Army.Mil reports that ATAK is integrated with ITN:
[T]he Integrated Tactical Network (ITN), the new approach provides smaller, lighter, faster and more flexible communications systems with multiple connectivity options that are available primarily at the battalion and below level, down to the dismounted Soldier.
For the 1-508 PIR, it is facilitating mission command, situational awareness and air-to-ground communication throughout their operational training exercises.
“The ITN enhances tasks we have always had to do, such as getting situational awareness and communicating across our formations and higher headquarters, to make sure all of the assets are in place and all conditions are set for what we need to execute,” said Capt. Matthew Risenmay, higher headquarters company commander for the 1-508 PIR.
The ITN assessments conducted during the 1-508 PIR’s exercises are part of a developmental operations (DevOps) process, which is a proven industry practice that places developers side-by-side with Soldiers and commanders in operational units. This incremental development process enables the Army to evaluate potential technology concepts and solutions earlier and more frequently, collect feedback in real time and generate new requirements as needed.
“In contrast to other Army programs, where somebody that we’re not even interacting with decides what we need and pushes it down, the ability to work closely with the developers of the software and hardware has been great,” Risenmay said. “If you don’t have contact with the people that are developing it, you run into problems and you have to deal with the problems for a long time.”
A key differentiator to the ITN from the Army’s current tactical network design is that we are identifying data and information that does not need to be classified as SECRET, which opens up the opportunity to transmit it securely over commercial networks. We are calling this “Secure But Unclassified.” It allows us to simplify training, set up and employment of the network.
“This network was the only thing that was working and gave us situational awareness across the entire brigade for several hours until they could obtain other forms of communications,” he said.
For the TOC battle captain, ITN is expediting situational awareness reporting to the commander.
“I compile information that comes in from our subordinate units and give it back to our leadership to help them battle track what’s going on in the field, ” said 2nd Lt. Nicolas George, battle captain and chief of operations. “We use the TrellisWare TSM, tactical satellite and ATAK chat function to communicate with the companies.”