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Eglin units key to large-scale communication network test

MQ-9 Reaper new weapons test

A MQ-9 Reaper, assigned to the 556th Test and Evaluation Squadron, armed with an AIM-9X missile sits on the flightline, Sept. 3, 2020, at Creech Air Force Base, Nev. The MQ-9 successfully employed a live air-to-air test of an AIM-9X Block 2 missile against a target BQM-167 drone simulating a cruise missile. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Haley Stevens)

ABMS

U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Erick Brown, 20th Space Control Squadron Crew Commander, monitors radar activity at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, Aug. 29, 2020. The 20th SPCS has the preponderance of Department of Defense space situational awareness assets and is able to find, fix, track, and target manmade objects in Earth’s orbit, ranging from a softball-sized object 7,000 kilometers away to an object the size of a basketball 40,000 kilometers away. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Haley D. Phillips)

Tech. Sgt. John Rodiguez, 321st Contingency Response Squadron security team, provides security with a Ghost Robotics Vision 60 prototype at a simulated austere base during the Advanced Battle Management System exercise on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Sept. 1, 2020. The ABMS is an interconnected battle network — the digital architecture or foundation — which collects, processes and shares data relevant to warfighters in order to make better decisions faster. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Cory D. Payne)

Tech. Sgt. John Rodiguez, 321st Contingency Response Squadron security team, provides security with a Ghost Robotics Vision 60 prototype at a simulated austere base during the Advanced Battle Management System exercise on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Sept. 1, 2020. The ABMS is an interconnected battle network — the digital architecture or foundation — which collects, processes and shares data relevant to warfighters in order to make better decisions faster. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Cory D. Payne)

AT&T technicians and civilian contractors assemble a "Cell on Wings" drone in order to provide 5G connectivity to individuals participating in the Advanced Battle Management Systems Onramp 2 at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., Aug. 27, 2020. The ABMS is an interconnected battle network - the digital architecture or foundation - which collects, processes and shares data relevant to warfighters in order to make better decisions faster. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Charlye Alonso)

AT&T technicians and civilian contractors assemble a "Cell on Wings" drone in order to provide 5G connectivity to individuals participating in the Advanced Battle Management Systems Onramp 2 at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., Aug. 27, 2020. The ABMS is an interconnected battle network - the digital architecture or foundation - which collects, processes and shares data relevant to warfighters in order to make better decisions faster. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Charlye Alonso)

U.S. Coast Guardsmen from the Maritime Security Response Team East patrol in support of Advanced Battle Management System Onramp 2 in the Gulf of Mexico, Sept. 1, 2020. ABMS is an interconnected battle network - the digital architecture or foundation - which collects, processes and shares data relevant to warfighters in order to make better decisions faster. In order to achieve all-domain superiority, it requires that individual military activities not simply be de-conflicted, but rather integrated – activities in one domain must enhance the effectiveness of those in another domain. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Haley Phillips)

U.S. Coast Guardsmen from the Maritime Security Response Team East patrol in support of Advanced Battle Management System Onramp 2 in the Gulf of Mexico, Sept. 1, 2020. ABMS is an interconnected battle network - the digital architecture or foundation - which collects, processes and shares data relevant to warfighters in order to make better decisions faster. In order to achieve all-domain superiority, it requires that individual military activities not simply be de-conflicted, but rather integrated – activities in one domain must enhance the effectiveness of those in another domain. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Haley Phillips)

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

Eglin teams played a vital role in the Air Force’s second Advanced Battle Management System exercise Sept. 1-3.

The large-scale, Northern Command-sponsored event included 70 industry teams, 65 government teams from all services, 35 military weapons systems, 30 geographic locations and four test ranges. The 96th Test Wing’s units were responsible for testing the ABMS network and how the aircraft, ships, space and ground systems communicated within it.

The ABMS network receives and shares real time information simultaneously across all weapons systems and warfighting domains: air, space, cyber, land, and maritime. The end product provides users with a network where information can be shared, accessed and viewed in a universal format.

Capt. Andrew Rexford, 46th Test Squadron assistant director of operations, described the test as a system of highways with trucks. The focus of the exercise was to demonstrate and test the highways connecting the activities of the trucks and how they collaborate.

“Our goal is to identify traffic jams or issues that would prevent these systems from working together,” said the ABMS Eglin test lead.

The 96th Cyberspace Test Group partnered with the 96th Operations Group and 96th Range Group to plan the complex event. The units coordinated airspace and range support for more than 20 outside agencies, leveraging nearly 75 percent of the airspace over Eglin’s 120,000-square-mile water range for the exercise. 

The execution of the ABMS test required a diverse team of the wing’s testers, network engineers, IT administrators, technicians and range experts.

“This is not a traditional test where we evaluate a single system's performance in a sterile test environment,” said Rexford. “Our focus was to collect data from the 30-plus systems participating, so we can analyze how everything works together when connected on a large scale.”

The 96th CTG is uniquely postured to test ABMS through its 46th TS Datalinks and the 45th Test Squadron’s Joint All Domain Command and Control Laboratory. These resources, physically located in the group, contain $165 million of datalinks, sensors, C2 systems and test instrumentation that can be utilized nationwide.

ABMS serves as a technical solution to JADC2, a modernization effort to connect joint forces and information systems together under one umbrella. ABMS exercises are planned for roughly three times a year, and Eglin played a major role in both demonstrations to date.