The Army has completed a two-year effort to shrink the number of software programs it uses, a move that would allow service leaders to buy, maintain and field systems easier and to bolster network security.

The project sought to modernize the tactical network capability of over 425 Army, Army Reserve and National Guard units and removed 86 versions of old software and hardware from battalion to corps, a Sept. 30 Army release said. The consolidation creates interoperability between formations, eases the ability to provide cyber protection patches and reduces sustainment costs, the Army said.

The consolidation shrunk the number of servers and applications, which the Army said not only reduces the time it takes to bring up network applications and to set up and tear down command posts, but it also sets the stage for fielding the Command Post Computing Environment, which will go to units with Tactical Server Infrastructure hardware.

CPCE aims to consolidate command post tools and to help Army leaders react faster. The Senate Appropriations subcommittee on defense, in its draft appropriations legislation released in September, cut nearly $46 million in next year’s budget, a move that would likely limit the number of servers the Army will be able to purchase.

“The Army is changing how it fields and sustains these systems, necessitating a move to a single baseline while the Army moves into fielding CPCE as part of the service’s Common Operating Environment line of effort,” Col. Troy Crosby, project manager for mission command at Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications-Tactical, said.

Officials said without shedding some software, CPCE would not have a seamless interoperability with other units.

“This undertaking was expertly carried out by a team of logisticians, engineers, contracting specialists, and the fielding and training execution team,” T.C. St. Clair, deputy product director for strategic mission command, at PEO C3T, said.

Mark Pomerleau is a reporter for C4ISRNET, covering information warfare and cyberspace.

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