The US Army is fielding several new expeditionary network communications systems to National Guard units to improve readiness.

The communications equipment is planned to be deployed across all three army components, namely active duty, national guard, and reserve.

This effort is aimed at increasing operational flexibility, mobility, resiliency and lethality.

During the 2019 Army National Guard G6 Mission Command Workshop held last month, signal soldiers, army and national guard leaders discussed the matter along with other network modernisation initiatives.

US Army Forces Command G-6 deputy chief of staff brigadier general Robert Edmonson said: “It’s all about maximising total army readiness, operating as a total force.

“If we have a compo one (active duty) solution that doesn’t include compo two (national guard) and compo three (reserve) we are probably heading down the wrong road.

“We are on a journey that facilitates mission command and working through 20 years of independent stove-piped systems. We are converging networks and mission command systems, making them simpler to use, allowing commanders to make more effective decisions across the total force.”

Communications systems to be deployed at army national guard units include the inflatable transportable tactical command communications (T2C2) satellite terminal and the high-bandwidth range-extending terrestrial transmission line of sight (TRILOS) radio.

“We are converging networks and mission command systems, making them simpler to use.”

The army’s project manager tactical network is also fielding the modular communication node-advanced enclave, which is meant for exchanging intelligence data, as well as an enhanced version of the global broadcast system for one-way transmission of large data files.

Meanwhile, the disaster incident response emergency communications terminal (DIRECT) tool suite supports first responders during disaster relief and other civil missions.

The T2C2 satellite terminal offers a rapid set up capability. In addition, the terminal is capable of allowing units to have a larger antenna for increased capability and bandwidth efficiency in a smaller transport footprint.

DIRECT tool suite can be used to provide commercial phone and internet access, in addition to commercial 4G and Wi-Fi for non-military first responders.

Army national guard units used the DIRECT tool suite for the first time during hurricanes Florence and Michael last year.