News Release

Core Network for World's Largest Multinational Communications Interoperability Exercise Moves to All- Internet Protocol, Powered by Cisco

International Defense Testing Advances to Seamless Exchanges of Information
May 10, 2007

BAUMHOLDER, Germany, May 10, 2007 - As global defense organizations increasingly move to Internet Protocol networking, this year's Combined Endeavor is advancing to an all-IP core network infrastructure, powered by Cisco equipment. Combined Endeavor 2007 is a two-week operation designed to test and document the interoperability of vital communication systems of 42 nations for multinational forces deployed in humanitarian, peacekeeping and disaster-relief efforts. The exercise's large-scale move to IP, which began last year, is continuing to advance because of IP's ability to transform the way defense organizations fulfill their missions to protect and defend.

The U.S. European Command-sponsored exercise brings military communicators from the U.S., NATO, Partnership for Peace (PfP) and other nations together to plan and execute interoperability testing of command, control, communications and computer systems from participant nations. Over the two-week exercise, more than 1,000 tests will focus mainly on the ability to pass data with a high level of security over a Cisco-powered IP backbone, using voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), private mobile radio, high frequency and satellite communications with the goal of a smooth exchange of information.

"As the largest C4 interoperability and security cooperation event in the world, Combined Endeavor benchmarks coalition units' ability to deploy IP in the battlefield," said Army Lt. Col. James Pugh, exercise director of CE. "This exercise is the only international interoperability program geared at coalition missions' preparation. And as participants move to IP, they begin to realize that this must operate as a single, federated network rather than as a network of networks."

"The need for multinational responses to humanitarian, peacekeeping and disaster relief operations requires military units worldwide to seamlessly and securely exchange information," stated Brad Boston, senior vice president, Cisco global government solutions group. "IP is key to enabling that capability. As the worldwide leader in IP networking, Cisco is pleased to provide the IP network backbone in support of the interoperability testing at this year's Combined Endeavor exercise."

Last year, testing documentation from Combined Endeavor partner nations played a key role in real-world operations in Lebanon among a French-led United Nations team from Canada, France, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States. This year's exercise will see VoIP testing levels triple, enhancing the ability of forces to operate in rugged environments and life-or-death situations. Information assurance is another key focus area this year for participating nations, as is resolving difficulties of securing VoIP and video teleconferencing across firewalls.

Combined Endeavor officials have been increasingly upgrading the core backbone to ensure a more realistic test of simulated operational networks. In 2006, the test network was converted to an all-IP-based network, and this year the conversion to IP has expanded to the core network. Cisco equipment is common to networking in most nations and creates a common thread among the more than 40 nations and organizations involved, making it a key player in the overall success of the testing.

About Combined Endeavor

Combined Endeavor 2007 (CE 07) is the 13th in the series of U.S. European Command (USEUCOM)-sponsored "in-spirit-of" (ISO) Partnership for Peace (PfP) exercises planned and executed to identify, test, and document command, control, communications, and computer systems (C4) and information systems (CIS) interoperability between NATO, PfP and other nations' fielded military strategic and tactical communications information systems. The overall objective is to develop an integrated interoperability guide to assist deployment planning within a coalition network. Documentation of interoperability is a tremendous achievement toward operational readiness and further enhances theater security cooperation. News and information are available at