Australian team plays pivotal role in US project

Department of Defence

A group of ADF and contracted specialists from the Land Network Integration Centre (LNIC) and soldiers from the 3rd Combat Signal Regiment established and maintained a network required to conduct Australia’s contribution to Project Convergence.

The annual US-led campaign of experimentation first started in 2022.

Project Convergence Capstone Four (PC-C4) was held at Camp Pendleton and then Fort Irwin, California, from February 23 to March 20.

Deputy Director Land Network Integration – Army Lieutenant Colonel Lucas Connolly said the LNIC team of 15 was a key enabler for the network connectivity required for the experiment.

“LNIC served as the cornerstone for coalition integration on Project Convergence,” Lieutenant Colonel Connolly said.

“It was a pivotal role, which was amplified by the sophisticated network that our expert workforce worked with.

“The team that attended PC-C4 enabled the seamless integration of Australia with its coalition partners during the experiment.”

Warrant Officer Class Two (WO2) Ray James, a telecommunication network manager at LNIC, deployed to coordinate the workforce.

“LNIC provided the networked environment to enable core services integration to support the serials as they were conducted,” WO2 James said.

“It was key to many outcomes. I am pleased that conditions have been set for ongoing experimentation with coalition partners.

“It was an amazing experience to work with our partners, like the UK. We shared a physical working location and the banter back and forward was great. Watching the Super Bowl with our US counterparts was also a highlight.”

‘It was interesting to collaborate with coalition nations and share our different ideas to create a more secure network.’

The campaign of learning through persistent experimentation is designed to aggressively advance and integrate technology across all warfighting domains.

As a part of the contribution to multi-domain operations, Signaller Prenolan Pandarum deployed as a cyber-warfare specialist.

“My role involved providing general cyber security advice and performing security risk assessments on any new assets being added into the Australian network,” Signaller Pandarum said.

“It was interesting to collaborate with coalition nations and share our different ideas to create a more secure network.

“Project Convergence has offered unique insights working in an integrated environment. It has been a thoroughly fulfilling experience.”

Lance Corporal Bailey McGaughran, of the 3rd Combat Signal Regiment, deployed as an information systems (IS) detachment commander.

“My role involved providing a strategic link back to Australia in a deployed environment,” Lance Corporal McGaughran said.

“We also operated a level-one IS helpdesk for LNIC and actively assisted in providing, maintaining and troubleshooting the coalition network system.”

PC-C4 comprised more than 4000 service members and civilians from multiple branches and foreign allies and partners, including New Zealand, Canada, France and Japan.

Lance Corporal McGaughran said his involvement in PC-C4 was a positive experience in and out of uniform.

“Working with coalition nations strengthened relationships and offered insight into their operations compared to the Australian Army,” he said.

“Participating in this year’s Project Convergence was a truly rewarding experience for myself and my detachment.”

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