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    Vanguard Brigade first to equip with JBC-P upgrade

    Vanguard Brigade first to equip with JBC-P upgrade

    Photo By Sgt. Joshua Laidacker | Command Sgt. Maj. Alan Hummel, the senior enlisted advisor for 4th Infantry Brigade...... read more read more

    FORT STEWART, Ga. – The 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, or the Vanguard Brigade, of 3rd Infantry Division, is the first unit in the Army to be fielded the new Joint Battle Command-Platform, or JBC-P.

    “It's primarily a situational awareness system,” said Col. Michael Thurston, the project manager of Mission Command with the Army’s Program Executive Office for Command, Control and Communications-Tactical. “The display shows a map of the area you're operating in, very much like a GPS.”

    Thurston said JBC-P, which is a software upgrade to current tracking systems, can display friendly forces, opposing forces, obstacle information and graphics as well as mission essential information. All information can flow two ways from individual vehicles to higher and lower commands, and back down again. Thurston added it also builds on the command systems already in place.

    The Vanguard Brigade was chosen as the first unit in the Army to field their vehicles and tactical operation centers with the upgraded software based on a few criteria, but the brigade commander, Col. Thomas Gukeisen, helped the brigade live up to their motto, “Out Front.”

    “[Gukeisen] had seen the capability and he lobbied to get it into this unit because he wanted to be the first one to have it in the Army,” said Thurston.

    “When you look at technology in the military, it's either evolutionary or revolutionary, and seeing what this can do, it's revolutionary,” said Gukeisen. “I saw this capability, so I asked if we could be the first unit equipped. I said I would love to have this system.”

    Gukeisen's request was granted and the JBC-P fielding and training started early January and is scheduled to be complete by March this year. Pfc. Dajuan Gibson, a system support specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th IBCT, attended the operator course, as well as the maintainer course, which has enabled him to teach others.

    “I think it'll benefit us because it's easier to teach,” said Gibson. “I could get people in an area and show them how to use it in a matter of minutes.”

    Gibson noted the system is similar in some respects to the current systems, but the upgrade provides a more streamlined user-friendly interface.

    “It has a little circle that has all different kinds of icons, and you just click on what you need,” Gibson said. “Everything is right there instead of having to look in different places.”

    Thurston visited the Vanguard Brigade, Jan. 21, during the beginning of a three-month brigade level exercise, Vanguard Focus, to assess how the fielding and training on the new system was progressing to help improve the program.

    Thurston said the brigade’s training schedule allowed his team to see how the system is being used right away, unlike sometimes when new systems may be stored away until training is planned. “We get a lot of great feedback,” he added.

    Gukeisen said the Vanguard Brigade will continue to give feedback on JBC-P during Vanguard Focus and beyond, such as during the brigade's scheduled summer rotation at the Joint Readiness Training Center, in Fort Polk, Louisiana.

    “I think it's the future, I don't even think we've fully explored it, and that's the job of the first unit equipped, is to explore it,” said Gukeisen. “Now we're putting it through its full rigors.”

    “From our perspective,” Thurston said, “we've got a great unit here with 4/3 ID that's fully embraced the new equipment fielding.”



    Date Taken: 01.22.2015
    Date Posted: 01.26.2015 12:37
    Story ID: 152710
    Location: FORT STEWART, GA, US

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