Ark Guard brigade tests satellite-based system

FORT CHAFFEE, Ark. (AP) - Soldiers with the Arkansas National Guard's 39th Infantry Brigade are testing a new satellite-based communications system as they prepare for their latest combat deployment.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that tents that house computer terminals and satellite links went up last week at Fort Chaffee, allowing soldiers to test the Warrior Information
Network-Tactical system for the first time in a virtual war scenario.

Soldiers from the brigade are headed to Afghanistan soon for the unit's third combat deployment in a decade.

Brigade commander Col. Kirk VanPelt says the new network gives soldiers at all levels access to one another's intelligence, data and procedures. He says one concern is that soldiers might receive too much information but that the pre-deployment testing will allow them to work out the system's kinks.

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