One of nine U.S. unified combat commands, the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) in Florida provides planning, operations, and security cooperation for U.S. defense forces in Central and South America, the Caribbean, and their territorial waters. As a joint command, SOUTHCOM comprises military and civilian personnel representing the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and several other federal agencies.
At SOUTHCOM headquarters, the Strategic Command Center (SCC) contains the Crisis Action Center, Joint Operations Center, and Command Bridge. In support of the Army’s Installation Information Infrastructure Modernization Program (I3MP), LGS Innovations was tasked to engineer, furnish, install, secure, and test upgraded A/V technology to support SCC operations. This upgrade included a video wall modernization in the Crisis Action Center, new A/V solutions in the Joint Operations Center (JOC) and Command Bridge rooms, and other upgrades.
Through these upgrades, SOUTHCOM maintains its support of the Defense Department’s Global Command & Control System – Joint. GCCS-J provides the communications, computing, and data infrastructure that integrates accurate combat support information into a common presentation of data available to the warfighter from a single computer using the Common Operational Picture – Combat Support Environment.
These upgrades to the SCC A/V network enhance daily strategic operations for planning, mobilization support, deployment, execution, and sustainment of the missions of the Combatant Commands (COCOMs) and military commanders throughout the region. In support of this upgrade, LGS engineers and program managers integrated a variety of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) technologies and LGS know how to implement this major network upgrade.
Taking a “system-level approach”
“We worked closely with the I3MP team to ensure that the SCC tech refresh took a system-level approach to managing the upgrade of information technology solutions employed by the warfighter,” says David Wilson, a senior program manager on the LGS Network Integration Solutions (NIS) team. “As a whole, the SCC A/V upgrades support Army readiness through tailored IT solutions that strengthen the cooperation between our warfighters and joint and multi-national mission partners”.
“Throughout the upgrade, we minimized disruptions to SOUTHCOM operations in a number of ways, including pre-staging and testing equipment in a lab prior to installing at site,” Wilson explains. “Once on site, we sequenced our installation efforts in coordination with SCC commanders to minimize disruption to the mission and operations of SOUTHCOM, which included both training exercises and hurricane relief in the Haiti in that timeframe.”
“It takes a network to defeat a network,” says Sarah Mullins, the I3MP deputy assistant product manager for command center modernizations. “Through our upgrades to the SCC’s mission-critical IT networks, we’re enabling the SOUTHCOM warfighters to be the partner of choice in fighting transnational threat networks in Central and South America.”
Also partnering with I3MP in this tech refresh were the U.S. Southern Command Headquarters, the U.S. Army Information Systems Engineering Command, and the Army Contracting Command – Rock Island.