US Army’s 173rd ABCT receives new communication system

10 May 2018 (Last Updated May 10th, 2018 10:26)

Soldiers of the US Army’s 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) have received a new communication system designed to enable tactical leaders to quickly share information across the military network.

US Army’s 173rd ABCT receives new communication system
A platoon leader uses an end user device to report information to the company commander through the Integrated Tactical Network. Credit: Army photo by Spc Joshua Cofield.

Soldiers of the US Army’s 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) have received a new communication system designed to enable tactical leaders to quickly share information across the military network.

The Integrated Tactical Network platform will help transform the way tactical leaders communicate by allowing them to easily track the positions of the units on the battlefield, in addition to sharing text messages, voice communication, and pictures.

The new communication system also increases the lethality of small units, as well as security and situational awareness for soldiers.

1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment Attack Company platoon leader and US Army 1st lieutenant Michael Austin said: “Besides each of us having access to the mission graphics, we will be able to battle track each other.

“Communication devices have been already deployed with platoon leaders, fire support officers and company commanders.”

“If we’re in a movement to contact and we take chance contact, we can use this to very accurately shift fires, and have more fires on the enemy while being very safe because we know our exact front-line trace.”

Integrated Tactical Network features the multi-band inter / intra team radio to project data and a modern smartphone to form the actual interface.

1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment signals officer US Army captain Michael Belina said: “This system is simple to field and use. We were able to learn it at the [operator] level in one day.

“The software is really intuitive since most soldiers know how to use smartphones as a second nature, [so] there’s no issue with them picking up the features and figuring it out.”

Communication devices have been already deployed with platoon leaders, fire support officers and company commanders. The units will be soon delivered to squad leaders.

The system was used to demonstrate its capabilities during a recently held company-level combined arms live-fire exercise in Grafenwoehr, Germany.