Our Bureau
11:46 AM, January 13, 2016

The US Army is implementing secure Command Post Wi-Fi from Aruba at Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve Tactical Units worldwide to cut network deployment and dismantle times.

Fielded as part of the Army’s Warfighter Information Network-Tactical Increment 1 (WIN-T), the deployment of Aruba 802.11ac wireless infrastructures will reduce the time it takes to install and dismantle critical communications networks from hours to minutes, increasing force agility by expediting the mobility of troops when needed.

During combat operations, Army forces must often move or “jump” base locations to outmaneuver enemies or avoid attacks. By using wireless networks rather than wired, command posts eliminate the time-intensive process of deploying CAT 5 cabling and laying specialized flooring, improving their ability to adapt as necessary to changing conditions. With wireless, units are more mobile and can easily maneuver, as circumstances require, while engaging in battle or aiding in disaster relief situations.

As the Army has developed a variety of advanced battle systems to aid in mission command and situational awareness, the number of applications that connect to a unit’s network has risen and the unit’s reliance upon the network has grown exponentially. Previously, with wired networks, it took hours after arriving at a new location to get the network up and running, leaving a unit without access to critical information systems and therefore, vulnerable. With the new Aruba wireless solutions, a unit can install and begin using its network within the first hour of reaching a site. The new wireless networks also provide greater configuration flexibility for command posts.

A key driver behind the U.S. Army’s selection of Aruba is that it delivers NSA Suite B, also called Commercial Solutions for Classified, a set of publicly available algorithms approved by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA). NSA Suite B serves as the cryptographic base for unclassified and most classified information, bringing information security to military Wi-Fi networks. Another reason for the U.S. Army’s decision to deploy the Aruba Command Post Wi-Fi solution is that it offers integrated WLAN, VPN, WIDS and firewall capabilities, as well as scalability and flexibility across Windows and Android platforms. The U.S. Army also appreciated the hands-on support from sales, systems engineering, product line management, and engineering that Aruba provides its customers.

The NSA-accredited unclassified and classified secure Command Post Wi-Fi solution is being supplied to the Army as kits. Each kit will include Aruba indoor and outdoor Gigabit Wi-Fi access points (APs), which deliver high performance in high-density environments, 7000 Series Cloud Services Controllers with RFProtect, Policy Enforcement Firewall and Advanced Cryptography, and AirWave for network management. The kits have been purchased through the CHS4 contract.

“Operational flexibility is critical to modern military practices,” said Jon Green, Senior Director of Security Architecture for Aruba. “Aruba’s Command Post Wi-Fi solution gives armed forces the maneuverability they need, backed by the secure, robust network access they require, to accomplish their missions and achieve their objectives”.