Washington, D.C. – Congressman Joe Kennedy (MA-4), Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (MA-3) and Senator Elizabeth Warren announced today that funding has been preserved for a critical battlefield communications program manufactured in Massachusetts.
The WIN-T program, produced by General Dynamics at their facilities in Needham and Taunton, Mass., was facing budget cuts of over $100 million through Department of Defense reprogramming. The cuts would have jeopardized General Dynamics’ ability to build the most cutting-edge communications network possible for our troops, as well as significantly impacted local jobs across Massachusetts.
“WIN-T is a critical economic engine in Taunton, Needham and our entire Commonwealth,” said Congressman Kennedy. “More importantly, it is exactly the kind of technology our military should be able to invest in. As the landscape of modern warfare gets more complicated and multi-dimensional – and as the technology used by our enemies continues to improve – ensuring communication on the battlefield is part of our responsibility to the men and women we put in harm’s way. I’d like to thank my fellow members of the Massachusetts Delegation for their partnership on this, and especially Congresswoman Tsongas for her continued leadership on the House Armed Services Committee.”
“WIN-T is one of the Army’s top modernization efforts, providing unparalleled advantages to service members in the field and helping to save lives,” said Congresswoman Tsongas. “The program also supports high tech manufacturing and R&D jobs across the United States, encouraging innovation in a field that must remain cutting-edge in order to keep our forces elite. The decision to preserve funding for WIN-T, which I strongly supported, will play a major role in ensuring our military is prepared to meet future threats and maintain the highest level of safety for service members. I thank Rep. Kennedy, as well as my colleagues and leadership on the House Armed Services and Appropriations Committees for their partnership while we made the case for continued support of this critical program. Sequestration and other budgetary pressures have significantly impacted the Department of Defense, but slashing funding for the most critical R&D and procurement programs giving our military its competitive edge is not where we should look for savings.”
“I am very pleased the important work of General Dynamics’ WIN-T army modernization program will be able to continue here in the Commonwealth,” said Senator Warren. “This program is a great example of how investments in research and development can strengthen our national security by ensuring our military is able to meet current and emerging needs. I will continue to work with the rest of the Massachusetts delegation to make sure this critical defense work remains a top priority.”
“We were encouraged to learn the House Armed Services Committee disapproved the FY13 reprogramming request, allowing the thousands of workers and hundreds of companies that support the Soldier’s Network to continue working for our nation’s brave soldiers. In particular, we are grateful for the efforts of Rep. Niki Tsongas, Rep. Joe Kennedy, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Mo Cowan and the entire Massachusetts delegation, who advocated tirelessly on behalf of the Massachusetts workers who build and support this critical technology for our soldiers, and stopped this reprogramming,” said Chris Marzilli, President of General Dynamics C4 Systems.
The Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) programs are critical enablers of the Army’s highest priority modernization initiative to build as high-quality a battlefield communications system as possible. They are designed to provide secure video, voice and data services wherever and whenever our soldiers need it—enabling our commanders and battle staff to make decisions and command from anywhere on the battlefield. It is the fundamental program for connecting all of our soldiers to the network.
WIN‐T is analogous to the networks that enable commercial carriers such as Verizon or AT&T to provide mobile network services to their customers, but is quickly deployable in the toughest conditions and in the most remote locales. WIN‐T is capable of meeting our soldiers’ needs for use across many missions, at many speeds, in many sizes, under many different conditions, and with the capacity to operate in any environment. The “increments” of WIN‐T enable the Army to progressively deploy these capabilities.
WIN‐T was conceived after the limitations of past communications systems became obvious during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. Those limitations were experienced again during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, as General Wallace, who led the Army into Baghdad, noted: “the pace of the war outran our mobile force’s ability to communicate.” Those operations revealed the need to keep commanders connected while moving quickly in the battle space.