Army ‘Well on Its Way’ to First OCONUS Cloud in Indo-Pacific

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Soldiers demonstrate the Command Post Computing Environment prototype at Aberdeen Proving Ground in May. (U.S. Army photo by Dan Lafontaine, PEO C3T)

WASHINGTON: The Army is “well on its way” toward implementing its first cloud outside of the US in the Indo-Pacific, a move that will allow the service to integrate cloud services into all aspects of experimentation in the region, according to service’s chief information officer.

The Army wants to deliver tactical cloud capabilities to its Multi-Domain Task Forces in the Indo-Pacific region and at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) in Washington state this year as it readies its networks for multi-domain operations.

Army CIO Raj Iyer, who spoke on a panel at the AFCEA Northern Virginia Army IT Day Thursday, said the service is also planning to deliver more cloud capabilities and other technologies, including Low- and Mid-Earth Orbit Satellites, to JBLM in an effort to increase resiliency when exchanging large volumes of data from the “strategic corners” back to the tactical edge.

This year, Iyer said, the service is taking a data-centered approach to migrating applications to the cloud, where moving applications to the cloud itself is not the end game. Rather, the Army needs to make sure it’s able to “harvest the data in those applications and in those systems.”

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“So it’s not just the traditional ways of pulling data,” Iyer said. “It’s now getting to an API-driven architecture to build a Command Post Computing Environment of the future… We are now actively working with units where we are allowing them to now experiment mission threats and operational scenarios using the capacity in the cloud and on the platforms we’ve established.”

Those units include the 82nd Airborne Division, the 101st Airborne Division and the XVIII Airborne Corps, he said.

The Command Post Computing Environment, a centralized mission command suite consisting of a group of servers and software, is one of the Army’s main efforts in consolidating large amounts of data into one common operating picture — a challenge highlighted during the Army’s Project Convergence trials in Arizona last year.

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Iyer said the service plans to work with various Army program offices and partners to figure out how to “be much more expeditionary in terms of establishing mission command environments and being able to bring in large volumes of data across multiple classification levels into a single common operating picture for the commander for decision making.”

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