As the tactical communications network backbone, the General Dynamics Mission Systems-built Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T), delivers voice and data services wherever and whenever our soldiers need them, without the need for fixed infrastructure.
An essential utility for America’s Army as it deploys to many locations and many environments across the world, WIN-T gives the Army adaptable voice and data services to help soldiers accomplish their missions.
WIN-T Increment 1 began fielding in 2004 to support combat missions during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Over just a few years, the entire U.S. Army, National Guard and Army Reserves received Inc. 1 capabilities.
With WIN-T Inc. 1, for the first time in history, the soldiers in the battlefield had a high-speed, interoperable voice and data communications network down to the battalion level.
Similar to most Americans’ Internet connections at home, but with added security and the ability to network in the most remote environments, WIN-T Inc. 1 provides the U.S. Army’s tactical force with secure high speed, high capacity voice, data and video communications “at-the-halt” – granting soldiers the ability to quickly communicate with their operations center.
Inc. 1 is currently in use by soldiers in the Army, National Guard and Army Reserves. WIN-T Increments 2 and 3 build on the capabilities of Inc. 1 with on-the-move networking and further security, bandwidth and connectivity.
WIN-T Increment 2 (Inc. 2) brings on-the-move communications to the Soldier’s Network, allowing commanders to use voice and data communications and mission command applications while mobile. These capabilities provide a new “digital reach” the U.S. Army has never before had in the operational environment.
The 10th Mountain Division was the first to have this new capability when it deployed for Afghanistan in July 2013. WIN-T Inc. 2’s unique value was immediately recognized, as it provided soldiers with communications even as fixed infrastructure was removed.
On-The-Move: The tactical communication nodes in Inc. 2 are the first step to providing a mobile infrastructure on the battlefield. Consisting of mobile points of presence systems (installed on select vehicles at battalion levels and above, which include four companies of up to 200 soldiers and about 10 to 30 vehicles each), vehicle wireless packages, and the soldier network extension (for Company-level connectivity).
Increment 2 enables mission command from brigade to division to company through a completely ad-hoc, self-forming network. Commanders and select staff now have the ability to maneuver anywhere on the battlefield and maintain connectivity to the network, without the need to stop and set up communications, making them vulnerable to attack.
Increment 3 (Inc. 3) is the research and development component of the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) program. Its mission is to continually build on and improve the full WIN-T portfolio, ensuring the network keeps pace with advancements in technology and security while providing our soldiers with access to timely, relevant and actionable information.
WIN-T Inc. 3 advancements simplify WIN-T “network operations” for greater soldier utility and ease of use. And as threats within cyber space continue to evolve and grow, Inc. 3 ensures the entire WIN-T portfolio remains cyber secure with ongoing upgrades and development of Type 1 encryption for the network.
WIN-T Inc. 3 will also expand the reach of the network to provide a fully mobile and flexible tactical networking capability needed to support a highly dispersed force over isolated areas. This is especially important as the Army transitions to a faster, leaner force to handle future threats and missions across the globe.
With continued network enhancements, Inc. 3 provides a leap forward in network capacity, as well as improvements to the overall reliability and robustness of the network.
Mission Command Apps
the power of the soldier’s network
The introduction of the Tactical Ground Reporting System (TIGR) allowed web-based information management at the lowest tactical level for the first time. Powered by the network, TIGR allows all of the data from the field to be synthesized in a way that the end-user is able to review, digest and act all in real-time. Equally important, the information seen by one person in a single location can be seen in the exact same way at command centers around the world. This helps ensure that decisions regarding battlefield and/or emergency situations are being made with the same information at the same time.
Another application used by the Army is the Command Post of the Future (CPOF), a system that allows commanders to maintain topsight over the battlefield, collaborate with superiors, peers and subordinates over live data, and communicate their intent. This takes communications between commanders and soldiers on the ground to a whole new level, allowing interactive discussions to occur with the same information. These applications not only offer soldiers a superior military advantage, but most importantly, they help to save lives.
Cybersecurity and anti-jam capabilities are a critical part of the Soldier’s Network. With the amount of voice and data information that can now flow between soldiers on the ground and back up to commanders at higher echelons, protecting and defending the integrity of the Soldier’s Network is a paramount concern.
This is also why General Dynamics Mission System’s heritage in data security is essential for its part in developing of the Soldier’s Network.
As security challenges morph and change over time, Warfighter Information Network – Tactical Increment 3 helps the Soldier’s Network respond to new challenges and upgrade the network’s defenses on an ongoing basis.
Thousands of soldiers have had the opportunity to use WIN-T in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Korean Peninsula, in West Africa and at Army training centers across the country. Their feedback has led to the reduction of overall system complexity as well as improvements that make the system easier to use. For instance, some of the system’s communication functions are similar to the way we use a smartphone at home to access a map, text with a friend and share family pictures. These improvements help the soldier fight extremely effectively, as well as take advantage of commercial wireless and broadband technologies that reduce system size, weight, power needs and overall cost.