Army to improve universal connectivity, ‘collapse’ theater architectures

The U.S. military has struggled to break down silos between areas of command for years. Now, the U.S. Army is turning to private industry partners to addresses shortcomings in military technology as it seeks to modernize and streamline connectivity for its soldiers. 

In pushing forward the service’s Unified Network Operations (UNO) strategy, the Army announced Wednesday that servicemembers will soon be able to connect their devices anywhere in the Army’s network.

“By the end of this calendar year, you’ll be able to move anywhere in our Army network with your computer and plug into wherever you [are] in the land,” Lt. Gen. John Morrison, Army Deputy Chief of Staff, G6 said at a technical exchange meeting here.  

The move toward universal connectivity within Army networks is a considerable step in the service’s effort to develop UNO — a plan to combine tactical and enterprise networks into one unified network. 

Right now, the networks within the service are so antiquated and compartmentalized that servicemembers often lack the ability to plug in and connect to a network when traveling from one base to another. Morrison said this slows down processes of brigades communicating with each other, which is problematic because it allows adversaries to potentially advance in the time it takes soldiers to figure out how to talk to each other.

“We want the ability to deploy around the world and rapidly plug back in and get to the services and data they need to fight,” Morrison said.

In addition to creating a network that servicemembers can gain access to with ease by plugging in and out of, Morrison said the Army plans to collapse stovepipe theater architectures into one unified network. This means that the different networks operated by the different theaters — aka, the Combatant Command areas of responsibility — would essentially be deconstructed and made into one unified network that all theaters can access and use.

“Think a global network not divided by theatres and not divided by echelons,” Morrison said while explaining the concept.

The Army is turning to industry partners to help develop the technology needed to create a secure unified network, Morrison said, noting that the Army tends to be “two steps behind” industry in terms of technology.

“The only way that we can get to that vision [UNO] is by leveraging commercial capabilities that are just accelerating at a pace that’s unprecedented, putting the right security wrapper around it, and then only where we must, doing something that is inherently and uniquely suited for the military,” he said. “That is where we need industry’s help. That is where we need your ideas coming in.”


This article was written by Carley Welch from Breaking Defense and was legally licensed through the DiveMarketplace by Industry Dive. Please direct all licensing questions to