The U.S. Army’s chief of staff has stated repeatedly that fixed command posts are not likely to survive for long in the fast-moving conflicts of the future. However, the networking gear currently fielded to company, battalion and brigade commanders in places like Europe requires stopping to set up fixed communications nodes. The service has a solution: the latest version of the Warfighter Information Network – Tactical (WIN-T) enables commanders to stay in touch on the move from combat vehicles. WIN-T is the only solution the Army has to deliver comms on the move for leaders of larger larger units. Unfortunately, some critics have confused WIN-T with other parts of the Army network, and incorrectly complain that it does not work as advertised. In fact, the system meets all of its requirements and has been fielded to two dozen brigades or headquarters. Prime contractor General Dynamics has cut the size and weight of equipment in half so it can be carried in a wider array of vehicles. With no alternatives likely to be available for a long time to come, it would be a big mistake to slow the fielding of WIN-T’s latest version. The Army can easily evolve the system as needed while reducing the danger to soldiers of being immobilized in future conflicts. I have written a commentary for Real Clear Defense here.
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