Wargames stress data sharing

Two ongoing wargames aim to prevent fratricide and improve data sharing between U.S. and coalition forces.

The Combined Joint Task Force Exercise, which runs from June 12 to June 22 around the country, will test two devices in a live and computer-simulated environment in hopes of fielding the first combat identification to the battlefield. The Radio-Based Combat ID adds software to existing military radios and the Battlefield Target ID Device uses encryption so friendly forces do not fire on each other, said military statements.

"These are mature technologies," said Army Lt. Col. Bill McKean, operational manager for the Coalition Combat ID Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration program. "They have already undergone all the preliminary testing. This demonstration's purpose is to accelerate the acquisition and fielding of capabilities to the warfighter faster than they would normally progress through the standard acquisition process."

The military wants to use combat ID technologies and the Blue Force Tracking system to eradicate fratricide from the battlefield. BFT uses hardware, software and satellite communications that tell troops the locations of friendly forces using a blue icon on a computer screen in a military vehicle.

The Joint Warrior Interoperability Demonstration, which also runs from June 14 to June 25 around the country, tests technologies that improve warfighting capability, data-sharing and information security. "We wring these things out through these trials to make sure that they are interoperable with the standards that have been established by the Department of Defense," said Air Force Lt. Gen. Harry Raduege, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency, which oversees the military exercise.

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