of the Army, undersecretary of the Army, chief of staff of the Army and vice chief of staff of the Army will form the Army’s executive office, under the secretary’s direction. The executive office will provide direction and set priorities for the Army.

Selected senior Army staff principals will advise and assist their counterpart assistant secretaries of the Army to enhance the flow of information and speed decision-making. While working closely with the assistant secretaries, the Army staff principals will continue to support the chief of staff.

The realignment more fully integrates the Army National Guard and Army Reserve into key positions of authority to better accommodate the key issues and concerns of all components within a single integrated staff.

Implementation began in December 2001 and should be complete by September. Military positions eliminated in the process will be redistributed to Army field units; realignments won’t reduce Army endstrength. Dollar savings resulting from the elimination of civilian positions will be available to fund priority requirements. The U.S. Army Audit Agency will monitor implementation and maintain an accounting of resource transfers.

The next step, to be accomplished by Spring 2002, was to conduct a similar review of organizations below the Army headquarters level and of those organizations that support the headquarters.

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New transit center opens at Pentagon

WASHINGTON Metro bus service returned to the Pentagon Dec. 16, 2001, operating from a new Pentagon Transit Center. The larger, brighter and more security-conscious transit center brings regular bus service back to the Pentagon for the first time since Sept. 11, 2001.

Since that date, Pentagon-bound buses have operated from the Pentagon City Metrorail station.

The Pentagon Transit Center, a $36 million project funded by the Defense Department, was designed and planned long before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. It’s Phase I of security upgrades set for the Pentagon’s Metrobus and Metrorail facilities.

Based on security assessments, the Pentagon wanted to increase the distance between buses and the Pentagon as well as eliminate the existing Metro escalator and elevator entry points into the Pentagon. This required relocation of the existing bus terminal. The transit renovation project enhances the security of the Pentagon’s Metro entrance by reorganizing the bus arrival, access and circulation areas, including relocation of the bus bays to no closer than 280 feet from the Pentagon itself. The buses picking up and dropping off riders at the old bus terminal had been as close as 10 feet to the building.

Other security upgrades involve the construction of a new Pentagon entrance building and new elevator and canopy at the Metrorail entrance with an expected completion by Fall 2002. Until it’s finished, a temporary covered walkway will allow customers to walk from the new transit center to the escalator to enter the Metrorail station.

About 29,000 people a day will use the Pentagon Transit Center, which will have 1,571 bus arrivals and departures each weekday on 84 different bus routes using the center’s 24 bus bays.

More information on Pentagon Metro facility renovation is available at http://metro.pentagon.mil/mef/home.htm. Details on Metro bus and rail service may be found at http://www.wmata.com. An informative brochure on the new Pentagon Transit Center also is available at http://www.wmata.com/metrobus/pentagon_transit_center.pdf.

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Recruiters, intelligence lead Defense Department information-systems modernization

WASHINGTON – The Army took top group and individual honors in the first-ever Defense Department Chief Information Officer awards. DoD’s CIO, John Stenbit, assistant secretary of defense for command, control, communications and intelligence, recently announced the winners for their contributions to DoD effectiveness.

The Army Recruiting Command’s information-support activity and Robert Fecteau, Army Intelligence and Security Command’s CIO, were singled out for honors for designing and implementing systems saving U.S. taxpayers millions of dollars.

USAREC fielded a virtual private network, an entirely web-based recruiting data-management system, a national pooled-minutes cell phone contract and a software-development model certification considered state-of-the-art in government circles. All told, the information-support activity was able to save the command roughly $42 million annually.

Fecteau integrated 14 organizations into an effective contracted information-technology operation involving BAE Systems, MITRE and Microsoft. This increased “our ability to identify and understand the scope and breadth of IM/IT costs needed to run the command from an enterprise view and to ensure they are executed,” according to Fecteau.

The result was about $10 million savings the first year. Another estimated $8 million was saved through the command’s acceleration of contractor security clearances.

One key to CIO success, Fecteau says, is leadership. For “true transformation to take place,” top leadership must support the CIO process. Stenbit thinks the other end of the management process is just as important: “Everywhere in DoD are individuals and teams who have put a lot of time and energy developing better tools, weapons and methods for us.”

Winners were chosen by senior DoD officials in the CIO community. Other finalists, narrowed from a field of candidates from across DoD, were the Air Force for its portal, the Navy for business-process re-engineering and Cmdr. Wyatt Smith for his IM of the military health system.

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Updates

Army portal account required by Oct. 1, 2001

by Lisa Alley

FORT GORDON, Ga. – Sign-up for an account with Army Knowledge On-line was required as of Oct. 1, 2001, for soldiers and Department of the Army civilians. AKO is the Army’s worldwide intranet and portal to a soldier’s email account as well as to usage of the University of Information Technology here.

The vision for AKO is “to transform the institutional Army into an Information Age, networked organization that leverages its intellectual capital to better organize, train, equip and maintain a strategic land combat force.”

“Whether you realize it or not, AKO is going to become an important part of managing your Army career,” wrote MAJ Alan Makowsky, chief of Officer Division, Office Chief of Signal (the Signal personnel proponent), in the Fall 2001 edition of Army Communicator.

According to Makowsky, AKO will eventually be the central repository for Army websites and access to secured information. Personnel Command plans to allow updates to some personnel data via AKO in the near future; soldiers will be able to view their personnel files, including their photos, on-line.

AKO also provides soldiers with an email address that will follow them throughout their Army careers, as well as give them access to AKO’s information resources and features. The AKO email account eliminates the need to change a soldier’s email address every time he or she makes a permanent-change-of-station move. The account also ensures the soldier’s career manager has a current email address to send him or her important information.

Signaleers will also access their advanced career training through the Signal Center’s UIT and resource center via their AKO account. (See Army Communicator’s Winter 2001 edition for more information on UIT.)

To sign up for AKO, point your Internet browser to http://www.us.army.mil and select the “I’m a new user” link. Once your account is set up, return to the website and sign in using your user name (firstname.lastname) and case-sensitive password. Some of the features you’ll find on the Army portal’s homepage are links to personalize content, access web email and newsgroups, locate other soldiers, read Army news, access Army web-based applications and search all Army websites.

Once in the Army portal, go to “Edit personal info” under the “My Army portal” section to set up email forwarding and enter your organizational information into the AKO “white pages.” You may use “My channel” to set up mobile bookmarks that will travel with you to any computer you use to log on to AKO.

Link to https://akomail.us.army.mil to access your email inbox by clicking on the “WebMail” tab on the Army portal homepage.

Ms. Alley edits Army Communicator.

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Rumsfeld to Bush: don’t veto bill over base closure

by Jim Garamone

SHANNON, Ireland – Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Dec. 15, 2001, that he won’t recommend President George W. Bush veto the Defense Appropriations Bill over base-closure issues.

“I slept on it, and I’m not going to recommend that it be vetoed,” Rumsfeld said aboard the plane during a trip to the Caucasus, Central Asia and North Atlantic Treaty Organization headquarters. “Needless to say, I wished (the BRAC round) had been earlier, but it’s in (the bill).”

The DoD base-closure proposal, entitled the Efficient Facilities Initiative, called for the base closure process to begin in March 2003. Senate and House members agreed for the process to begin in 2005.

Rumsfeld said the president vetoing the bill would delay important legislation for service members, including a sizeable military pay raise and infrastructure improvements.

Rumsfeld could not hide his disappointment when he discussed the delay in the program. He said DoD will continue to have 20 to 25 percent more bases than it needs. “We’ll be spending … taxpayers’ money – hard-earned money – that’s being wasted to manage and maintain bases we don’t need,” he said.

“Given the war on terror, we’ll be doing something even more egregious, and that is we’ll be providing force protection on bases we don’t need,” Rumsfeld continued. That will be wasting money and assets that could otherwise be used to fight terrorism. “It’s a shame,” he said.

Mr. Garamone writes for American Forces Press Service.

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Leader transitions

335th Theater Signal Command’s top officers nominated for promotion

WASHINGTON – 335th Theater Signal Command’s commander and deputy commander were nominated by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld Dec. 4, 2001, for promotion.

Army Reserve BG Lowell Detamore, 335th’s commander, was nominated for major general. USAR COL Roger Ward, 335th’s deputy commander, was nominated for promotion to brigadier general.

The 335th Theater Signal Command is located at East Point, Ga., near Atlanta.

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Signal units

Baseband multiplexers improve U.S. communication capabilities during Ulchi Focus Lens exercise

MERRIMACK, N.H. Codem’s TTI-1000 and TTI-500 baseband multiplexers were a main attraction at the annual Ulchi Focus Lens 2001 exercise.

UFL is an annual Republic of Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command dynamic, simulation-driven command-post exercise. The CPX is designed to provide theater, component commanders, Army corps (and equivalent levels for other services) commanders and staffs with an advanced training environment for improving their command-and-control, staff procedures, decision-making and warfighting skills. The scenario is a two-phase CPX based on a coordinated land, sea and air attack supported by conventional forces.

During the UFL ‘01 CPX, Codem’s baseband multiplexers provided commanders with crucial tactical (secure/non-secure) email, data and voice communications. The baseband multiplexers are designed with the option of remote management, testing and control from any number of local-area-network-connected workstations. This feature made it possible for 1st Signal Brigade to manage networked mulitplexers from a single C2 location during the CPX.

“We took full advantage of the built-in diagnostics of the TTI-500/1000s by using remote workstations to monitor the multiplexer network,” said Mark Yamamoto, a Codem representative who worked closely with 1st Signal Brigade during UFL ‘01. “From the reporting-and-planning terminal workstation, we were able to telnet each multiplexer, enabling all warrant officers with proper passwords to perform tests and make needed configuration changes.”

All of Codem’s baseband multiplexers’ management and control features can be accessed from one location. These features include error-rate history and monitoring of all transmission links; alarm notification of any transmission path exceeding a defined bit-error rate; alarm history with uptime, downtime and date stamps; loopbacks of any individual circuit, digital trunk group or aggregate in either direction; and built-in firebird testing of any data or voice circuit.

These capabilities provided 1st Signal Brigade with a single point of control during UFL, allowing Signaleers to test every DTG, tactical-operations center, transmission system and individual circuit connected to the TTI 500/1000s from a single workstation.

Codem Systems Inc. is a leading provider of broadband wireless and wired communication solutions for commercial and government telecommunications customers throughout the world. More information about the company is available on the Internet at www.codem.com.

TTI-1000 by Codem Systems Codem's TTI-1000 baseband multiplexer provided commanders with tactical email, data and voice communications during Ulchi Focus Lens.

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Of interest

Protecting critical military infrastructures

by Jim Garamone

ARLINGTON, Va. – Even before Sept. 11, 2001, the Defense Department recognized the importance of protecting critical infrastructures.

For more than two years, experts in the office of the assistant secretary of defense for command, control, communications and intelligence have been working to identify DoD’s critical assets and their associated supporting infrastructures; develop policy on their protection; and game how the department would work if a node in these infrastructures was destroyed.

Tom Bozek is director of the Critical Infrastructure Protection Office. He leads a small staff that’s putting in place the policy framework for critical-infrastructure protection.

The military has long known certain physical or cyber capabilities are essential to protect the nation. They’re also essential to help the military accomplish its missions. Measures can be as mundane as physically protecting a facility or installation to ensuring satellite communications continue uninterrupted. Bozek’s office studies the big picture and applies lessons to specific fixes.

“We want to learn the lessons once and implement the solutions many times,” Bozek said.

Bozek’s office works with the warfighting commands to determine what capabilities are critical to their missions. Then the office works with the service or agency that “owns” the asset to ensure the capability is protected or that procedures are established so the mission continues in the event of a breakdown.

It’s a big job. “We’re trying to understand what assets are critical to military mission success,” Bozek said. The office concentrates on these critical infrastructures: transportation, logistics, financial services, public works, health affairs, personnel, defense information, space and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

Bozek said the picture is complicated because there are many interrelationships among the various infrastructures. “We know there are interrelationships among the assets in these infrastructures,” he said. An asset failure in one infrastructure may have an adverse cascading affect on assets in many other infrastructures.

Once the group defines the interdependencies, it can isolate where the single points of failure may be that would cause mission failures.

The group has built on experience gained during the Year 2000 computer-bug effort. “We’re taking advantage of the Y2K experiences. That’s a good example of the interdependencies,” Bozek said. “You have a variety of information systems that are connected. They pass data to each other through this network. The same is true on physical infrastructures – transportation, logistics, financial services and so on. So, we find the same principles apply to these infrastructures that we learned in Y2K.”

The office calls on many different agencies for help. Bozek relies on the Navy’s Joint Program Office for Special Technology Countermeasures as the overall technical agent. He also calls on the Defense Threat Reduction Agency for balanced survivability assessments.

In addition, the office works closely with the Homeland Security Division of the Joint Staff, and with all the combat commands, services and combat-support agencies. The office also works with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Infrastructure Protection Center.

The Sept. 11 attacks underscored for the military the need for redundant facilities and partnerships with private industries. The attacks in New York, for example, illustrated the robustness of U.S. telecommunications facilities. Private telecommunications companies – that DoD uses also – reconstituted financial communications networks fairly quickly.

But the attacks illustrated how much the military relies on private firms for infrastructure support. “We are dependent on our private-sector partners,” Bozek said. “Our telecom is over private lines, most bases take power from private sources. Private shipping lines augment our sealift and airlift.

“We are developing even closer relationships with our private partners to identify potential vulnerabilities and to get better.”

In light of the asymmetrical threats the U.S. military faces, the mission given Bozek’s office is never-ending.

“Critical-infrastructure protection has a defensive focus, offense almost always has the advantage,” he said. “There are always going to be newer, creative ways adversaries are going to use to try to overcome our defenses. Everyone needs to be vigilant.”

Mr. Garamone writes for American Forces Press Service.

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Army physical-readiness test tagged for change

WASHINGTON – The Army’s time-honored physical-readiness test will see major changes under Field Manual 3-25.20. The new FM is in draft, being staffed for comments and changes in the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2002. After staffing and approval, the FM will become doctrine.

FM 3-25.20 proposes to train Army soldiers for physical readiness according to the Army’s nine principles of training contained in FM 25-100. The Army will adopt a new six-event APRT to better assess a soldier’s strength, endurance and mobility.

Once FM 3-25.20 is approved, the U.S. Army Physical Fitness School will develop standards based on current and ongoing research. These standards will be implemented at a currently unknown date. However, USAPFS stopped instructing the two-week Master Fitness Trainer Course at the end of Training Year 2001. Instead, a mobile training team will hold a one-week Physical Readiness Training Leader Course as changes in the APRT are made.

The current Army Physical Fitness Test measures how many push-ups a soldier can do in two minutes, how many sit-ups he or she can do in two minutes and how fast he or she can run at a two-mile distance. The three-event test was designed to ensure a base level of physical fitness essential for every soldier in the Army, regardless of military-occupation specialty or duty assignment.

One of the advantages of the current test is that it’s easy to administer, according to an Army official. Unfortunately, it has formed the foundation of many unit and/or individual training programs, he said.

“APFT performance doesn’t relate to a soldier’s ability to perform his or her job or to a unit’s readiness to perform its mission,” said the Army official. “Unit programs then must be designed to raise the level of conditioning to meet or exceed mission-related physical-performance requirements. Commanders must conduct physical-readiness programs that enhance a soldier’s ability to complete critical soldier or leader tasks that support the unit’s mission-essential task list, not just raise the unit APFT average. Preparation for the APFT is of secondary importance.”

The new APRT has a different approach. “The proposed APRT will allow commanders to assess their soldiers’ physical capabilities,” said the Army official. “Multiple assessments or events are required since a broad range of physical attributes are necessary for optimal soldier performance. Valid assessments must challenge soldier strength, endurance and mobility. To further strengthen validity, the assessments must either predict the ability to perform critical soldier tasks or closely simulate the actual tasks.”

The proposed APRT shapes up to this six-event sequence (to which there will be no exceptions):

Two standing long jumps to measure the soldier’s ability to jump horizontally from a stationary position (indicates the soldier’s power, especially of the lower extremities);
One minute’s worth of power squats to measure the soldier’s ability to perform repeated squats to a precise standard of execution (indicates the soldier’s muscular strength, power and endurance of the hips and legs);
Heel hook for one minute to measure the soldier’s ability to secure his or her legs on a bar while free-hanging from the bar with his or her hands (indicates the soldier’s trunk strength, mobility, grip strength and endurance);
300-yard shuttle run to measure the soldier’s ability to sprint after changing direction (indicates the soldier’s anaerobic endurance, speed and mobility);
Push-ups for one minute to measure the soldier’s strength, endurance and mobility of the chest, shoulder, triceps and trunk muscles (indicates the soldier’s ability to lift his or her body from the ground and maintain stability of the trunk); and
One-mile run, as fast as the soldier can run, to measure endurance of the soldier’s heart, lungs and leg muscles.

All six events must be completed within two hours. No restarts will be allowed. Soldiers will be allowed a minimum of five minutes and a maximum of 10 minutes to rest between events.

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West Point accepting applications

WEST POINT, N.Y. – The U.S. Military Academy here is the world’s premier institute of leader development. Graduates not only receive a bachelor of science degree but also a commission as an Army second lieutenant, gaining practical leadership experience that’s virtually unmatched in any other profession.

Each year some 250 soldiers (Active, Reserve and National Guard) and more than 100 dependents of military members are offered admission to West Point or the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School at Fort Monmouth, N.J.

For a dependent to be eligible, he or she must be the son or daughter of a career military member. The term “career military member” refers to members of an armed force (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard) who are on active duty (other than for training) and who have served continuously on active duty for at least eight years. The term also includes those who are, or who died while they were, retired with pay or granted retired or retainer pay.

Also included are service members serving in the Reserve Component who are credited with at least eight continuous years of service computed under Section 12733 of Title 10 of the U.S. Code (for example, at least 2,880 points). Finally, Reservists who would be, or who died while they would have been, entitled to retirement pay except for not having attained 60 years of age are also included in this category.

The prep school prepares soldiers for success at West Point through an intensive curriculum focused on English and mathematics. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, unmarried with no legal obligation to support dependents, high-school graduates, under 23 years of age prior to July 1 of the year entering USMA (under 22 years of age prior to July 1 of the year entering the prep school), of high moral character and have a sincere interest in attending West Point and becoming an Army officer.

Soldiers and dependents who meet the basic eligibility requirements, have achieved Scholastic Aptitude Test scores greater than 1,000 or an American College Testing assessment composite score of 20 or higher, and achieved good grades in a college-preparatory high-school curriculum are especially encouraged to apply. All application requirements must be met by April 1 to be considered for an appointment to West Point or USMAPS in July.

Those interested should contact CPT Cliff Hodges at DSN 688-5780 or commercial (845) 938-5780, email tc2324@usma.edu, or fill out the request form at http://forms.admissions.usma.edu/cb.

Acronym QuickScan
AKO – Army Knowledge On-line
APFT – Army physical-fitness test
APRT – Army physical-readiness test
ARNG – Army National Guard
BCT – brigade combat team
BRAC – base realignment and closure
BSN – brigade subscriber node
BVTC – battlefield videoteleconference(ing)
C2 – command and control
CIO – chief information officer
CMF – career-management field
CPX – command-post exercise
DA – Department of the Army
DoD – Department of Defense
DTG – digital trunk group
FM – field manual
IM – information management
IT – information technology
MOS – military-occupation specialty
OTC – Operational Test Command
SOUTHCOM – Southern Command
TACLANE – tactical local-area-network encryptor
TNOSC – theater network-operations and security center
UFL – Ulchi Focus Lens
UIT – University of Information Technology
USAPFS – U.S. Army Physical Fitness School
USAR – U.S. Army Reserve
USAREC – U.S. Army Recruiting Command
USMA – U.S. Military Academy
USMAPS – U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School
Y2K – Year 2000

dividing rule

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Army Communicator is part of Regimental Division, a division of Office Chief of Signal.

This is an offical U.S. Army Site |

04/04/12

This is an offical U.S. Army Site |