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FIRST COMBAT EVALUATION OF JTRS RIFLEMAN RADIO CONDUCTED BY 75th RANGER REGIMENT
SAN DIEGO-The Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit (HMS) Program Office of the Joint Program Executive Office Joint Tactical Radio System (JPEO JTRS) and the US Army 75th Ranger Regiment are leading the way towards effective interoperable Warfighter communications by bringing the digital battlefield to the tactical edge in Afghanistan. Elements of the 75th Ranger Regiment have deployed to Afghanistan with the AN/PRC-154 Rifleman Radio as their intra-squad radio, coupled with the GD300 end user device display which the Rangers have been developing with General Dynamics. This system provides networked voice and data communications and digital situational awareness down to the individual soldier, and the Rangers’ deployment signifies the first combat use of the system.
The AN/PRC-154 is an individual radio which provides networked voice and data communications through the use of the terrain defeating Soldier Radio Waveform up to a 2 KM range. The GD300 is an android based, environmentally protected individual leader display. When paired with the Rifleman Radio, the position/location information of all soldiers in the network are displayed on the map or pictorial graphics the soldiers are operating in. The Rangers are also using Tactical Ground Reporting (TIGR) mobile application on the GD300 to send text, situation reports, and other applications.
The HMS Program and the Rangers have partnered over the past year to assess the AN/PRC-154 Rifleman Radio and the AN/PRC-155 Manpack to provide critical feedback for making the equipment combat ready. The regiment conducted three separate training evaluations throughout 2011 to ensure the system was mature enough to use in theater. Information gathered during those exercises led to significant software modifications which made both the radio and the display more tactically relevant and user friendly. Success from those events led to the decision from both the program office and the Ranger Regiment that the system was ready for combat evaluation.
The purpose of the Rangers’ operational assessment is to evaluate the suitability and reliability of the system and determine how networked communications and situational awareness can improve mission effectiveness. In addition, their feedback will provide critical information to incorporate prior to fielding elements of the system to the US Army as a whole.