News Release

Cisco Provides Coalition Network Infrastructure for U.S. European Command's Global Interoperability Exercise

IP Leader a Major Supporter of World's Largest Multinational Military Exercise
May 05, 2006

Combined Endeavor 2006 (CE 06) is a two-week testing operation sponsored by the U.S. European Command designed to ensure vital interoperability for joint and multinational forces that deploy in response to humanitarian, peacekeeping and disaster relief operations. Data gathered from earlier exercises has played a key role in recent multinational operations in Iraq, Afghanistan Bosnia and Kosovo as well as humanitarian operations in Pakistan and the tsunami-affected areas.

More than 1000 tests will focus mainly on the ability to pass data securely over an Internet Protocol coalition backbone, using Voice over Internet Protocol, and increasing the level of Information Assurance over Private Mobile Radio, High Frequency and satellite communications.

Dutch Army Demonstration Day - Wednesday, May 17
Media Day - Thursday, May 18

Lager Aulenbach in Baumholder, Germany (2 ½ hours by auto from Frankfurt)

41 nations, including both NATO and Partnership for Peace countries

Spokespersons include:

  • European Command (EUCOM): Air Force Brig. Gen. Thomas Verbeck, Army LTC Joseph Angyal
  • Cisco: Harold Vermanen, NATO Liaison; Tom Cooper, Defense Initiatives; additional technical experts
  • Military and technical leadership from a range of NATO and PfP nations

As the world leader in IP networking, Cisco will provide key core network infrastructure for the Combined Endeavor exercise.

Combined Endeavor officials knew from experience in prior years that upgrading its core backbone was vital in ensuring a more realistic approach to testing simulated operational networks. With organizing over forty nations and organizations' diverse complex systems, finding this common thread was the key to success. Since Cisco's equipment is common to networking in most nations the company is now playing a major role in this year's exercise. In addition, Cisco technicians will provide administrative Local Area Network that will register and transport information and analyze results. The equipment being tested during this year's Combined Endeavor exercise could be deployed in the future to hot spots around the world.

The operation will be non-classified and open to press, depending on reporters' areas of interest, testing underway and availability of spokespersons. A range of tests will be conducted over the two-week period. Spokespersons can discuss strategic issues in advance of the exercise. For in-depth information and updates on the progress of the actual testing, we encourage off-site interviews beginning Monday, May 15.

General Media Day -- Thursday, May 18. Reporters will hear briefings from officials from Combined Endeavor, Cisco and country representations, and then view a range of interoperability demonstrations being conducted during the exercise. Additional interviews can be arranged that day, depending on the reporter's area of interest.

Dutch Demonstration Day - Wednesday, May 17. The Dutch Army in partnership with Cisco Systems have organized a Dutch Day in Haus Aulenbach in Baumholder where Cisco will present Coalition Information Sharing Architecture and demonstrate new defense solutions.

Phone interviews:
Cisco Public Relations and CE Public Affairs will schedule interviews in advance, during or after the exercise. Interviews about actual testing should be scheduled after the first weekend of the exercise, beginning May 15.

Reporters interested in attending on site should contact Combined Endeavor Public Affairs or Cisco Systems for information on arrangements. The Lager Aulenbach site is a former military post, with limited availability of affordable barrack accommodations. Additional overnight accommodations are available in towns nearby.