AFRICOM Plans High-Speed Circuits To Liberia

Bob Brewin | | October 31, 2014

The U.S. military plans to lease a 622 megabit terrestrial circuit from Europe to Liberia in a matter of weeks to support Internet service for U.S. troops as they continue to deploy to Liberia to help counter the Ebola virus, U.S. Africa Command’s top communications official told Nextgov.  “Right now, we have satellite links ranging from 4 to 12 megabits,” said Army Col. Patrick Dedham, director for command, control, and communications based in Stuttgart, Germany.  As the network matures, data rates will increase, he said.

In a related development, the Defense Information Systems Agency has launched a sensitive procurement for a 622 megabit circuit from Germany to Dakar and a 45 megabit circuit from Germany to Liberia.  Dedham said these may seem large pipes for an operation in such an austere environment as West Africa, but they are the norm for what he described as “reach-back operations,” in which deployed units tap into computing power and applications.  The Army’s Warrior Information-Tactical battlefield network – or WIN-T network – can handle Internet traffic, but will not be turned on for a couple of weeks in Africa, Dedham said...