Army preps for new common operating picture

Army preps for new common operating picture

As the Army continues to builds toward a common operating picture of its warfighting systems, it tested the latest version of the Command Post Computing Environment at this year’s Network Integration Evaluation, NIE 16.2.

“From a capabilities stand point, CP CE v2 is bringing engineering, medical and logistics functionality back into the [common operating picture],” Col. LaMont Hall, deputy project manager for Mission Command said. “Soldiers now have the access and ability to contribute, build and see the COP.”

In a collaborative command post, individual data from fires, logistics, intelligence, airspace management and maneuver systems can be shared, which reduces “a commanders' need to ‘mentally fuse’ digital information displayed on multiple system viewers, often with different map features,” the Army said. The goal is to reduce the 13 different maps in the command post to a tailorable, common map.   

Today’s command posts also often run on incompatible hardware and operating systems, which is like  using a Windows operating system to complete one task, OS X for another and Linux for another, officials said.  

The currently deployed version of a COP  resides on a single workstation in each location that is limited to a single operator.  Instead of forcing soldiers to “wait in line” to view the common operating picture, CP CE will fuse data from several platforms into its design, enabling all staff to access the common operating picture.

The NIE testing aims to evaluate how CP CE v2 bridges to version 3, where thin, web-based applications or widgets will begin to replace standalone systems, the Army said. The “widgetizing” process puts an array of command tools for situational awareness in a web-based location that looks like a commercial computer, tablet or smartphone application.

“Replacing standalone systems represents a paradigm shift in the way the Army modernizes capabilities,” Army officials said.  “Validation from the Operational Assessment of CP CE v2 at NIE 16.2 will confirm the direction the Army will follow delivering mission command capabilities.”

About the Author

Mark Pomerleau is a former editorial fellow with GCN and Defense Systems.

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