US military test new military systems, capabilities at Network Integration Exercise

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Photo Credit: U.S Army photo by Sgt. Bradford Alex

Approximately 1,900 Soldiers from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, arrived for the Network Integration Exercise 17.2 here, July 5 – 6.

NIE began in 2011, and the 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division has been a major participant in the exercise since its inception.

The “Strike” Brigade is the first rotational unit to conduct NIE here.

As an expeditionary light infantry unit recently returning from supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, the brigade provides an operational mindset that will assist in the overall assessment of practices and systems being used during the NIE exercise.

“The 2nd BCT returned from combat operations in support of Operation Inherent Resolve in January 2017, where the brigade headquarters and four battalion headquarters conducted expeditionary advise and assist operations under austere combat conditions,” said Maj. Timothy Chess, operations officer with 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division. “This experience prepared the brigade for evaluating new mission command and electronic warfare (EW) systems from the perspective of potential fielding to deployed or deploying BCTs.”

Prior to arriving here, the brigade participated in several planning conferences, new equipment training and an extensive mission command system validation exercise, said Chess.

The 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division aims to test new equipment and provide valid feedback during the exercise.

“The main objective of the 2nd BCT is to test the equipment as directed by the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command and U.S. Army Forces Command to provide Senior Army leaders Soldiers’ feedback on emerging concepts and capabilities within the Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership, Personnel, Facilities and Policy (DOTMLPF-P) analysis framework,” said Chess.

As the main participants of the exercise, the brigade will use and test new military equipment.

“The Soldiers of 2BCT are testing Systems under Test (SUTs), Risk Reduction Events (RRE) and other mission command and EW systems under simulated combat conditions,” said Chess. “As part of the test, the Soldiers are providing candid, constructive feedback on the systems and their capabilities.”

In addition, this exercise will also benefit the brigade’s training and deployment readiness.

“NIE 17.2 allows 2nd BCT to exercise deployment and redeployment operations, distributed mission command across six subordinate battalion command nodes, company through battalion air assaults, platoon-level live fire exercises and brigade and battalion staff planning,” said Chess.

At the end of the exercise, the unit wants to provide the test community and Senior Army leadership feedback on the systems that will enable a proper decision making on future equipment fielding and ensuring the warfighter is fully supported with the right capabilities, said Chess. “2nd BCT wants to maximize the training value associated with deploying a BCT to Fort Bliss and executing a tactical scenario.”

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