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Under The Wing

Collaborating to bring innovate networking solutions to our troops

by Jeff Rangel on ‎07-24-2014 06:00 AM - last edited on ‎07-24-2014 10:36 AM by (3,705 Views)


It's been a privilege to represent Brocade's business interest in Washington DC. For several years, through Trade Associations such as TechAmerica and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, I've had the opportunity to advocate for Tax Reform, Regional Transportation, Job Creation and Immigration. The Company has also been vocal about the need for Federal Acquisition Reform - urging the government to save Billions annually while increasing competition by awarding contracts based on technical requirements, open standards and refraining from Brand references. 


And while those remain important business issues, it was an honor to recently participate in General Dynamics C4 Systems ‘Supplier Summit’. In collaboration with more than 500 partners, I met with members of Congress to help them understand the technical resources available for today's war-fighters – The Soldier’s Network.


If we are to believe Hollywood, troops are constantly connected...equipped with technical gear that allows them to talk to one another and access information instantly - to truly be mission ready at all times. Hollywood has some great technical advisors because companies like General Dynamics are producing superior technical solutions used across the Armed Services. For example, Brocade is proud to be a part of the ecosystem that produces WIN-T (Warfighter Information Network-Tactical). GD-C4S WIN-T ‘provides the communications network (satellite and terrestrial) and services that allow the Soldier to send and receive information to execute the mission.’ Simply put, in our view WIN-T empowers the warfighter with access to real-time information and communications that saves lives.


But the Hollywood version of combat fails to mention that many troops are not readily equipped with these valuable resources. In fact, a more accurate representation would have troops making frequent stops, getting out of vehicles to check maps and trying to access signals – putting them at increased risk and exposure. Budget and funding constraints have limited the implementation of WIN-T. Sadly, men and women lack the technical resources they need in today's complicated terrain and stressful decision making scenarios. At Brocade, we think this is unacceptable and are proud to carry this message to Congress – seeking funding for additional implementations.


Brocadians are honored to partner with colleagues across the Federal Marketplace to provide mission critical solutions. Personally, I’m humbled to advocate for something so necessary to the safety of our troops.