The U.S. Army, through the System of Systems Integration Directorate, announced that it is seeking interested industry and government sources with mature solutions to enhance existing network systems capabilities to participate in the Network Integration Evaluation 14.1 event, scheduled to take place in October/November 2013 at Fort Bliss, Texas, and White Sands Missile Range, N.M.
The semi-annual Network Integration Evaluation, or NIE, is helping shape “agile” capability integration by assessing Soldier provided and technical operational test data to influence not only how the Army procures capability, but also how integrated network capability requirements are validated and refined. NIEs also shape the ways the Army will field, train, sustain and continuously improve capability acquisition and life cycle management and provide a relevant operational test environment to meet mandatory Program of Record test requirements.
The purpose of the Sources Sought notice is to identify emerging capabilities to be evaluated against a set of entrance criteria for an opportunity to participate in NIE 14.1. This Sources Sought seeks mature solutions with a narrow focus on specific identified gaps in the current and evolving networked equipment solution set.
The identified gaps are: Brigade/Battalion Command Post, or CP, Mobility and Scalability, Network Visualization on the Common Operational Picture, known as COP, Aerial layer Network Extension — Provide assured access for terrestrial network, Integrated Network Assurance — Network Access Control, Operational Energy — Energy sources with extended duration and power, Operational Energy — Monitor and manage system power, supply and demand, and Operational Energy — Reduce reliance on petroleum based energy.
The Army is seeking only those solutions that address the specific identified gaps, that are at the representative model or prototype system stage and that have been tested in a relevant environment.
“A highlight of NIE 14.1 will be the implementation of the common operating environment, while also looking beyond the network allowing the Army to assess non-networked Operational Energy systems,” said Col. Rob Carpenter, director of System of Systems Integration Directorate, or SoSI. “Solutions being sought in NIE 14.1 will help inform Capability Sets and the NIE construct as it matures to a Joint environment in NIE 14.2″
In December, the Army issued the first Request for Proposal, or RFP, to support the NIE events. As the Army continues to use Sources Sought notifications to target vendor solutions for broad capability gaps, utilizing the RFP method allows the service to seek solutions for targeted capability gaps. Both the RFP and the Sources Sought will supplement NIE 14.1 assessments.