Washington, D.C. – Klas Telecom demonstrated a strong multipresence at this year’s largest-ever U.S. Army Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) 16.1, where the company’s products and services supported three different operations in the joint force, partner nation exercise. Klas Telecom field service representatives (FSRs) traveled to NIE 16.1, that took place at Ft. Bliss in El Paso, Texas from September 25 – October 8, 2015, where they remained for two weeks preparing and fielding components of the modular and scalable Voyager baseband networking system.
It was the First-In Agile Mission Command Package (FIAMP) that officially brought Klas Telecom FSRs to NIE 16.1. FIAMP, which comprises Klas Telecom’s innovative Voyager networking modules and chassis, a Tampa Microwave VSAT .95 cm ManPack terminal, and a Virideon TPS-2C tactical solar power package, was invited to NIE 16.1 so the 101st Airborne Division could utilize it in an airborne assault mission. The original FIAMP system made its debut at NIE 14.1 as a system under evaluation, and is a rapidly deployable (single backpack or transit case) manpack mission command extension over broadband satellite that weighs less than 37 lb., not including the solar panels and additional enclaves that were added at NIE 16.1. The 101st Airborne Division used the system to access secure voice and data from three different enclaves – colorless core, Non-classified Internet Protocol Router Network (NIPRNet) and coalition. During the mission, the division also sling loaded FIAMP into a vehicle and demonstrated its capability to a group of visiting high-ranking U.S. and international generals who were reportedly impressed with its capability, low SWaP, and fast setup time.
Additionally, the 101st Airborne Division found an administrative, non-mission-related purpose for FIAMP during NIE 16.1. When Klas Telecom FSRs arrived onsite at Ft. Bliss’s forward operating base Westbrook, they learned the division had not been able to establish their NIPRNet connection at the base’s Mayor Cell (an administrative area of Westbrook). The division asked Klas Telecom engineers to set up FIAMP as an ad hoc solution. The engineers had the system set up and running in no time and it remained operational throughout NIE 16.1, save for when it was deployed on mission. The 506 Battalion commander, the sergeant major, other officers, and headquarters command all relied on FIAMP for their NIPRNet communications during NIE 16.1.
“This was a very successful NIE for us,” Klas Telecom Director of Field Operations Bob Addis said. “We had a strong presence throughout the exercise. We were officially on the ground at NIE 16.1 to support FIAMP’s deployment for a 72-hour airborne assault mission, the kit was also utilized by an important NIE administrative office to provide exercise commanders with a critical network access need, and lastly, our Global Rapid Response Information Package (GRRIP), also called the AN/PSC-15 or Klas Pioneer Express, was used by the 84th Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Battalion for reach-back communications in a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) exercise.”
The 84th EOD Battalion worked closely with the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) during NIE 16.1 to identify the requirements for early entry communications systems that would enable rapid exchange of information on potentially dangerous contaminants with both headquarters tactical operations centers as well as external government agencies hundreds of miles away. Previously, soldiers would have to travel back to headquarters to pass on this type of forensic information.
With GRRIP, the Army can pass information back and forth more expediently, enabling up front situational analysis of what is going on at a particular site. Dangerous situations can be predicted and prevented, and soldiers can be aware of what they are walking into.
“Because the GRRIP is a compact piece of equipment, it’s easy to carry and mobile,” Lt. Col. Dirk Barber, chief of Nuclear Disablement Team 3, 20th CBRNE Command said in the Army’s article on the endeavor. “Once on the ground, we can set it up at the scene to push information in a matter of minutes, and when you’re saving time, you might be saving someone’s life.”
About Klas Telecom
Founded in 1991, Klas Telecom is an engineering and design company with over 24 years of experience developing highly capable, lightweight communications solutions for use in austere environments where low size, weight, power and ruggedization are required. With over 80% of the company dedicated to technology development, Klas Telecom is able to stay on the forefront of the remote, network-edge communications market. Klas Telecom operates in the U.S. and international defense, first responder, disaster relief, law enforcement and transportation markets. The company employs staff across four offices located in Washington, DC; Herndon, VA; Tampa, FL; and Dublin, Ireland.
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