skip to main content

USSOCOM's HEO project spins off two official programmes

The US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) will transition a pair of emerging capabilities associated with the Hyper Enabled Operator (HEO) concept into Programs of Record, (POR) director of science and technology Lisa Sanders told Janes.

The capabilities, which include what was originally called beyond line of sight (BLOS) communications and an integrated situational awareness tool, have been explored over the past 12 months by USSOCOM’s Joint Acquisition Task Force (JATF) in collaboration with the US Army Special Operations Command.

For the HEO concept, the BLOS technology utilises an ‘advantaged node’ to provide higher bandwidth communications in contested environments. The term ‘BLOS’ was appropriate when the effort started but more recently industry is characterising terrestrial-based, advantaged pathways as non-line of sight (NLOS) to lessen confusion between traditional BLOS applications in high frequency or satellite systems. This NLOS capability supports HEO by giving operators an organic, high-bandwidth backhaul capability.

Speaking to Janes at the virtual Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC) on 18 May, Sanders said JATF partnered with 7th Special Forces Group to identify the most optimal means of achieving “cognitive dominance at the edge”. The capabilities will be supported by Program Executive Offices for Command, Control, Communications, and Computers (PEO C4) and Special Reconnaissance (PEO SR).

The move, Sanders added, is meant to aid USSOCOM missions beyond counterterrorism, which had dominated the past two decades. Instead, Sanders noted that SOF operators now need enhanced situation awareness (SA) tools.

She said edge computing remains a “big emphasis” for the JATF, and that “the capability has progressed. It was always our intent to flesh out how technology could be connected to be able to achieve that [partnering] mission.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...