Four units to get JNN

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Army officials plan to deploy the service's interim mobile battlefield communications system to four warfighting organizations: the 3rd Infantry Division, the 101st Airborne Division, the 10th Mountain Division and the 4th Infantry Division.

The Army delivered the first Joint Network Node (JNN) last month to Fort Irwin, Calif., so troops from the 3rd Infantry Division could train with it before returning to Iraq later this year, said Lt. Gen. Steve Boutelle, the Army's chief information officer. He spoke Sept. 21 here at the Network Centric Operations 2004 conference.

JNN will give soldiers more mobile battlefield communications and bandwidth, and make it easier for them to talk to U.S. and coalition forces and access data from military systems worldwide. Army officials learned from the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan that they need systems that transmit voice, video and data when forces operate out of sight from one another.

Boutelle said they delivered JNN last month to the 3rd Infantry Division and ordered it for the 101st Airborne Division and the 10th Mountain Division. He said Army officials would try to find or budget funds to deploy the system to the 4th Infantry Division and perhaps an Army Reserve unit.

Boutelle said Army officials started the JNN procurement in May. He did not divulge who won the contract and its value, but industry officials said General Dynamics Corp. won the initial deal. A company official confirmed it.

JNN consists of vehicles equipped with satellite communications, voice-over-IP and dynamic IP technologies and systems that connect to military networks. It will give soldiers more mobile communications than the current Mobile Subscriber Equipment-Triservices Tactical terminals but not as much as the future multibillion-dollar Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) now in development and planned for fielding in 2008, said an industry official who is working on WIN-T.

Army officials officially announced last week that General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin Corp. would work together on WIN-T with General Dynamics as the lead contractor and Lockheed Martin as the lead subcontractor.

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