The Marine Corps has selected several companies to bid on task orders that will allow warfighters to transmit secure on-the-move command-and-control and situational awareness data, including sending classified information through commercial smartphones and tablets.

The infantry community has long wanted to use wireless commercial devices for dismounted Marines for reference and tactical sharing. The Marine Common Handheld program will provide the Marine Air Ground Task Force secure mobile computing at the tactical edge enabling tactical combat, combat support and combat service support commanders, leaders and key command and control nodes by using digital communications.

At least two companies have announced they are eligible for task orders under the indefinite delivery-indefinite quantity contract: PacStar and iGov Technologies. The total value of the contract is $48 million.

iGov was awarded $4.4 million in the first delivery for the program.

In a May 21 announcement, PacStar said its portion of the award consists of components from the company’s Secure Wireless Command Post to be used for network infrastructure, encryption and cybersecurity. Specifically, PacStar’s system will provide secure, encrypted access to classified networks for smart mobile devices in the tactical network.

The Marines requested modular, man-portable equipment suite allowing units to quickly acquire targets in day, night and near all-weather visibility conditions as well as control close air support and artillery.

Mark Pomerleau is a reporter for C4ISRNET, covering information warfare and cyberspace.

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