Program KICCs Iraq telecom into gear.
- By Dawn S. Onley
- Jan 07, 2004
KICC will support the C4 needs of coalition partners, as well as Army forces.
'Col. Lee Price
In the coming months, the Army will free up hundreds of soldiers in tactical signal units in Kuwait and Iraq by establishing a permanent communications infrastructure.
The Kuwait Iraq Command, Control, Communications and Computers Commercialization project is a plan to wire the Persian Gulf nations by connecting about 180 distinct voice, data and video nodes at 100 separate bases or camp locations. The effort will support more than 100,000 troops currently deployed in the region, officials said.
KICC, part of the $87 billion effort to help rebuild Iraq's infrastructure, will see hundreds of contractors replacing existing telecommunications capabilities currently in theater. The work has already begun.
The program has received $298 million for operations, maintenance and equipment procurements. Army officials expect the program to cost more than $4 billion through its lifecycle.
KICC is a significant part of the Army's vision for 2004, said Kevin Carroll, program executive officer for Enterprise Information Systems at Fort Belvoir, Va. This year, Carroll said, the Army will increase its focus on communications and enterprise integration across different divisions, such as logistics, personnel and medical.Level field
'When we went to war, we took the communications that we had currently, and our comms design supported the high-end levels of the Army rather than down in the unit levels,' Carroll explained. 'We're really working to get more unit-level comms put in place, to expand. We're trying to put a pretty stable infrastructure in place that the coalition forces can use to communicate.'
The initial program mission for KICC is to offer Army and coalition forces in the Persian Gulf area commercial telecommunications equipment that is the equivalent of what they currently have, said Jack Dempsey, deputy assistant program manager for KICC.
'Right now, there are several signal brigades in the theater with organic telecommunications equipment that is similar to what you would see at traditional Army posts, and it is manned by soldiers,' Dempsey said. 'They deployed over to provide that service support to military units.'
KICC will change who provides the support and will eventually upgrade the communication equipment, said Dempsey, who also serves as the technical adviser for the Army Communications Security Logistics Activity, based at Fort Huachuca, Ariz.
By establishing a permanent comm infrastructure, the Army will be able to rotate soldiers in signal units home or deploy them in other areas, he said.
Another component of the project will support the C4 needs of coalition partners, said Col. Lee Price, project manager for Defense Communications and Army Transmission Systems at Fort Monmouth, N.J.That's the ticket
DCATS manages KICC and provides strategic satellite ground communications equipment covering the X, C, Ku and Ka band terminals.
The third component of KICC will provide communications support to the Coalition Provisional Authority, Price added.
The program features a variety of equipment, Price said, including telephone switches, fiber and satellite communication terminals.
'What this will allow is for the U.S. to provide communications links from the Combined Joint Task Force 7, which is the Army Corps headquarters, out to the multi-national divisions and brigades, such as the Polish forces,' Dempsey said.
Dempsey said the Army, working with several contractors on the three program components, is buying the hardware for KICC now.
The contractors implementing the Army, joint and coalition companies of KICC are Lockheed Martin Corp., Computer Services Corp. and Galaxy Scientific Corp. of Egg Harbor Township, N.J.