The security of communications and information for troops operating in tactical warfighting environments is limited. At the tactical edge, end-to-end connections on secure servers are typically unreliable, negatively impacting operations and coordination with coalition partners. Additionally, current infrastructure requirements for such secure connections can be large and cumbersome, limiting tactical deployment in fast-moving operations. To overcome these issues, Dr. Joseph Evans (the original Program Manager) and now, Dr. Paul Zablocky, from the Strategic Technology Office at DARPA, are leading the Secure Handhelds on Assured Resilient networks at the tactical Edge (SHARE) program, which is developing handheld devices that can reliably exchange data at varying security levels.
“Troops forward deployed today have to have multiple laptops or devices that are approved to communicate at various levels of classification,” said Dr. Evans, former DARPA program manager. “The vision of SHARE is to develop software that moves the multilevel security management function from a handful of data centers down to trusted, handheld devices on the tactical edge.”
After successful testing in June 2019 at the Asymmetric Warfare Group urban training facility at Fort A.P. Hill, VA, DARPA has started phase three of the SHARE program. As part of further development of SHARE security and networking capabilities, a series of test and integration events are planned throughout the 2020 – 2021 timeframe. Test participants include the 75th Ranger Regiment and U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center, both of whom have unique concepts of employment that will stress the viability of SHARE to support operational deployment. It is projected the program will transition to the military branches in 2021.
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