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Preparing for the digitally infused next-generation war, the US military has been testing on-the-move communications for armored formations in a heavy woods setting in southern Georgia. 

The Army is modernizing its network through a series of new capabilities every two years to enable multi-domain operations and prepare for the Pentagon’s future warfighting concept, Joint All-Domain Command and Control, known as JADC2.

One of the primary goals of the recent pilot was to test the highly-mobile armored formations’ ability to maintain situational awareness while constantly maneuvering on the battlefield. As the service prepares for the near-peer fight, it must reduce the physical size of its large, bulky command posts, which are slow to stand up and tear down, to protect the lives of soldiers and commanders inside.

Ultimately, the service wants its soldiers in different platforms to have common situational awareness as it prepares to eliminate its easily-targetable command posts in the future.

For the pilot, each group of four legacy M1068 command post vehicles functioned as an S6 vehicle (network manager), S2 (intelligence), S3 (operations) and fires support, and was outfitted with one of three equipment sets, integrated by General Dynamics Mission Systems. 

Across the three equipment sets, scenarios included movement to contact with the enemy, and offensive and defensive operations, while testing the ability to retain command and control and perform fires missions. 

The technical data collected at the pilot would be provided to the service’s centers of excellence to help inform future requirements documents, give feedback to the more than 20 industry partners that provided capabilities, and help shape the service’s acquisition strategy, according to breakingdefense.com.

As the Army collects more feedback from the pilot, the challenge it faces is finding the right balance between capability and affordability.