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U.S. Army Reserve Chief Information Officer/Signal Workshop: ‘If the network isn’t ready, we are not ready’

By Sgt. Stephanie Ramirez | U.S. Army Reserve Command | May 16, 2019

FORT BELVOIR, Va. — Senior leaders from all three components in the U.S. Army gathered, both in person and through video teleconference, for the U.S. Army Reserve Chief Information Officer/Signal Workshop in the Office of the Chief of the Army Reserve on Fort Belvoir, Virginia, May 14-15, 2019.

The workshop gave signal and cyber officers the opportunity to synchronize the Army Network Plan and discuss the way ahead. 

Lt. Gen. Charles D. Luckey, the chief of the U.S. Army Reserve and the commanding general of the U.S. Army Reserve Command, kicked off the workshop by emphasizing the importance of connectivity across the force.

“If we don’t have it we need to know why or how we can fix it,” he said. “The efficacy of our ability to communicate is invaluable to the success of the mission.”

In addition to hearing from leaders in the U.S. Army Reserve, several key players in the signal and cyber community spoke to the attendees about the current and future state of the Army Network. 

Among the key speakers was Lt. Gen. Stephen G. Fogarty, the commanding general for the U.S. Army Cyber Command, out of Fort Gordon, Georgia. 

“We provide the communication from the tactical edge to the sanctuary where the intel is being collected and the decisions are being made, and the message has to get through,” he said. 

In order to maintain the advantage over its adversaries, Fogarty said the Army Network has to change. 

Lt. Gen. Bruce T. Crawford, the U.S. Army Chief Information Officer, underscored the point.

“First, the Army needs to focus on ensuring the Soldiers in the field have all of the tools necessary to successfully achieve the mission,” said Crawford. 
“We have to make sure this thing we call network modernization is connected to the entire U.S. Army, so when the Army turns left or right the network goes with it.” 

The workshop reinforced the importance of an efficient integrated network and its impact on readiness. 

“The network that we work on is a readiness enabler,” said Col. Urbi N. Lewis. “If it is not standardized, if we aren’t disciplined with the patches and upgrades then the network is compromised and then readiness is an issue,” said Urbi, the command information officer/signal at the Office of the Chief of the Army Reserve.

“We are there to enable the network and provide the commander all of the information required to win, and if the network is not ready, we are not ready.”