Demand high for upkeep of net-centric systems

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. ? The Army has spent millions to develop network-centric capabilities and systems to help troops fight the war on terrorism since that war's inception on Sept. 11, 2001. The service's officials now need to focus on sustaining those systems, Maj. Gen. Dennis Via said at the Army Team C4ISR 2008 Joint Symposium held here.

"We must continue to consolidate our technological gains by improving our focus on sustaining these same systems throughout their entire life cycle," Via said Sept. 15.

Developing systems and capabilities for warfighters continues to be a priority for the Army, but working with industry to sustain existing systems will also receive new focus, he said. Via is the commanding general of the Communications-Electronics Life Cycle Management Command.

The Army has made great strides during the last few years in developing command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems, he said. The current systems will provide the service's officials a road map of how they would like to see those capabilities evolve.

"Over the past decade the Army has moved from the exploration of a net-centric concepts, to developing those concepts in training, demonstrations and exercises," Via said. "Today developing technologies and C4ISR capabilities remains the Army's top priority, but now like never before, we have a much better grasp of the specific areas in which we need to develop these technologies and how we fit them into the overall pictures."

Army modular brigade and combat teams are using the systems in combat to demonstrate the positive effects of interoperability and sharing sensory data and battlefield intelligence is giving commanders the best situational awareness possible, he said.

"This has vastly improved combat effectiveness from the unit and company levels to brigade, corps and high levels of chains of command and across the entire Army, joint and coalition forces," Via said.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Washington Technology.

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