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CALL Newsletter 04-13
Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)
CAAT II Initial Impressions Report (IIR)

Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)
CAAT II Initial Impressions Report (IIR)

Chapter 4: Combat Service Support

Subtopic 4: Standard Army Management Information System (STAMIS) Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) Satellite Network in OIF

Observation Synopsis

Normally, divisions train and plan to use corps and divisional signal assets mobile subscriber equipment (MSE) to provide connectivity from brigade support areas (BSA) to the division support area (DSA) and higher. Support battalions simply plug into this network and STAMIS traffic from ULLS, standard Army maintenance system (SAMS), and SARSS flows over it, managed by the signal network operations center. For most support battalions in OIF, the CFLCC C4 procured ground stations for log-automation, CSSAMO controlled, VSAT satellite networks. This worked extremely well for STAMIS traffic for the units that had it. It worked so well for providing NIPRNET connectivity, compared to the MSE network, that many units used it for unclassified command and control traffic as well as for morale-welfare-recreational (MWR) connections. However, the system did not cover every SSA and was separated and fire-walled from the rest of the tactical NIPRNET, making direct communications between MSE NIPRNET and VSAT NIPRNET very difficult. Managing the network was also challenging to the CSSAMO and support battalion personnel, who had never trained with it.

Lessons Learned

  • VSAT satellite network works extremely well for STAMIS traffic.
  • In a theater of operations where the wholesale and theater systems are already unable to get a backordered part or item to customers in no less than 30-35 days, this procedure is ill-conceived.
  • CSSAMO and support battalion personnel are not properly trained to manage MSE NIPRNET and VSAT NIPRNET systems.

DOTMLPF Implications

Materiel: Provide VSATs to divisional and corps signal units (instead of support units) as additional bandwidth providers. Signal units have personnel trained in controlling and managing the systems and could use them in addition to normal MSE assets to provide redundant and complimentary routes from system to system. G-6s could then plan to provide adequate assets to every unit, support battalions included, and keep all units on the same networks.

Table of Supporting Observations

Observation Title CALLCOMS
File Number
STAMIS VSAT Satellite Network in OIF 10000-42998

Table of Contents
Chapter 4-Topic E-Subtopic 3: Standard Army Management Information System (STAMIS) Hardware Vulnerability
Chapter 4-Topic E-Subtopic 5: DODAAC/UIC and MMC Changeover for Deployment

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