US Army evaluates new blue force tracking system at NIE 14.2
US Army soldiers and marines have tested the joint battle command-platform (JBC-P) during the army's recently concluded network integration evaluation (NIE) 14.2 at Fort Bliss, Texas, US.
A latest incarnation of the army's widely fielded, friendly-force tracking system, force XXI battle command brigade-and-below / blue force tracking, the JBC-P helps reduce the 'fog of war' by providing a complete battlefield picture to enable units to synchronise operations.
Primarily designed for use in vehicles, the capability provides location details of friendly platforms to users as they travel, while allowing them to plot the locations of enemy forces and hazards, including bridges, minefields and explosives.
8th Marine Regiment 2nd Battalion assistant operations officer 1st lieutenant Jeffrey Weinmeister said: "This interface is far more user friendly. It makes it very easy for the first-time user to effectively perform command and control operations.
"The reliability of the system has allowed us to use it over very difficult terrain here, as well as communicate from significant distances and maintain our situational awareness of the battlefield."
8th Marine Regiment 2nd Battalion lance corporal John Allen Sargent said the capability ensures that soldiers are not going too far into a danger zone.
"The chat function allows you to get with everyone all at once, and speak back and forth as fast as can be so information gets to you a lot faster," Sargent said.
Built on user feedback, JBC-P has been designed with the modern-day soldier in mind, and features touch-to-zoom maps, drag-and-drop icons and a Google Earth-like interface.
Developed by product manager JBC-P, the capability has undergone several successful risk reduction events. The test results of the evaluation are expected later this year, while JBC-P fielding is scheduled to start soon.
Other capabilities tested at the semi-annual field exercise were the HMS Manpack radio, the unmanned aerial system-tactical common data link / universal ground station, as well as the smartphone-like Nett Warrior system.
Image: US Marines fought alongside army personnel to test the joint battle command-platform during NIE 14.2 at Fort Bliss, Texas, US. Photo: courtesy of Nancy JonesBonbrest, PEO C3T.