The Army is beginning to expand its Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) events beyond purely network activities, by issuing through the System of Systems Integration (SoSI) Directorate a supplemental sources sought seeking interested industry and government sources with mature solutions to support the Operational Energy capability gap and to participate in NIE 13.2 event.

“The Army recognizes the energy field as a cornerstone to our modernization,” said Brig. Gen. Dan Hughes, director, SoSI. “As the NIE expands in scale to a Capabilities Integration Evaluation (CIE), we are evaluating capabilities on a wider scope that goes beyond simply the network and right now energy solutions are at the front of the list. NIE 13.2 is an important stepping stone on road to the CIE, and we continue to reach out to our industry partners to bring in their best and most innovative solutions.”

NIE 13.2 is slated for May at Fort Bliss, Texas, and White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) N.M. This NIE will focus on solidifying the network baseline that will make up the foundation of Capability Set 14, the Army’s second integrated set of network capability, which will be fielded beginning in 2014. The first capability set is being brought together to be fielded to eight brigade combat teams starting this fall. The Army issued its first sources sought for the NIE 13.2 earlier this summer (Defense Daily, May 30, July 23).

The NIE is a series of semi-annual evaluations designed to further integrate/mature the Army’s tactical network, and accelerate and improve the way networked and non-networked technologies are delivered to soldiers.

NIE evaluations bring together SoSI, the Army Test and Evaluation Command and the Brigade Modernization Command to form a triad to evaluate new equipment for the service. Along with an agile acquisition process, the NIE goal is to help the Army modernize more quickly and more in line with the speed of technology change. . The triad evaluates new equipment, for the burgeoning network, and now other new technology for the Army. The NIE and Agile Process are helping the service modernize more quickly and more in line with how technology evolves.

The purpose of this supplemental Sources Sought for Operational Energy is to bring candidates to fill this capability gap into the NIE as soon as possible.

Operational Energy is not networked, so evaluation requirements for candidate systems are reduced, ensuring all candidates still have the opportunity to participate in NIE 13.2 with the same timeline, the service said in a statement.

This Sources Sought seeks mature capability solutions to reduce operational energy consumption for mounted and dismounted soldiers, and to improve operational energy utilization efficiency.

The Army wants only those solutions that address the specific identified gap, that are at the representative model or prototype system stage and that have been tested in a relevant environment, it said.

Interested industry partners can view detailed Sources Sought information and functional requirements for the Operational Energy gap by accessing the Federal Business Opportunities website at:

The deadline for white paper submission is Sept. 14.