January 1, 2006
For nearly a year, the Air Force has developed and tested a communications system allowing commanders to talk directly to troops operating convoys outside the wire. On Jan. 12, Radio over Internet Protocol Routed network, or RIPRnet, earns its initial operational capable title - achieving a critical milestone in the program's short history. More specifically, it has helped how convoys in Iraq conduct command and control operations. "It enables, for the first time, the Army to pull hundreds of Soldiers back inside the wire to the main operating bases, rather than keeping them stationed at small outposts along roadsides" said Lt. Col. Marty Schlacter, Combined Air Operations Center Architectures and Integration Division chief. "It provides senior decision makers with the ability to determine the proper air and ground mix supporting convoy operations, thus freeing up aircraft for other high-priority missions."