Military complex aids training in improved communication

BUTLERVILLE — Representatives of five coalition forces witnessed at the Atterbury- Muscatatuck Complex a demonstration intended to show improved communication and information sharing across a variety of coalition networks and resources.

Bold Quest, a coalition demonstration sponsored twice yearly by the Joint Staff at the Department of Defense, had its Distinguished Visitor’s Day on April 6, which included visitors from Sweden, France, Spain, Poland and Finland.

“Depending on what the topic is, nations will make recommendations on what objectives they want to achieve during Bold Quest,” said Stuart Whitehead, deputy director of cyber and C4 integration for the Joint Staff. “We’ll actually design the environment to allow us to work together to solve those interoperability issues.”

That can range from equipment testing between air assets while still on the ground to air-to-ground communication problems. New technologies and, in some cases, old technologies used in a new way also are put into play in order to allow forces to communicate where they couldn’t before.

For the first time, Bold Quest aligned with an Indiana National Guard-sponsored coalition exercise called “Iron Express,” which allowed the integration of ground troops from coalition countries with Indiana Guard soldiers performing full-mission profiles, along with air support from the Indiana Air National Guard’s 122nd Fighter Wing flying A-10’s from Fort Wayne.

Using coalition-wide technology, a coalition unit making its way to an objective had the ability to coordinate and communicate with other allied units or aircraft in the area and vice-versa.

“It’s impressive and to see all of the interoperability, all of the small things, to get those together,” said Lt. Gen. Anders Silwer, chief of Swedish Armed Forces Training and Development. “When I see them working together, I know that it most likely will happen for the pilots or for the ground troops.”

The Atterbury- Muscatatuck Complex has been used for Bold Quest four times.

“The venue is excellent; the support we get here is first rate; our ability to get the air-space necessary for our actions is really the best,” Whitehead said. “Just as our own activities continue to evolve, you do the same thing in terms of the resources and facilities here and that’s what makes us keep coming back because it’s the right place to do the things that we need to do.”