learned to integrate the latest cellular technology into the
mix, including the transition from 3G- to 4G-capable sys-
tems, and the JOLTED TACTICS network was born.
Since the C4AD’s initial unveiling of the operational JOLT-
ED TACTICS capability in 2011, service, combatant com-
mand (CCMD) and agency interest in the system’s ability to
address unique service requirements steadily has increased.
After the C4AD provided interested Navy elements with
information on JOLTED TACTICS capabilities, the Naval Air
Systems Command (NAVAIR) identified a specific Navy mis-
sion gap the system could quickly fill and now is conducting
sea trials of 4G LTE Afloat—a specially modified JOLTED
TACTICS network—through this summer in preparation for
an upcoming Commander, Joint Task Force (CJTF) deploy-
ment. Using an expeditionary strike group with an amphibi-
ous assault ship, cellular base stations will be placed on three
ships and a UH- 1 helicopter to provide cellular coverage for
vessel boarding search and seizure operations.
JOLTED TACTICS performed successfully during exercise
Bold Quest 2012. Army units used the capability to report bat-
tle damage assessment rapidly and accurately. Afterward, the
Army requested JOLTED TACTICS participation in the Army
Expeditionary Warrior Experiment (AEWE) in January-Feb-
ruary 2013 and the subsequent Bold Quest 2013 event to
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further define use, benefits, tactics, techniques and procedures.
The C4AD also is evaluating the possible use of JOLT-
ED TACTICS as a medium to deliver Defense Advanced
Research Projects Agency (DARPA) transformative applica-
tions, or TRANSAPPS, to operating forces. TRANSAPPS
handhelds containing validated applications can leverage
the JOLTED TACTICS private cellular network to deliver
an enhanced capability—common operational picture, full-
motion video, VoIP—to forces operating at the tactical edge.
Nominated as a 2013 joint capability technology demon-
stration (JCTD) candidate, JOLTED TACTICS was identified
in an October 2012 Office of the Secretary of Defense JCTD
program director memorandum as meeting CCMD and
service priorities. The memorandum further recommended
JCTD candidate selection board approval with a fiscal year
2013 JCTD program start, dependent on funding.
Designation as a JCTD provides JOLTED TACTICS devel-
opers with an additional funded opportunity to evolve the
capability rapidly into a ready-to-operate, rapidly deployable
and tactically valuable system with the potential to transition
into a program of record (PoR) or be adopted as an enhance-
ment to existing PoRs within one to three years. In the mean-
time, the C4AD continues to work closely with USSOCOM,
NAVAIR, the Army and other interested elements to further
hone the JOLTED TACTICS capability.
As the C4AD continues to assess advancements in cellular
technology, applications and satellite communications, mem-
bers of the C4AD’s JOLTED TACTICS team are working
closely with the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC)
to complete required interoperability testing and certifica-
tions the system requires to operate with other joint systems.
Today’s youth grow up with a mind-boggling array of
information technology, enabling access to millions of sub-
jects and activities, from researching a history report on
the Internet to playing the latest fantasy game with 20 other
players from around the world. Young soldiers, sailors, air-
men and Marines raised in this environment can navigate a
cellphone with the dexterity of a professional librarian, while
accessing far more information.
These skills can be of great value to a military unit, but
only as long as a similar capability exists. Providing this
same type of information technology environment to troops
operating in a remote valley half a world away, along with
the ability to access real- and near-real-time intelligence
information, will greatly increase their chances of opera-
tional success. JOLTED TACTICS has the potential to give
warfighters the networking and communications capabilities
they take for granted at home.
Master Chief Petty Officer Chris Vertin, USA (Ret.) was the
senior joint functional analyst, C4AD. Lt. Col. Scott Brooks,
USA, is the C2 integration lead, Technical Integration &
Services Branch, C4AD. Lt. Col. Dave Hernandez, USA, was
deputy branch chief, Future Capabilities Branch, C4AD.
contact: Lt. Col.Scott Brooks, USA