The Army System of Systems Integration (SoSI) Directorate has released its first Request for Proposals (RFP) in support of its semi-annual Network Integration Evaluations (NIE).

The service wants industry and government sources with mature solutions to support the Vehicle Tactical Router gap to participate in the NIE 14.1 in October-November at Fort Bliss, Texas and White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), N.M.

The NIE events help the Army shape agile capability integration by assessing soldier-provided and technical operational test data to influence not only how the Army procures capability but also how integrated network capability requirements are validated and refined.

NIEs also shape the ways the Army will field, train, sustain and continuously improve capability acquisition and life cycle management and provide a relevant operational test environment to meet mandatory Program of Record test requirements. Previous NIEs and laboratory assessments have helped inform requirements for this RFP release.

This marks the first RFP to support the NIE events. The Army will use RFPs to seek fill targeted capability gaps, while also relying on Sources Sought notifications to target vendor solutions for broad capability gaps.

“By executing two NIEs per year, the Army will conduct the first evaluation to assess broad industry capability gap solutions, and then use feedback to validate and refine requirements prior to additional targeted gap industry solicitation for participation in the second NIE,” said Col. Robert Carpenter, director of SoSI, in a Dec 21 statement.

The RFP will result in a NIE support contract award. After supporting the initial NIE cycle, the RFP is designed to allow Army Program Managers (PMs), through an Indefinite Delivery-Indefinite Quantity (ID-IQ) arrangement, to have opportunities to acquire additional capability, for both product and technical support from the supplier.

Industry firms that respond to the RFP will provide Vehicle Tactical Routers and engineering/field service support for laboratory network integration and Laboratory Based Risk Reduction (LBRR) and NIE activities including: provide new equipment training to soldiers, assist in the physical, electronic, software and data integration of the Vehicle Tactical Router with emerging and existing equipment, and assist in the preparatory communications exercise to verify connectivity of the equipment to be used in the exercise and trial run.

The RFP is anticipated to be a multiple (ID-IQ) task order contract with a base order with potential for future orders for production and related support.

In addition to the RFP, the Army plans to issue a broad Sources Sought notice in early January 2013 to supplement NIE 14.1 assessments.

The NIE 14.1 Sources Sought capability gaps to be released include: Brigade and Battalion Command Post Mobility, Operational Energy, Integrated Trouble Ticketing, Small Unit In-garrison Training, Aerial Layer Network Extension, Air Ground Network Architecture and Enterprise Wide Trouble Ticket Improvements.

“NIE 14.1 will allow the Army to assess these broad gaps, and then provide lessons learned to target requirements as we enter NIE 14.2, which is planned to be the first Joint Service NIE construct,” Carpenter said.

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. Interested industry partners can view detailed RFP information and functional requirements for the Vehicle Tactical Router gap by accessing the NIE Contracting webpage:

The Army plans an Industry Day Jan. 9 at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), Md., to keep the industrial base informed of timelines, event status and integration information for NIE 14.1.

The Industry Day will outline NIE participation opportunities, evaluation methods and laboratory assets that are available to conduct candidate assessments, and provide an overview of the RFP and Sources Sought for which the government will solicit industry participation in NIE 14.1.

For more information or to register for the event, visit the Federal Business Opportunities website:

All RFP inquiries must be addressed to: David Patti, [email protected]; or Jayson Weatherington, [email protected].