Pacom tests network links

JTF Warnet

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Cobra Gold

U.S. Pacific Command (Pacom) is testing a wide-area relay network that will provide a common operational picture for all military services and enable them to collaborate on the battlefield.

The Joint Task Force Wide-Area Relay Network (JTF Warnet) is designed specifically for the joint task force environment. It enables "shared situational awareness for a common tactical picture, through the integration of joint forces, maneuvers and intelligence information," said Air Force Brig. Gen. Loyd "Chip" Utterback, deputy director of strategic plans and policy at Pacom.

"The bottom line is it needed to be collaborative," Utterback told Federal Computer Week following his participation on a Nov. 20 panel at AFCEA International's TechNet Asia-Pacific 2002 Conference and Exposition in Honolulu.

Pacom officials briefed the Defense Department's Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) on JTF Warnet in October, and the network "is out there now" but will undergo its first true test as part of the Cobra Gold exercise in Thailand next year, he said.

The network is funded at $22 million per year in fiscal years 2003 and 2004, Utterback said, adding that the goal is for JTF Warnet to be operational by January 2004.

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