U.S. Army Project to Replace Tent-based Command Posts with Vehicle-Based Systems Moves Forward

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U.S. Army Project to Replace Tent-based Command Posts with Vehicle-Based Systems Moves Forward
U.S. Army personnel conduct validation exercise (VALEX) of prototype command post equipment in support of PEO C3T’s CPI2 program

The U.S. Army said its project to field vehicle-based command posts to replace the existing tent-based ones is making progress.

As one of the Army's top priorities for network modernization, the Command Post Integrated Infrastructure (CPI2) program addresses the challenges posed by contemporary and future land conflict such as physical signatures, mobility and standardization.

The CPI2 will help the service transition from tent-based Command Posts to vehicle-based systems with on-board power. It reduces the command post footprint by incorporating 12 vehicle and shelter command post systems in lieu of large tent-based command posts. This will create a mobile and cohesive structure for operations.

Command post designs for this effort are integrating approved commercial and government off-the-shelf systems, as well as government programs of record that support command post operational needs.

Under development in two increments, termed Inc 0 and Inc 1, the CPI2 program recently achieved its Milestone B decision authority under Inc 1, allowing the program to move forward into the engineering and manufacturing phase. Once developed and assessed, Inc 1 will field widely across the service, the Army said in a release.

“Meeting this milestone for Inc 1 means that our initial prototype efforts under Inc 0 have informed the Army’s needs for advanced command post capabilities and we are ready to develop a long-term solution,” said Lt. Col. Jeremy Rogers, CPI2 product manager, part of Project Manager Interoperability, Integration and Services (I2S), under Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T).

CPI2 Inc 1 expands the Inc 0 product lines with an additional mix of military vehicle platforms, including a variety of armored vehicles, Joint Light Tactical Vehicles and Medium Tactical Vehicles. The effort also consists of the Command Post Support Vehicle, which serves as a communications node for brigade and above, assorted shelter systems and supporting intelligent power capabilities.

“Each component provides capabilities that allow commanders to synchronize the close fight, increasing survivability through a mobile command post infrastructure, while being at the critical decision point on the battlefield,” Rogers said.

U.S. Army Project to Replace Tent-based Command Posts with Vehicle-Based Systems Moves Forward
Mobile command post built by Elbit Systems

The path from prototype to Milestone B began with a DEVCOM C5ISR Prototype Integration Facility (PIF)-developed Inc 0 CPI2 platform, followed by two more CPI2 platforms developed by the program’s awarded industry partners to provide opportunities to gather Soldier feedback for the Inc 1 design.

In preparation for the engineering and manufacturing phase of the Inc 1 program, the Army has issued a Request for Information (RFI) from industry for input and suggestions for the upcoming CPI2 contract. The contract is expected to cover production, integration, fielding, training and sustainment of the systems, with an award planned for FY24. Responses to the RFI are due on June 16.

Achieving Inc 1 status does not negate the need for Inc 0, which is ongoing and currently executing multiple phases of prototyping, integration and unit experimentation to inform Inc 1 by incorporating Soldier touch points with three units: 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington; 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division-Air Assault at Fort Campbell, Kentucky; and 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colorado.

“These Soldier touch points are a critical part of the Army’s DevOps process, feeding the product development team with valuable feedback and lessons learned that continue to inform the Inc 1 effort,” Rogers said.

Operational assessments with two of the units this summer and fall will allow developers to gather feedback on the design across five brigade combat teams.

Following the Inc 1 contract award and platform production, the Army will field the first unit equipped with Inc 1 platforms in FY25. The CPI2 program will ultimately field the modernized command post Inc 0 and Inc 1 capabilities to 92 units, with one system available for training activities.

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