Air Force adds another base to military’s 5G program, to prototype software

A runway at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. (U.S. Air Force / Staff Sgt. Natasha Stannard)

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An Air Force base in Nevada will be the latest military installation to test 5G wireless networks as the Pentagon expands its development of the next-generation telecommunications technology.

The pilot project at Nellis Air Force Base will partner with an industry consortium, the 485-member Information Warfare Research Project, to develop software prototypes to leverage the increased data transmission speeds that 5G will bring. The software will include “survivable” command and control (C2) systems and wireless network enhancements, according to the Department of Defense. The Air Force will issue other transaction agreements (OTAs) for the acquisitions.

Construction on the private 5G network is expected to begin in July, and it will be fully operational in January, according to the DOD.

The military recently published a 5G strategy that outlines its goals to use its many bases and industry partnerships to advance the overall U.S. development of the wireless technology. Countering the fast technological advancement of China and its 5G giant, Huawei, are core goals of the strategy. The Air Force is partnering with the DOD’s research and engineering office to build the network.

”The Defense Department recognizes 5G technology is vital to maintaining America’s military and economic advantages,” Joseph Evans, DOD technical director for 5G, said in the release.

The technology deployed to the Nevada base will be modular. The network towers will be moveable and be tested with mobile operations centers.

Other DOD test sites for 5G include Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington; Hill Air Force Base, Utah; Naval Base San Diego; Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Georgia; and Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida.

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5G, 5G network, Air Force, emerging technology, information warfare, mobile, mobile and wireless, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, research and development, telecommunications
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