The FACT-Lite helped ensure mission success during Northern Edge 23-2

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Xavier Wilson
  • 366 Fighter Wing

The integration of cutting-edge network security technology like the FACT-Lite (Fly Away Communications Terminal) has proven to be instrumental in the successful completion of Northern Edge 23-2, an exercise geared towards enhancing Agile Combat Employment (ACE) capabilities across varying locations in the Indo-Pacific region and provides USINDOPACOM the opportunity to safely test combined digital infrastructure as a critical capability in a dynamic environment.

In today's interconnected world, information is exchanged rapidly across networks. Safeguarding sensitive data and ensuring secure communication channels are paramount to mission success. 

“The FACT Lite allows you to get NIPR (Non-Secure Internet Protocol Router) and SIPR (Secure Internet Protocol Router) services up and running using commercial means of pulling data,” said 1st Lt. Brandon Acevedo-Pena, 366 Air Wing Expeditionary Communications Planner. “We can use commercial satellite services, which provide cellular LTE connections, so that we can then encrypt to ensure secure communications. A lot of kits don't use commercial means to pull data, so we’re able to pull two to three times more bandwidth than other kits."

This technology allowed the team to exchange information seamlessly, while limiting potential interception or data compromise. The FACT-Lite’s compactness is just another advantage it possesses over other kits, allowing it to be transported easily and efficiently.

“The footprint is incredibly small compared to other kits out there,” said Acevedo-Pena ‘‘We can check it onto commercial flights, so we don’t have to bring it on a pallet. We are able to hand carry everything. There were a couple times during the exercise we didn't have SIPR services due to an ASI (Authorized Service Interruption). We pulled the FACT-Lite out and used it for secure communications so we could transport cargo and fly sorties. We were able to get it up and running in about 10 minutes to ensure the mission was accomplished successfully.”

In the aftermath of the exercise’s successful completion, the significance of this network security technology became evident. In a landscape where digital adversaries are becoming increasingly sophisticated, the incorporation of this technology not only ensured the security of the network but also allowed us to move quickly and efficiently during NE23-2 ensuring mission success.