In its 17th year, Trident Warrior is an annual large-scale, at-sea field experiment where the Navy selects potential initiatives that address capability gaps and provide inventive solutions in an operational environment.
“We cannot expect victory fighting tomorrow’s conflicts with yesterday’s technologies,” said NAVWAR Commander Rear Adm. Christian Becker. “Experiments like Trident Warrior put the latest technologies into the hands of our Sailors so they can test and evaluate them for warfighting effectiveness and ultimately help us grow our advantage in the maritime domain.”
During TW19, NAVWAR joined government, military and academia to experiment with more than 16 key initiatives and concepts of operations. These initiatives focused on the rapid development and deployment of new capabilities to aid maritime forces in key domains of warfare including air, land, sea, sub-surface and cyber.
“Trident Warrior provides the recurring opportunity to work with partners across all domains and echelons in sourcing potential solutions to identified capability gaps and warfighter needs,” said Dan Hallock, Trident Warrior deputy director, Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Pacific. “Trident Warrior also creatively repurposes existing technology in novel ways in order to increase our competitive advantage and effectiveness, helping accelerate the speed of technology adaption and adoption in today’s highly dynamic environment.”
During the event, participants experimented with a variety of technologies, including NIWC Pacific’s Cooperative Autonomous Systems for Standoff Maritime Inspection and Response (CASSMIR) system. CASSMIR uses unmanned surface vehicles to autonomously pilot remotely operated vehicles keeping operators out of harm’s way and away from underwater threats.
“CASSMIR helps the Navy to explore the autonomy and command and control of remotely operated vehicles,” said Anthony Jones, NIWC Pacific lead engineer. “During the experiment we were able to use an unmanned surface vehicle as an autonomous tender and command and control link to support the overall mine countermeasure mission.”
The Battlespace Awareness and Information Operations Program Office (PMW 120) conducted an Automatic Identification System (AIS) experiment to identify and examine anomalies in shipboard data for improved decision-making onboard Navy ships.
“AIS collects open-source AIS data that is broadcast from AIS transceivers on commercial shipping vessels,” explained Matthew Green, PMW 120 AIS cyber lead. “This data, combined with other intelligence and surveillance data, is used by Navy ships and submarines to improve safety of navigation and situational awareness.”
TW19 participants also experimented with NIWC Pacific’s Reverse Proxy and Network Address Translator System (RP-NATS).
RP-NATS is a government off the shelf (GOTS) ship-based software that tracks down internal irregular network behavior in a matter of minutes. Previously, this tracking could take personnel days to resolve, with some incidents never being fully tracked and adjudicated.
“NIWC Pacific engineers were able to successfully demonstrate RP-NATS as a GOTS solution that provides shore-based users with the ability to reverse look up internal asset IPs using fields such as time stamp, source and destination IP and ports,” said Henry Au, NIWC Pacific electronics engineer. “The system would directly reduce man hours and increase cyber situational awareness, using a common simple interface, resulting in big impacts for the Navy.”
Other TW19 initiatives ranged from maritime domain awareness, networks, information operations, and command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) technologies.
Additionally, the NAVWAR Reserve Program (NWRP) had a number of Navy reservists providing expertise to support the event. NWRP Sailors leveraged their education, technical skills and military experience to address C4ISR systems tested during TW19.
"NAVWAR Reservists provide essential operational expertise and end-user feedback to events like TW19 to ensure technologies in the early phases of the acquisition process meet the needs of each and every warfighter,” said Operations Specialist Petty Officer 1st Class Joseph Hanovich.
NAVWAR is now working to analyze the data collected during TW19 to provide recommendations for future development and deployment of the tested technologies. NAVWAR is already planning for Trident Warrior 2020, scheduled for June-August 2020 in conjunction with the bi-annual Exercise Rim of the Pacific.