The U.S. Army's National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California and Fort Hood, Texas were selected by DoD for their second round of 5G communications testing and experimentation. Army elements at Joint Base San Antonio will also participate.

The bases were selected for their abilities to provide streamlined access to site-spectrum bands, mature fiber and wireless infrastructure, access to key facilities, support for new or improved infrastructure requirements and their abilities to conduct controlled experimentation with dynamic spectrum sharing.

“5G creates opportunities to dramatically increase capacity, the speed of decision making, virtual training, and mobility at echelon, Army-wide,” said Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, the Army’s Chief Information Officer. “5G is clearly a key to transitioning the Army from the Industrial Age to the Information Age.”

The second phase of Army 5G experimentation will center on rapid, mobile, and secure battlefield connectivity concepts. More specifically, the Army’s next round of 5G experimentation will focus on:

  • Wireless connectivity for forward operating bases and tactical operations centers at the Army’s National Training Center and Fort Hood, Texas.
  • Augmented reality support of non-aircraft maintenance and training at Joint Base San Antonio.

 “Leveraging 5G technologies will also be a critical enabler to the Army’s Multi-Domain Operations and Joint All-Domain Command and Control convergence efforts, which require near-real-time network access for any sensor and shooter, any C2 node,” Crawford added. “Establishing 5G wireless network-experimentation sites across the Army allows for a greater understanding of the technology and how to best utilize it across the force,” stated Crawford.

In addition to Fort Hood, the NTC and JBSA, 5G experiments will continue to take place at Joint Base Lewis McChord, which was selected as the Army’s first 5G experimentation site in October 2019.