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Network Service Center-Regional: not a place.

Network Service Center-Regional: It's a name you'll hear a lot as the LandWarNet concept evolves. But don't go looking for a street address or a building number, because an NSC-R is not a place; it's a capability derived by combining the capabilities of several regional facilities, and it will change the way units deploy and fight in the future.

Operations in Afghanistan and Iraq showed the Army's mobile subscriber equipment and tri-service tactical communication systems could not keep pace with fast-moving combat forces, and lacked the capacity to handle the growth in data traffic.

To meet the Army's immediate needs, the Joint Network Node was introduced. Designed to provide a bridge from terrestrial-based systems to the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical, the JNN and its companion Command Post Node primarily employ satellite communication links to enable rapid access to network services as forces maneuver. Using commercial off-the-shelf technologies, the JNN-Network architecture brings internet protocol capabilities to warfighting operations, and dramatically increases the capacity for moving data at every echelon.

Essential to the JNN-N architecture are hub nodes, which connect JNN-N users to the Army LWN and the Global Information Grid. The original architecture called for two hub nodes in each division, but a later decision reduced the number to one hub node per division and established a requirement for five fixed regional hub nodes to provide network connectivity around the globe to deploying forces.

As the FRHN concept matured, it became apparent that these regional facilities could serve as platforms for hosting servers and applications for deploying tactical users, enhancing the ability of forces to rapidly move into an area of operation and enter the fight. By establishing virtual private network links with home station facilities, and combining the capabilities of regional information and network operations services, the concept of a full-service regional network service center took form.


In its simplest form, a network service center exists anywhere network transport, information, and NETOPS facilities combine, either physically or virtually, to support a network user. At a regional level, those capabilities are provided by a FRHN, one or more area processing centers, and a Theater Network Operations and Security Center. These facilities work together to provide a broad range of network services to deployed forces. By seamlessly connecting units to home station facilities, processing centers, and other information resources, the capabilities of a full-service network service center-regional will be realized.

NSC-Rs will enable units--corps, divisions, independent brigade combat teams, and support units--to deploy rapidly without requiring the advanced deployment of an organic hub node. Network services will be available as soon as units establish a link to the servicing NSC R. The NSC-R's FRHN will provide a fixed platform in sanctuary at which user servers and applications can be hosted, giving warfighters immediate access to battle command and other key services.

Units engaged in reception, staging, onward movement, and integration activities will be able to immediately obtain network services through NSC-R facilities. NSC-Rs will support continuity of operation when supported units' command posts are relocating, and NSC-R capabilities will serve as a vital backup in the event a unit's organic systems fail.

NSC-R associated facilities will be positioned to provide near-global coverage. The current plan calls for five FRHNs; three in overseas locations, and two in the U.S. mobile/tactical hub nodes will be available to extend network services to units deployed outside the coverage of the fixed facilities.

APCs will consolidate information services and complement Global Information Grid and Department of Defense computing infrastructures by hosting Army servers that support a variety of functional communities of interest. Where possible, APCs will collocate with Defense Enterprise Computing Centers to take advantage of their high-speed GIG-Bandwidth Expansion wide-area network access. APCs will enhance reach-back capability for deployed forces while improving the ability to defend the network.

NETOPS functions will be provided by the TNOSC and by capabilities integral to the FRHN. These functions, which include Global Enterprise Management, Global Content Management, and Global Network Defense, will be conducted in concert with network operations and security centers associated with joint, theater army, corps, division, and brigade organizations.

As they become operational, NSC-Rs will offer deploying forces "always on" points of entry to the Army's LandWarNet and the GIG. They will give warfighters immediate access to pre-positioned battle command and common user services, and to home station capabilities.

They will facilitate maneuver and the relocation of command posts, and provide a vital backup capability for units' organic systems. And while they support the ability to conduct near-term operations, NSCRs will provide a foundation to support the transformation from the current "federation of networks" to WIN-T and a fully integrated LandWarNet paradigm.

COL (Ret.) Wells, the former TRADOC Systems Manager for the Mobile Subscriber Equipment system, works for Janus Research Group, Inc. supporting the Concepts Section of the Signal Center's Capabilities Development and Integration Directorate.

Mr. Martin works for Janus Research Group, Inc. in support of the Doctrine Section of the Signal Center's Capabilities Development and Integration Directorate.

Acronym QuickScan

APC--Area Processing Centers

BE--Bandwidth Expansion

COI--communities of interest

COOP--continuity of operation

CPN--Command Post Node

DECC--Defense Enterprise Computing Centers

DoD--Department of Defense

FRHN--fixed regional hub nodes

GCM--Global Content Management

GEM--Global Enterprise Management

GIG--Global Information Grid

GIG-BE--Global Information Grid-Bandwidth Expansion

GND--Global Content Management

IP--Internet Protocol




JNN--Joint Network Node

MSE--Mobile Subscriber Equipment

NETOPS--network operations

NOSC--network operations and security centers

NSC-R--Network Service CenterRegional

RSOI--Reception, Staging, Onward Movement, and Integration

TNOSC--Theater Network Operations and Security Center

TRI-TAC--Tri-Service Tactical

WAN--wide-area network

WIN-T--Warfighter Information Network-Tactical
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Title Annotation:Doctrine update: Updates in Signal doctrine from Directorate of Combat Developments, Army Signal Center, Fort Gordon, Ga.
Author:Wells, Geoffrey; Martin, Thieleman
Publication:Army Communicator
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 22, 2007
Previous Article:Knowledge management efforts expanded at LandWarNet eUniversity.
Next Article:Joint Tactical Radio System Ground Mobile Radio.

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