Last week, CWIX 2014 (2-19 June) was brought to a successful conclusion. After nearly three weeks of intense interoperability testing, engineers and operators from 19 NATO and Partner Nations and 10 NATO organizations left Joint Force Training Centre (JFTC) in Bydgoszcz, Poland and headed home.
The NCI Agency as usual had several important roles during the event:
The local CSU (in cooperation with JFTC) in Bydgoszcz built and ran the network the enables the testing. The CFBLNet provided the connectivity to the 19 remote sites that were participating. Local staff also supported participation from the Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) and the Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE). In total more than 50 Agency staff from Brussels, Bydgoszcz, Glons, The Hague, Mons and Stavanger were present at JFTC.
As part of the testing, the NCI Agency brought a total of 22 Capability Configurations (essentially systems) to JFTC. This enabled the nations to test their systems with NATO systems – an important objective for many nations. The Agency also brought a number of systems for its own purposes, to test interoperability with the national systems and with other NATO systems. The Agency provided systems supporting Air, Land, Maritime and Joint Focus areas. The Agency also played important roles in Federated Mission Network (FMN) testing, Tactical Data Link testing, Friendly Force Tracking testing. Logistics also had a number of systems present. As a more experimental area, testing was also done using secure labelling. The NCI Agency participated roughly in a third of all tests that were run during the event.
As a contributor to the analysis. For the first time, the Agency also participated in the analysis team with a representative from the IV&V Service Line. In addition, the Agency provided the IOTA suite of tools that enables users to analyse in real time how data flows between systems adhere to NATO standards.
As a sign of the importance of the event, a number of high ranking officers were visiting. SACT and DSACT and a number of other flag officers from ACT were present, as well as a large number of members of the Military Committee. During VIP day, there were quite few flag officers from the participating nations. Representing the GM, the Director Application Services, Mr Guy Feat and Director AirC2 Program Office & Services, Mr Enzo Montalti, were visiting the event.
The area that drew most interest from the visitors was the FMN testing, where eight nations and NATO (represented by the NCI Agency) were testing the NATO FMN Implementation Plan (NFIP) instructions for 10 of the 12 Core Services defined. This was done by using the templates defined in the NFIP, preparing specific instructions based on the templates, and testing whether it was possible to follow these instructions and if the resulting configuration was actually working. The Interoperability Experimentation Testing and Validation Deployable Test Bed (IETV) platform that was the basis of this testing was also used for most of the systems brought by the Agency.
Finally, and this proved to be a successful cooperation between JFTC/CSU Bydgoszcz and The Hague, almost all servers operated by the Agency were hosted in the cloud environment at JFTC. This enabled earlier and better preparation, and eliminated the need to transport equipment. In cooperation with JFTC, the Agency is looking into whether it will be possible to offer a similar service to some nations for next year's CWIX.