Army Communicator Winter 1999

Assessing Trojan Spirit II

by Scott Long

The overall Trojan network was designed to support intelligence operations, readiness and training. The Trojan program provides a worldwide capability that enables military-intelligence soldiers in the United States to remotely target and exploit global enemy positions in near-real-time. Using this remote capability, soldiers can enhance their language training and improve unit intelligence and electronic warfare readiness.

The original Trojan mission has been greatly expanded since the late 1980s into a seamless, strategic-to-tactical IEW communications system that provides support to Army commanders down to division level. The Trojan network consists of 27 fixed-based Trojan classic operating facilities, 17 Trojan switching extensions, the Trojan network-control center and, last but not least, 38 tactical Trojan special-purpose integrated remote intelligence terminal IIs (where the "spirit" in Trojan Spirit comes from).

Hubspoke.jpg (39716 bytes) Trojan Spirit II hub-spoke network.

The migration plan deals only with TS II’s communications capabilities and the Trojan network-control center.

TS II has three distinct tactical missions:

It provides wide-area network access into the Trojan classic fixed-communications network, as well as Defense Information Systems Network’s secure Internet-protocol router network and the joint worldwide intelligence system;
It’s the primary long-haul communications-service provider for tactical analysis-and-control elements and their IEW products (imagery, data and video) that flow among division, corps and echelons-above-corps locations;
It provides a communications backbone for IEW split-based operations.

TSs were born out of the Gulf War to satisfy immediate IEW requirements for more communications capabilities not available from the Signal Corps at the time. Immediate requirements existed during the war to support and disseminate imagery and other IEW communications products at the secret (collateral) and top secret/special compartmented information levels. TS was also required to support split-based intelligence information-exchange requirements between forward-deployed MI units and sanctuary elements.

In response to these challenges, 13 TS systems -- consisting of a modified humvee-mounted classic Trojan switch extension, two personal computers, two secure digital phones, two fax machines, two printers and a satellite-communications system for commercial C-band super-high-frequency communications -- were fabricated and quickly deployed to Saudi Arabia. In mid-1992, the Army formally approved expanding the TS program as an interim dedicated system for the IEW community until the Army common-user system could evolve and eventually assume the communications functions.

Between 1992 and 1998, these 13 TS systems grew to 38. Systems further evolved into TS Version II, with more capability to support more information-exchange requirements. These 38 terminals, operated by MI soldiers, continue to meet critical operational and Force XXI experimental requirements. TS II systems provide secure voice, data, fax and video services to support collaboration, secondary imagery dissemination, weather and terrain products, templates, graphics and text capabilities at the secret (collateral) and TS/SCI levels.

Equipment is contained in two humvee-mounted shelters and can support up to 14 communications channels (eight SCI and six collateral) using variable baud rates from 4.8 to 512 kilobits per second. TS II systems use commercial satellite links to support forces in split-based operations at rates up to T-1 (1.544 megabits per second). The system now uses C- and Ku-band commercial-satellite systems such as Intelsat, G-star and Panamsat.

In support of joint-task-force operations, EAC MI battalions are scheduled to receive the new X-band 6.1-meter antenna for Defense Satellite Communications System operations once certification and operator training is complete.

These TS II systems were used extensively for Task Force XXI exercises and supported not only IEW information dissemination but the Global Broadcast Service (battlefield-awareness data dissemination) experiment during the brigade advanced warfighting experiment as well. TS II is accredited for simultaneous multilevel security operations at both the secret (collateral) and TS/SCI levels. Also, TS II provides secret (collateral) and TS/SCI voice and data exchange between two or more Trojan digital voice instruments. TDVI provides dial-up digitized voice, facsimile and data exchange between Trojan facilities.

While TS II is a superb system, it has some limitations. Some terminal components making up TS IIs limit communications functionality and cause inefficiencies of satellite bandwidth. The table below highlights these shortcomings.

Satellite modem
EF data 650 bits
Limited available forward-error correction schemes (no Reed/Solomon)
Low-input signal sensitivity
Old equipment nearing end of supportable lifecycle
KIV-7HS Doesn’t support data rates identified in operational requirements document
Not compatible with standardized tactical entry point site crypto
DP-2048 mux Manually configured to allocate bandwidth (all ports are fixed rate, full period, including voice and Ethernet)
Limited by fixed range of data port/aggregate rates
Doesn’t support data rates identified in ORD
Cisco 4000 Old equipment nearing end of supportable lifecycle
TDVI phones Synchronous serial data interface
Proprietary, not compatible with WIN

As long as TS II is required to support IEW operations, the IEW community will continue to be involved in the communications business and will be forced to use valuable resources for this mission.

The MI corps’ goal for TS II is threefold:

Ensure the operational life of the Army’s 38 TS II terminals is extended or recapitalized while the Warfighter Information Network evolves;
Ensure any recapitalization of TS II communications equipment is certified as compatible to the evolving WIN and joint technical architecture as much as possible;
Turn over TS II’s communications functionality to WIN as soon as WIN proves an ability to meet all needlines, information-exchange requirements and speed-of-service requirements published in the migration plan.

As TS II terminals reach the end of their current service life, the Signal Center and MI center commanders emphasize TS II’s continued importance to the warfighter and their service as a "bridge" between ACUS and WIN.

Mr. Long, a retired colonel, is a Sytex Inc. support contractor for the program executive officer, intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors. He serves as the IEW&S liaison officer at the Signal Center and supports the IEW&S community on communications requirements. He completed 25 years of active duty in the Signal Corps in 1995, with his last duty assignment as chief of the space and strategic systems division, directorate of information systems for command, control, communications and computers.

Acronym quick-scan
ACUS – area common-user system
EAC – echelons above corps
IEW – intelligence and electronic warfare
IEW&S – intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors
JWICS – joint worldwide intelligence system
MI – military intelligence
NIPRNET – non-secure Internet-protocol router network
SIPRNET – secure Internet-protocol router network
TDVI -- Trojan digital voice instrument
TNCC – T(rojan Spirit) network-control center
TS – Trojan Spirit
TS/SCI – top secret/special compartmented information
WIN – Warfighter Information Network
WIN-IG – Warfighter Information Network-intelligence gateway