$134.1M for Blue Force Tracker Global Services
Small business qualifier Engineering Solutions & Products Inc. in Eatontown, NJ, won a $0 placeholder delivery order as part of a $134.1 million time and materials contract for Force XXI Battle Command and Below/Blue Force Tracking Global Services. “Blue Force Tracker” (BFT) is the technology’s colloquial name, and this digital command and control system that provides on the move, near real time, situational awareness to the vehicle mounted platform level by showing where friendly units and identified enemy units are located. The systems share positional updates, text messages and other information with other BFT equipped units across the battlefield. The BFT network also provides commanders the ability to digitally control and monitor their subordinate units’ status and position.
Performance location for this contract will be determined with each delivery order, and is expected to be complete by April 30, 2009. There were an unknown number of bids solicited via the Internet on Jan. 4, 2005, and two bids were received. The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command in Fort Monmouth, NJ is the contracting activity (W15P7T-05-D-J222).
Articles that offer stories and analysis of Blue Force Tracker’s benefits, uses in real-life situations, and present drawbacks include…
Winds of Change.NET – The Networked Force II. Places Blue Force Tracker in a larger context, and offers both anecdotes from the field and informed commentary.
US Army, Ft. Monmouth – Project Manager, Force XXI Battle Command, Brigade and Below (FBCB2 – and see video)
Northrop Grumman (Nov 30/09) – Northrop Grumman Delivers Next-Generation FBCB2 Software to U.S. Army
US Army PEO C3I (Feb 16/06) – ‘Blue Force Tracking’ Turning ‘Purple’ – i.e. joint service. some were even installed in British vehicles in Iraq.
Armor Magazine (July 1/06) – FBCB2: past, present, and future.(force XXI battle command brigade). Discusses FBCB2-EPLRS, FBCB2-BFT, and the emerging FBCB2-JCR being worked on by the Army & Marines.
Army Aviation Association of America, North Country Chapter – Blue Force Tracker and Army Aviation Operations in Afghanistan. Highly descriptive, including both positive and negative aspects of the tool’s current state.
AFCEA Signal connection magazine (June 15/05) – Network-Centric Computers Strengthen Ground Forces: Equipment offers potential for increased coordination during coalition operations.
U.S. Department of Defense Transformation (Nov/04) – Top-of-the-Line Tracking System May Help Save Lives
Military Information Technology (May 1/04) – OIF Lessons Highlight Comms Compatibility
US House Armed Services Committee Subcommittee On Terrorism, Unconventional Threats And Capabilities (Oct 21/03) – Statement by Major General Stalder, United States Marine Corps, Deputy Commanding General For I MEF, Concerning I MEF C4I During Operation Iraqi Freedom