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Tactical information sharing: A wearable one-way transfer (WOWT) device

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3 Author(s)
DeShazo, P. ; Air Force CoCom Security, MITRE Corp., Bedford, MA, USA ; Butterworth, J. ; Secinaro, P.

In the lower echelon tactical environment, Situational Awareness (SA) information must be passed up the chain of command from squad-level infantry to platoon networks. The challenge is that the squad-level infantry networks typically operate at lower classification levels than the platoon command and control (C2) networks, which need information sent from below. A wearable one-way transfer (WOWT) device allows formatted position location information (PLI) to flow from an unclassified tactical radio network up to a classified C2 network. This device is designed to be worn by the squad or platoon leaders so the PLI data received from their troops can be transmitted via their classified radio to the C2 network. The MITRE team analyzed applicable information assurance (IA) policies and technical issues to create an affordable, Small Form Factor approach to move data from an unclassified radio network directly to a classified radio network without placing the secure network at risk. Recent MITRE work has focused on the evaluation of commercial technology for application to the dismounted soldier. This work includes the prototyping and testing of affordable ultra high frequency (UHF) radio networks capable of providing Type III secure voice and SA data to the members of a dismounted infantry squad, such as a WOWT device to forward the squad-level SA up (one way only) to a classified platoon radio network. MITRE analyzed applicable IA policies and technical issues to create an affordable approach to move data from an unclassified radio network directly to a classified radio network without putting the secure network at risk. This approach meets the full intent of IA policies and requirements, but at lower size, power, and cost than cross domain solutions (CDSs). We believe this device has immediate application to both the Army and Marine Corps, which have already fielded commercial APCO 25 radios for secure unclassified voice applications. Fielding an interim WOWT device w- - ill leverage the investments already made in these UHF APCO 25 radios and serve as an interim gap-filler until the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS), the Ground Soldier System (GSS) networks, and the CDSs become available. It will also provide an architecture capable of feeding Secret platoon SA with unclassified squad-level SA. Finally, it will provide dismounted forces the opportunity to experiment with this new capability years before the Programs of Record will become available.

Published in:

MILITARY COMMUNICATIONS CONFERENCE, 2010 - MILCOM 2010

Date of Conference:

Oct. 31 2010-Nov. 3 2010