The Army's new computing system designed to support battalion and brigade headquarters is not operationally suitable but is operationally effective, according to a report issued last week by the Pentagon's chief weapons tester.
During testing of the Command Post Computing Environment Increment 1, soldiers in some cases reverted to collaborating over paper maps instead of using the new system because of issues they encountered, according to the report. Soldiers were not able to share plans between current and future operations cells and had difficulty sharing plans between servers.
CPCE Increment 1 provides server hardware and mission command software and is an improved version over Increment 0.
“The CPCE Increment 1 software provides a common operational picture, a suite of web-based collaboration tools and messaging capabilities to facilitate the commander and staff to plan, prepare, execute, and assess Army operations,” the report states.
The Army intends to conduct a CPCE Increment 1 full deployment decision in the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2022, the report states.
But testing uncovered a number of problems for the new system. “Soldiers’ problems were related to poor collective and individual training, software functions requiring improvements, and troubleshooting,” the report found.
The training soldiers received did not enable them to “make full use of advanced features, troubleshooting, and employment of CPCE Increment 1 in a collaborative manner.”
Soldiers said the basic functions of the system were intuitive, but they struggled to execute advanced capabilities. The report calls on the Army to improve training afforded to soldiers on the system.
The new system was also more difficult to troubleshoot and is more manpower intensive.
Still, testers determined the system is operationally effective, “enabling commanders and staff to share a single common operational picture and common operations data across staff elements and experience an improved ability to share information with joint and coalition partners.”
CPCE 1 also demonstrated enhanced survivability over its predecessor and strong cyber defense capabilities.