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Mobile communication system brings networks to the tactical edge

Mobile communication system brings networks to the tactical edge

Story by Matt Gonzales on 08/15/2019

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va.Marines, engineers and other subject matter experts will demonstrate the interoperability of various systems at this year’s Island Marauder, an equipment simulation event scheduled for later this year aboard Marine Corps Base Hawaii.
The event will feature several Marine Corps Systems Command technologies, including Networking On-the-Move.

Fielded in 2013, NOTM is a satellite communication system that enables the Marine Air-Ground Task Force to communicate while mobile on the battlefield. The capability can connect to a network from various ground and amphibious vehicles, and aircraftincluding the MV-22 Ospreywithin minutes.

The warfighter can employ NOTM to transmit critical information to commanders and increase situational awareness in hostile environments.
“NOTM enables commanders to control their forces and support Marines from anywhere on the globe,” said Michael Trombitas, capabilities integration officer at Marine Corps Combat Development and Integration, who write the requirements for NOTM.

The equipment increases efficiency and better prepares the MAGTF to manage threats. When connected to other digital systems, Marines can leverage NOTM as the network gateway to survey plot points, monitor friendly and enemy locations, and carry out other tasks that support the warfighter.

NOTM creates secure, wireless local area networks to distribute valuable mission data and full-motion reconnaissance video from unmanned aerial vehicles. The information flows from the NOTM vehicle to commanders and staff operating on land or at sea.

If a battle situation abruptly changes, commanders can use the system to receive updates from Marines and change mission planning while on the move. NOTM also keeps them from being geographically tethered to a combat operations center.

“NOTM helps bring networks to the tactical edge,” said Karl Eimers, lead engineer for Island Marauder 2019. “Using NOTM, commanders can get information previously difficult to receive once Marines close in on an enemy.”

Capt. Julian D’Orsaneo, MCSC’s project officer for NOTM and the exercise director for Island Marauder, knows the importance of on-the-move systems for the warfighter. Before the advent of NOTM in the Corps, he and his infantry battalion built their own mobile communication system.

“We added all types of communications gear to create what today is the NOTM capability,” said D’Orsaneo. “That enabled us to go mobile and respond to my battalion commander’s communication requirements in the blink of an eye, which is what NOTM does.”

Before NOTM, Marines had less communication flexibility on the battlefield. As adversaries take advantage of 21st century technology, the need for secure communication systems while on the move or at the halt increases in importance. NOTM provides this capability.

A group of Marines will test the effectiveness and interoperability of NOTM at Island Marauder, an event where Marines and engineers can link the satellite technology with other MCSC systems in a risk-assessment evaluation. Event organizers hope to test NOTM to its limits during the demonstration, said D’Orsaneo.

“NOTM enables the battalion to move and maneuver as they see fit,” said D’Orsaneo. “However, can NOTM solely support an infantry battalion’s command and control requirements? That’s a question we’re looking to answer during Island Marauder.”

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