More than 5,000 Soldiers, Marines and civilians will be participating in the Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) 14.2 exercise during the next four weeks. Specifically playing an integral role in validating systems are approximately 3,000 Soldiers assigned to 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, and Marines with 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, referred to as Task Force 2-8.
The 2nd BCT began training several months before the evaluation started by sending Soldiers to a series of network classes. As a final step before rollout to their field site, the unit conducted pre-combat inspections and vehicle preparation checks. One of the highlights during the preparation phase was the Validation Exercise (VALEX) where Soldiers validated the functionality of the equipment.
NIE is a semiannual Soldier-led evaluation. NIE 14.2 is the first joint and multi-national evaluation with a Marine infantry battalion and Marine expeditionary brigade headquarters participating.
First AD Headquarters will serve as a joint task force and a United Kingdom mechanized brigade headquarters will also participate in the evaluation to help assess coalition interoperability gaps. This partnership will help evaluate the Army’s future capability.
“All evaluations are significant, working with a joint and multi-national force will better prepare us for more realistic operations,” said Capt. Matthew Michealson, 2nd BCT, 1st AD.
This NIE will provide Soldiers, Marines, evaluators and leaders the opportunity to train together to evaluate the network capabilities among different units and other armed forces services.
“It’s been a great experience integrating with the Soldiers of 2nd Brigade,” said Chaplain (Navy Lt.) Richard Bristol, Task Force 2-8.
NIE provides increased awareness and dialogue across government and industry based on integrated lessons learned from prior training, which streamlines and improves the process and operational mission execution.
“The brigade will help confirm and check the network while performing advanced operations,” said Capt. Capricia Renee Anderson, a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) officer with 2nd BCT, 1st AD.
The purpose of NIE is to ensure all systems work and communicate all the way down to the team leader providing a tactical edge that enhances war-fighter capabilities. Having the most advanced networked technology will help both in and out of combat.