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N-CFT Director Says Army Still on Track to Deploy CS21 Capabilities

Peter Gallagher

N-CFT Director

Army Futures Command

N-CFT Director Says Army Still on Track to Deploy CS21 Capabilities

Maj. Gen. Peter Gallagher, director of the Army Futures Command’s Network Cross-Functional Team and a past Potomac Officers Club event speaker, assured that the service remains on track to field new technologies under Capability Set 21 despite dealing with testing disruptions in 2020. 

Gallagher said during the recent AFCEA NOVA conference that operational tests for CS21’s new handheld and backpack radios are ongoing at Fort Bragg, where members of the 82nd Airborne Division conducted a field exercise simulating a “movement to contact” with an enemy force.  

The Army is expected to field CS21 capabilities to four brigades within the year and five more in 2022, Breaking Defense reported Thursday.

Setbacks in field testing were caused by two unscheduled deployments of the 82nd Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade last year in the Middle East and Washington. COVID-19 disruptions also resulted in the postponement and downsizing of some scheduled tests.

The Army has taken the delays in stride and is pushing through with a wargame exercise in March at the Fort Polk Joint Readiness Training Center. While the wargame has always been a part of the Army’s testing plan, Gallagher said its results will not be the sole determining factor in the future CS21 deployment. Instead, the Fort Polk wargames will be one of many opportunities for the Army to gather soldier feedback to improve CS21.

In addition to the ongoing radio test at Fort Bragg and the brigade wargames, CS21 capabilities will also be subject to preliminary design review. 

Despite unfinished CS21 tests, the Army is already looking at potential technologies for the next biennial upgrade, Capability Set 23, scheduled for preliminary design review in April.

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Tags: 82nd Airborne Division Breaking Defense Fort Bragg Fort Polk Peter Gallagher Speaker News US Army wargames