The annual JRE Operator’s Working Group began in 1999 as a working group sponsored by the U.S. Air Force Link-16 Program Office. As the use of Link-16 proliferated, the group grew into a government-industry forum for the data link and JRE community. The group allows operators to meet and discuss tactical data links, fostering the exchange of information, trends and developments in military and civilian data link technology.
Operators are an essential part of the community, and their attendance provides tangible benefits for both the community and the home organizations that send them. Benefits include a better understanding of:
- JRE capabilities
- Latest developments
- Evolving systems
- Best practices
- New measures of support
- Latest trends in training for JRE proficiency
Operator participation also provides essential feedback to acquisition and requirements organizations as well as system and software developers about how systems are currently being used in theater and how they could be improved. This important feedback by the community is a substantial opportunity to further influence and improve current systems design for the next generation of interoperable data links systems.
Here are some of the major things JRE was the first to do in the Link-16 world:
- JRE was the first Link-16 router to introduce Transparent Gateway mode operation, delivering long haul data, local RF data, and host originated data to the shared Common Operational Picture.
- JRE was the first to translate NAIS (Nationwide Automatic Identification System) data and move it onto the Link-16 picture.
- JRE was the first to introduce prioritization of data.
- While working with the US Marine Corps, JRE became the first Link-16 gateway to provide digital ground control and fire capability from a C2 system. This function was later added to MIL-STD-6016.
- JRE was the first to fully implement MIL-STD-3011 and the first to provide track centric filtering.
- JRE was the first Link-16 router to provide Source Selection.