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Marines aim for comprehensive network

Marine networks are too complicated and unwieldy, and the technology and bandwidth divide between the rear echelons and front lines is too great and must be overcome, according to several officers speaking at today’s AFCEA Northern Virginia chapter. “I think across the board, for all of the services, the systems architecture was very complex, and probably needlessly so,” said Marine Lt. Col. Peter Keating, fire support coordinator for the 1st Marine Division, which took part in this year’s Iraqi operations. “That was the product of fielding a lot of systems that performed very specialized tasks and functions. We haven’t created the conditions for a successful interoperable environment from the go, so we have some improvements to do there.” When the Marines were ready to cross the line of departure into Iraq, a standard architecture for the formation of a comprehensive communications network was not in place and was assembled on the fly. Maj. Michael Sweeney, a command and control integration officer in support of the coalition force land component commander, said all Marines had to learn how to be information managers and that led to widespread digitization. Full Story

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