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05 Mar 15. Next phase of Blue Force Tracking hits the ground running. The JBC-P system provides satellite-linked data and battlefield chat rooms immediately on arrival. The Army recently began testing the next phase of its Blue Force Tracking system called Joint-Battle Command Platform and officers involved in the training and testing exercises are seeing good results. “No matter what the temperature, rain, the distance – that was one system that endured,” Col. Thomas Gukeisen said in an Army release. The JBC-P system provides soldiers immediately upon landing in a potentially hostile environment with reliable situational awareness and collaborative chat communications, rather than having them take the time to build a command post. The system is designed to allow soldiers a quick communication link during a fight prior to establishing a more robust command post. Among its features, the JBC-P interface offers a Google-Earth like interface capable of viewing locations through precise zooming, icons that can pinpoint improvised explosive devices and instant messaging for medical attention. It is also has a faster satellite network that can securely encrypt data. A handheld version of JBC-P will also be available for those who dismount vehicles. “We can quickly get on chat, so everyone can collaboratively see what we are doing, quickly gain situational awareness, and we can adjust decisions,” Gukeisen said. “I see this as a significant revolution in how we conduct our network-based operations.”
Falling within the scope of the Army’s Project Manager Mission Command, the JBC-P’s sister programs such as the Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below/Blue Force Tracking have been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Source: Defense Systems)
10 Mar 15. Inmarsat Government, the leading provider of secure, global, mission-critical telecommunications to the U.S. public sector, announced that it has executed a service provider agreement with Honeywell to provide Inmarsat Global Xpress services to the U.S. government aeronautical market. This agreement extends Honeywell’s existing business with Inmarsat, including its JetWaveTM product, the exclusive terminal hardware, which enables connectivity to Inmarsat’s Global Xpress constellation network, and Honeywell’s commercial connectivity services for business aviation. The Global Xpress commercial Ka-band network will usher in an unprecedented, globally available, high-throughput wideband data service for mobile users offered by a single operator. Inmarsat’s fleet of three Global Xpress Inmarsat-5 (I-5) satellites is on schedule to enter global service early in the second half of 2015. Global Xpress will be the world’s first globally available commercial Ka-band network from one operator and has been built purposely with additional capabilities specific to government and military users. It will deliver secure, end-to-end wideband connectivity for seamless airborne, naval and land operations on a global basis. Government and military users will have high-speed data for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms, giving access to true high-throughput connectivity for sharing information. The Global Xpress network is also interoperable with the U.S. government’s military Ka-band Wideband Global Satellite (WGS) system.
“With Global Xpress, U.S. government airborne customers will have uninterrupted access to seamless wideband connectivity from takeoff to landing on a global basis,” said Susan Miller, president and CEO of Inmarsat Government. “Government users will benefit from the reliable high-throughput connectivity that Global Xpress delivers to support a variety of applications. We are very pleased Honeywell has been selected as our aeronautical service provider, leveraging on their exceptional past performance history in the aviation sector.”