Army's foreign service

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"Learning by doing"

Under a recent U.S. policy shift in foreign military sales, an Army team

is helping the Czech Republic, Romania, Poland and possibly the Philippines

build military command and control infrastructures.

The team, which specializes in command and control center projects,

is also offering its assistance to the Israeli Ministry of Defense in fielding

a logistics information system.

The Army's Command Center Upgrades/Special Projects Office (CCU/ SPO),

located at the Communications-Electronics Command, Fort Monmouth, N.J.,

has been building U.S. military command and control infrastructures and

command centers for years but is now turning its attention abroad.

In January, the team wrapped up the first of a three-phase effort to

install the command, control, communications, computers and intelligence

(C4I) infrastructure at the Romanian Ministry of Defense. It has also just

completed an initial pilot phase on a project to automate Romanian military

logistics. The Romanian Ministry of Defense is expected to approve the next

phases of the program in the fall.

The team's work is done through foreign military sales, which can involve

equipment or services. One team member estimated the Army has awarded about

$10 million in foreign military sales contracts.

"[The work] is accomplished with foreign military sales assistance under

a Warsaw initiative to upgrade the communications and command and control

infrastructure in select countries," said Steve Hussey, chief of the CCU/SPO

Theater Systems Integration Office in Europe. "The Romania efforts were

extremely successful from the perspective of putting fully functional projects

on the ground. Basically, the old foreign military sales rules were reclarified

to put complete, fully functional C4I technology systems on the ground."

The original three-phase program with Romania included:

n Engineering, furnishing, installing and testing communication infrastructure

within the Ministry of Defense building.

n Engineering, furnishing, installing and testing communications infrastructures

and upgrading communications interoperability — the ability of systems to

share data — between the Ministry of Defense and the individual services.

n Providing NATO-standard fiber-optic networks for the Ministry of Defense

and services.

In Poland, the team is expected to define and build a C4I infrastructure,

but the program's future is uncertain. "We've submitted our proposal, but

there have been some funding problems in Poland, so it's sort of been going

back and forth," said Eric Goodman, a project leader on the team.

Officials from the Philippines recently approached the special projects

office about the possibility of doing similar work.

"We just got a request two weeks ago from the Philippines to conduct

an engineering study, and we've just submitted our proposal for the initial

stage," Goodman said June 21.

Also in January, the team helped the Czech Ministry of Defense's information

and technology directorate develop requirements to connect their personnel

information system with local and remote infrastructures at five locations

throughout the country.

Before turning its attention abroad, the team helped the U.S. Southern

Command move its C4I infrastructure and supporting command center from Panama

to Miami. It is also assisted in the Special Operations Command's move from

Panama to the Roosevelt Roads Naval Station, Puerto Rico.

"Though it is a 20th century building on the outside, it's pure 21st-century

inside," said Gen. Charles Wilhelm, the Southern Command's commander in

chief, at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new facility. "The advanced

information systems enable fewer people to influence more activities over

a longer distance than has ever been possible before."


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