☷Geronimo platoons provide key input to improve Army radio capabilities
U.S. Army ( By Press Release office)
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A Soldier with the 2nd Battalion , 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment ( 2 - 501 PIR ) , assigned to the 1st Brigade , 82nd Airborne Division participates in the HMS Soldier Touch Point at Fort Bragg , North Carolina , on April 21 , 2022 . The 2 - 501 PIR C Company evaluated Manpack and Leader radio variant capabilities as a follow - on to the HMS Initial Operational Test and Evaluation , conducted in January , 2021 . Soldiers with the 2nd Battalion , 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment , assigned to the 1st Brigade , 82nd Airborne Division , convene ......to discuss defensive strategy during the HMS Soldier Touch Point on April 21 , 2022 , at Fort Bragg , North Carolina . The 2 - 501’s C Company evaluated improvements made to the Manpack and Leader radio capabilities following last year’s Initial Operational Test and Evaluation , conducted in January , 2021 . Soldiers with 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment , assigned to the 1st Brigade , 82nd Airborne Division , assess position location information on the Nett Warrior end user device prior to their movement to the operational exercise site on April 21 , 2022 , at Fort Bragg , North Carolina . The unit is providing critical feedback to help the Army make iterative improvements to Manpack and Leader radios and their associated components . FORT BRAGG , N . C . ( April 28 , 2022 ) – The soft sound of boots crushing pine needles abruptly gave way to rapid small arms fire , radio transmissions and the commander’s orders to take cover . While this was only a training event , the realistic scenario unfolded during the Handheld , Manpack , and Small Form Fit ( HMS ) Soldier Touch Point ( STP ) at Fort Bragg , last week . The Army conducted the STP to evaluate additional iterative enhancements made to the HMS radio products since the Initial Operational Test ( IOT&E ) in January 2021 and full rate production decision . "We ' ve made major improvements over the last year , especially in better cabling and ease of operational use , ” said Col . Garth Winterle , project manager for Tactical Radios ( PM TR ) , assigned to the Program Executive Office Command Control Communications - Tactical . “Our mesh networking waveform , TSM , has been proven to be effective at the company - level and has been providing primary voice and data in some really tough terrain . ” TSM is an advanced commercial networking waveform that provides enhanced throughput . As part of the Army’s Capability Set 21 , the HMS Manpack and Leader radios are already fielded to the 1st Brigade Combat Team , 82nd Airborne Division ( 1/82 ABN ) ; 173rd Airborne Brigade; 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team , 25th Infantry Division ( 25 ID ) and the Third Brigade Combat Team , 82 ABN . The radios are currently being fielded to the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team , 25 ID . Other items under evaluation at the STP include upgraded prototype radio carrier rucksacks and a range extending antenna . “Our iterative operational assessment strategy is proving to be invaluable in not only verifying improvements to our radios and accessories , but we are also able to get continuous feedback for future improvements , ” Winterle said . Soldiers with the 2nd Battalion , 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment ( 2 - 501 PIR ) , assigned to the 1/82 ABN are evaluating the AN/PRC - 163 Leader radio , AN/PRC - 158 and AN/PRC - 162 Manpacks , along with the Nett Warrior end user device and associated components , which were the radios under test at the IOT&E . New to the product line is the next increment of the AN/PRC - 148C Leader radio and the AN/PRC - 148D , boasting product improvements including the new Warrior Robust Enhanced Network ( WREN ) TSM capability and associated Nett Warrior . Soldiers are using the WREN TSM waveform for transmissions classified Secret or below , which provides all of the same functions of TSM , but is security hardened with National Security Agency Type 1 cryptography for government use . “The exercise involves establishing a defense by dispersing the platoons in two different directions , ” said Capt . Kevin Stevens , company commander of C Company , 2 - 501 PIR . “We want to see if we ' re able to maintain communications from being at such far distances away , up to six kilometers , while on the move , and under a canopy of trees , all of which adds a layer of complexity . ” The commander , his radio operator , and squad leader for the 60 millimeter mortar section - who established a mortar firing point several kilometers away - relied on TSM for their respective missions , using the waveform on both the Manpack and Leader radios in conjunction with the Nett Warrior end user device . “The work we’re doing to continue to perfect this [technology] and how we are bringing that to the battlefield will be a huge force multiplier for us in our ability to share info , be more aware of what’s going on across the battlefield and ultimately be more lethal by bringing fires and combat power against what our Soldiers are seeing on the battlefield , ” said Lt . Col . Eli Myers , 2 - 501 PIR commander . The forested area of operations also provided the perfect setting for the 2 - 501’s C Company to test the new cabling management system connecting the radios and system components , which was initially evaluated by the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team , 25th Infantry Division during jungle training . “The current cables are flat , which is a huge improvement over the original round cables , and by being closer to our bodies don’t become entangled in the woods , ” said 1st Lt . Keo Simonson , 2 - 501 PIR platoon leader , in charge of testing the Manpack radios . Soldiers also evaluated recent improvements to the Leader radio’s power capabilities , following IOT&E feedback , which conveyed that the radios did not retain sufficient power in the field . To increase power , PM TR engineers and vendors inserted a commercial power wedge between the radio and its battery to harness the full potential of the radio and Nett Warrior system , exponentially increasing operational run time to the radio , end user device and headsets . “It works very well with the Leader radio to allow the conformal battery to function as a reserve , ” Simonson said . These iterative improvements have extended beyond hardware and software capabilities to focus on prototype rucksack designs for ergonomic and radio - carrying functionality . The product office recruited a C5ISR Human System Integration engineer to support a comprehensive evaluation based on Soldier feedback , with additional tests for heat dissipation and durability being planned to make a final selection , said Derek Harberts , deputy product manager for HMS . “I’ve tried out three rucksacks this week , and the one I’m using now is serving me well , ” Thames said . “It is more compact and allows me to easily reach for my radio and everything else I need . ” Test personnel from the Maneuver Battle Lab ( MBL ) at Fort Benning , Georgia , and the Army Test and Evaluation Command , at APG , Maryland , tag - teamed with Soldiers across the operational environment to capture data throughout the STP . The organizations will combine previously generated data gathered from verification and validation events at the Electronic Proving Ground ( EPG ) in Arizona to assess the status of IOT&E improvements . Another evaluation event is scheduled for October at EPG , followed by another event at MBL in first quarter fiscal year 2023 . “What I’m seeing with advances in HMS will close the gap , provide situational awareness across the entire echelon and give leaders significant advantage over any of the adversaries we are likely to face on the battlefield , ” Myers said . “We are excited and honored to be able to be part of this effort on behalf of the Army , to really test this equipment , and make incremental improvements over the next couple of weeks to help deliver a better and more useful product to the Army . ” - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - The U . S . Army Program Executive Office Command , Control and Communications - Tactical develops , acquires , fields and supports the Army ' s mission command network to ensure force readiness . This critical Army modernization priority delivers tactical communications so commanders and Soldiers can stay connected and informed at all times , even in the most austere and hostile environments . PEO C3T is delivering the network to regions around the globe , enabling high - speed , high - capacity voice , data and video communications to a user base that includes the Army ' s joint , coalition and other mission partners .
02 May 2022 ( May 02 2022 )
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