The U.S. Army’s ability to securely communicate and push information across the battlefield has grown as the enemy has gained greater access to advanced communications technology and capabilities.
1980s: Army builds out the Mobile Subscribe Equipment (MSE) system for communications from division down to battalion level, creating a smaller, more mobile capability than previous systems.
1991: Forces outrun the network during Operation Desert Storm–revealing the need for a modern system. Network transformation initiatives began soon after.
1990s: Troop drawdown after Operation Desert Storm leads to low network modernization prioritization, limited development and fielding.
2002: Updated network modernization efforts restart.
2003: With few advancements widely fielded,similar limitations were experienced again during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The pace of the war outruns our mobile force’s ability to communicate.
2004-2012: U.S. Government begins reinvesting in network modernization. Joint Network Node/ Warfighter Information Network –Tactical (WIN-T) Increment 1 is quickly built and fielded in response to need for modern network infrastructure – but for at-the-halt operations only.
2014: U.S. faces current and potential adversaries with access to commercial off-the-shelf technology. New network technology – WIN-T Increment 2 – and tactical edge radios that connect individual soldiers to the network for the first time –HMS – developed, but fielding is just beginning.