Chief of Signal Comments

Synchronizing with the Objective Force

Joint Tactical Radio System and Warfighter Information Network-Tactical will better Chief of Signal MG John P. Cavanaughsatisfy Objective Force warfighters’ needs. This is a direct result of the combined-arms working group hosted by Training and Doctrine Command in January.

Led by Signal Regiment efforts, this was the first time TRADOC used a concept-based approach in the requirements-determination process. The concept-based approach will change the way the Army works with our industry partners to field communications systems for the OF.

Using the perspective of a 2010 operating environment, the working group first evaluated OF warfighting concepts using operational vignettes. This approach determined required capabilities for these concepts and ways to empower and enable the warfighter to realize these concepts. The process was fully focused on the future warfight but was simultaneously balanced against battle labs’ experimentation to provide insight into technically achievable capabilities and interface requirements for legacy and interim-force systems.

Foundational warfighting concepts for the group’s work included:

 Full-spectrum operations;

Optimization for offense;

Purpose-centric operations;

Information superiority;

Tactical-information sphere;

Extended precision reach;

Entry and decisive operations;

Knowledge-based battle command;

Decentralized operations;

Synergy through virtual teaming;

Cooperative engagements;




Split-based operations; and

High-operations-tempo support.

The result of the concepts-based approach is a reorientation and substantial shift in WIN-T and JTRS requirements. Of particular note, WIN-T has a completely new “charter”; there are a number of changes in the operational-requirements document since just a year ago, when I discussed WIN-T in the Chief of Signal Comments for Army Communicator’s Spring 2001 edition. (See Fall 2001 Chief of Signal Comments for a discussion of JTRS.)

The revised WIN-T ORD will provide warfighters with a network that’s optimized for offensive operations; operates across increased strategic distances; supports dispersed operations through global virtual teaming; and delivers network components that are scalable/tailorable and dynamically adaptive to mission, task and purpose. As the new ORD is written, WIN-T will provide the Army with mobile reach; reachback connectivity with higher throughput; enterprise-level network management; a reliable network consistent with commercial-communications service providers; seamless interoperability for joint and coalition operations; access to unclassified through top-secret information; and information-dissemination and speed-of-service capabilities that will enable “sensor-to-shooter” networking.

The revised JTRS ORD will provide warfighters with a networking radio that’s focused on capabilities to implement a mobile, flexible, on-the-move, networking infrastructure for passing voice, data and video to commanders operating in a dispersed, dynamic environment. As the next-generation tactical radio, JTRS will provide increased interoperability and powerful, seamless, simple, mobile networking. JTRS reduces the commander’s dependence on line-of-sight and terrestrial relays, yielding a reduced force-protection burden for him – JTRS gets the communication relays off the hilltops.

JTRS and WIN-T are now fully integrated, grounded in OF concepts and crafted to deliver one seamless communications and information system, or “tactical infosphere.” This tactical infosphere will enable and empower the OF, increasing its deployability, versatility, agility, lethality, survivability and sustainability. The tactical infosphere will also be engineered to maintain interoperability with legacy and interim forces.

JTRS/WIN-T’s substantial shift provides our industry partners with a more accurate and deconflicted azimuth to direct their research, development and delivery of leap-ahead technologies. The synergy of JTRS and WIN-T through virtual capabilities for teaming, training and rehearsals – imbued by the power of timely, relevant and accurate actionable information – will empower the OF commander with a heretofore-unseen level of combat effectiveness by establishing information as an element of combat power that enhances mobility, lethality, survivability and sustainability.

Since information becomes an element of combat power in the OF, the Signal Regiment has many challenges (and opportunities to succeed) ahead. Each leader and soldier is responsible for lifelong learning and should subscribe to professional journals like Army Communicator to keep updated on topics such as OF, WIN-T or JTRS. The Regiment, as several Signal leaders have said previously, is the warfighter’s and OF’s enabler for information dominance; your Army and your nation depend heavily on you.

Acronym quick-scan
JTRS – Joint Tactical Radio System
OF – Objective Force
ORD – operational-requirements document
TRADOC – Training and Doctrine Command
WIN-T – Warfighter Information Network-Tactical

dividing rule

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