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[] neues Command&Control-System der US Army,
Federal Computer Week

Army showcases airborne C2

 BY Dan Caterinicchia 
 Dec. 20, 2001

 The Army unveiled prototypes of its Army Airborne Command and Control
System (A2C2S) during a Dec. 19 demonstration at the Pentagon,
showcasing a system it hopes will standardize the communication of
battlefield information for personnel aboard Black Hawk helicopters and
on the ground. 

 Maj. Anthony Potts, assistant product manager for A2C2S, said the
system achieves the Army's goal of horizontal technology integration
because it uses a standardized platform, regardless of whether it is
deployed in a Black Hawk, on the ground or in another type of vehicle. 

 The system hosts the Army Battle Command System and provides access to
the Tactical Internet as well as to situational awareness information,
intelligence data and mission plans. It also includes an integrated
suite of radios, up to five user stations, a multiprocessor unit and
software for several command, control and communications systems,
including the Maneuver Control System and the Global Command and Control

 The A2C2S represents a leap forward based on the speed with which it
can be deployed, Potts said. "It takes a battalion about three hours to
get a digital battalion tactical operations center set up," whereas the
new system can be established in about 8.5 minutes on the ground and
taken down in about 12 minutes, he said.

 After a briefing inside the Pentagon, the Army and Raytheon Co., the
prime contractor on the $116 million A2C2S deal, invited reporters to
see the new system aboard a UH-60 Black Hawk along with a ground-based
counterpart on the Pentagon's helipad. 

 The display illustrated the standardization of the system regardless of
its location, featuring five reconfigurable workstations and two, larger
common  displays aboard the helicopter, and a similar setup on the
ground with the same capabilities.

 Lt. Gen. Peter Cuviello, the Army's chief information officer, said the
current command and control systems are fairly large and require lots of
personnel, but the A2C2S has been downsized and is "mobile, agile and
sustainable on the battlefield."

 "We needed to take the technology and downsize it with the right bits
of information so a commander gets the information in a more
[streamlined],  knowledge-based way," Cuviello said. "This is a
prototype not just for technology; it's a prototype for determining

 Potts said the system could also be used for homeland security
applications, possibly assisting "first responders" at the state or
local level or with the Federal Emergency Management Agency when dealing
with an attack or natural disaster. 

 However, there is "no charter and no funding" for that potential use,
although the Army is doing preparatory work on those initiatives. "If
the Army calls, we'll be ready to go," Potts said. 

 The first completed A2C2S systems are scheduled to arrive at the end of
next year, Potts said.

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