At this year’s SOFIC Conference, in Tampa, Fl, I had the opportunity to receive a comprehensive overview of Mutualink’s interoperability technology. It was exceptional from both it’s interoperability as well as its dynamic reconfiguration and security. I think the only thing we didn’t try out was communication across different platforms from a pay phone. I can’t help but think how much better coordination would have been had this technology been available to 9/11 first responders.
JUICE 2014 sees first-ever communications and interoperability achievements
WALLINGFORD, Conn., July 21, 2014 – Mutualink received high marks during the 2014 Joint Users Interoperability Communications Exercise (JUICE), held at the U.S. Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG). The exercise brought together participants from the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corp, NATO Special Forces Headquarters, National Guard units, FEMA, TSA, and several other federal, state, and local agencies. In this complex communication environment, Mutualink was used to seamlessly and securely connect all participants via a resilient, peer-to-peer ad hoc network.
According to members of the Joint On-demand Interoperability Network (JOIN) team, this was the first time in 21 years that all parties – the services, state emergency centers, first responder, allies, and other partners – were able to securely communicate while cyber-bandits were actively assaulting the network. Mutualink successfully defended against more than 3 million real-world cyber-attacks while simultaneously providing uninterrupted collaboration during several training scenarios to include a simulated earthquake and a wide-spread power outage.
Mutualink’s Multimedia Gateway (MMG) enabled a range of participants to easily communicate using their own communication equipment and commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) tablets and devices. This interoperability breakthrough was proof positive that personnel are able to remotely join, collaborate and share multimedia resources – radio, telephony, video, chat, files, and data – regardless of their location, available network, or device.
Participants were also extremely pleased with the testing and evaluation of the new Mutualink Data Gateway, also known as a data conduit. The Data Gateway provides a secure and easy way for Soldiers and Marines to exchange tactical and positional information in real time, even when using disparate communication networks and messaging formats. During JUICE 2014, troops were able to quickly and dynamically share real-time situational awareness from high- to low-side systems between multiple units on three continents. Mutualink used numerous networks and delivery mechanisms to exchange information, including Ka, Ku, WGS satellites, open internet, cellular 3G/4G, WiFi, and more.
Additional Mutualink successes at JUICE 2014 included:
· First-ever multi-agency secure Video Teleconferencing (VTC) of Department of Defense (DoD) and U.S. Federal agencies across a closed enclave utilizing a diverse range of vendor equipment.
· Ability to connect and interoperate multiple HF radio systems with each other as well as with various disparate radios around the world using proprietary waveforms and protocols. This capability also connected HF radios to land-based and cellular telephone carriers.
· Successful deployment of the mobile Operations Fusion Kit Version 2.0 (OFK 2.0), which possesses all of the benefits of the Mutualink interoperability system in a highly-mobile, compact, and user-friendly form factor. During the exercise, the OFK 2.0 received uninterrupted power for three days by way of a small, portable solar system.
“For the second year in a row Mutualink played an integral role in JUICE, and our interoperable communications system greatly exceeded the expectations of everyone who used it,” said retired Air Force Colonel Sonny Blinkinsop, Director of Mutualink Defense Services. “Besides our highly-successful outing at JUICE 2014, we are thrilled about receiving our Joint Interoperability Test Command accreditation for unified capability radio gateway and placement on the DoD’s approved product list. Mutualink looks forward to delivering our advanced technology to even more federal, state, local, and international partners.”