Soldiers with the 10th Mountain Division started to receive the smart phones, radios and advanced satellites associated with Capability Set 13 that they will deploy with to Afghanistan at the start of next year.
Third and fourth brigade with the 10th Mountain Division are the first two brigades set to receive the upgraded communications gear from the Army has touted for the past year.
Army leaders have made the service's Network its top priority and Capability Set 13 is the first wide-range deployment to come from those efforts. The Army stood up the Network Integration Evaluation to save its Network development efforts from falling into the same scrap heap where Future Combat Systems lies.
Of course, programs from FCS make up parts of Capabilities Set 13 to include Nett Warrior, which has now taken the form of the smartphones that soldiers with 10th Mountain will use in combat in Afghanistan next year.
The soldiers have started to train with the new communications gear to include their specially outfitted Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All Terrain Vehicles (M-ATVs) they had built to support the increased power requirements to support the communications gear.
Units with the 10th Mountain Division will arrive in Afghanistan during the brunt of the drawdown. The new communication system's mobile design and ability to operate without fixed network infrastructure will keep soldiers connected even as the Army dismantles much of the force structure built up throughout Afghanistan.
“This capability will allow us to remain mobile and will not tie us to fixed facilities,” said Col. Walter E. Piatt, 10th Mountain Division's deputy commanding general, said in a statement. "Think about what that does operationally and tactically. It doesn’t make you predictable.”