Hundreds of military and civilian men and women from the United States and 11 other nations are converging in Indiana for almost all of September to assess systems and test new processes before actual operational deployment during Bold Quest 13.2, a Joint Staff J-6-sponsored exercise.

“This demonstration with our Bold Quest coalition partners will assess the integration of joint fires, maneuver and cyber in a live/virtual environment and will help enhance combat effectiveness, reduce fratricide and improve situational awareness.” said John Miller, Bold Quest operational manager, Joint Staff J6 Command and Control Integration Joint Fires Division.

Screen Shot Bold Quest 13.1
Photo: Cpl. Scott Tomoaszycki 

While the event runs Sept. 3-22, the actual testing takes place Sept. 9-19.

The Bold Quest assessments are ramping up due to growing service and allied demands for more demonstrations. The previous Bold Quest 13.1, was held June 10-21, and assessed identification friend of foe (IFF) issues. The ultimate goal was to provide warfighters the tools to be more effective in engaging targets while minimizing the risk of fratricide (Defense Daily, July 3).

With more than 800 participants, Bold Quest 13.2 is the latest in a series of Coalition Capability Demonstrations and Assessments and is taking place at the Camp Atterbury-Muscatatuck Urban Training Complex, Indiana.

Warfighters, developers, and analysts have come together in a problem-solving cooperative to inform current and future investments in proven solutions to help develop Joint Force 2020.

Bold Quest 13.2, on site in Indiana and incorporating urban, army and air venues around the state, will contribute a value-added capabilities package for the Bold Quest portfolio. This event demonstrates, evaluates and operationally tests emerging technologies that communicate information between ground forces and aircrews.

The key initiatives and activities being conducted during the event are Joint Fire Support Joint Mission Thread, Digitally Aided Fires/Close Air Support, Friendly Force Tracking, Combat Identification Server, JOLTED Tactics–cellular based tactical communications–and Integrated Effects Proof of Concept.

These are all being conducted in a live/virtual capability development environment.

The testing scenarios used in BQ 13.2 will be focused on a full range of tactical unit–company and platoon–ground maneuver, with friendly and opposing forces, airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and air-to-ground attack. There also will be supporting command and control (C2) elements.

The scenarios will be as operationally representative as possible and to the maximum extent possible, Bold Quest has engaged participating allied experts in the development of details to ensure coalition relevance and to achieve as much collateral training benefit as possible in their participation.

Personnel from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Denmark, Finland, France, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and United States are participating. Members of NATO’s Airborne Early Warning and Control program will also be involved.

"Our primary objective in Bold Quest 13.2 is to assess the interoperability and integration of integrated systems, both lethal and non-lethal,” Miller said. "Bold Quest remains focused on the need to develop and assess tools that make warfighters more effective in engaging their targets within a coalition context.”

Analysts will collect technical data on the systems and feedback from the service members using the systems. The collected data will be compiled in a final report later in the year.  

"An event like this enables U.S. and coalition partners to collectively assess solutions and share information,” he said. "During this time of constrained resources, an event like this allows participants to contribute their own aircraft, ground units, systems and more, resulting in significant cost-avoidance across the greater enterprise.”