Network Integration Evaluation kicks off at Fort Bliss and White Sands

Photo:Staff Sgt. Kenneth Pawlak and Sgt. Robert Golden, 16th MPAD

Nearly 4,000 Soldiers take part in exercise

Saturday, May 4, 2013 - 12:59am

Warfighters need the right tools to win on the battlefield against an ever-changing threat. This includes a network that is both consistently available and reliable to support communication at the halt and on the move. The Army’s previous (traditional) procurement process was lengthy and relied heavily on high level input instead of feedback from Soldiers. This resulted in our warfighters being given things that were obsolete, impractical, and did not perform as advertised. It makes sense to rely more on feedback from the Soldiers, who actually use and depend on the products and systems being evaluated for purchase. In the NIE process, Soldier feedback is the key focus.

The NIE is a process for the Army to evaluate potential combat technologies and expedite purchasing decisions. It is the Army’s only exercise that is both a wargame and a procurement marketplace. With NIE, we are ensuring Soldiers get they need, things they can actually use and get when they need them.

This exercise takes place at Fort Bliss, Texas and White Sands Missile Range, NM, which covers an area comparable to the size of Connecticut. Soldiers say, the austere rugged environment is very similar to real-world operating theaters.
Almost 4,000 Soldiers from 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division plus about 1,000 contractors and civilians participate in this challenging and demanding wargame.

A key feature of this leading edge process, is that it ensures we are the best possible stewards of the Army’s money, making purchases more effective, timely, and efficient. We are ensuring the things we buy are useful to our Soldiers, are practical for using, carrying and storing in combat; and perform the way the manufacturers promise they will.



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