PHILIPPINE SEA -- More than 35 members of the Naval Information Forces Deploying Group System Integration Testing (DGSIT) team embarks aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and additional units of the Ronald Reagan Strike Group July 5-13.
DGSIT is a fleet-directed program to test interoperability of all computer and communications systems and networks on all carrier strike groups, amphibious readiness groups and Marine expeditionary units.
"We are here to provide integrated testing on the (C5I) [Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Collaboration and Intelligence] of the strike group," said Donald Shirey, DGSIT Pacific program manager. "A significant by-product of the testing is building relationships with the units and Sailors, to provide hands-on training for the Sailors getting them up to speed on the continuously evolving technology."
During the course of the nine day embark the DGSIT teams provide systems configuration and over-the-shoulder training to the Sailors within various departments aboard Ronald Reagan, as well as with the Commander, Task Force 70 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 staffs.
"DGSIT has made an immediate positive impact on the strike group and our broader missions, to include ballistic missile defense and our various presence requirements," said Capt. Steven DeMoss, deputy commodore of DESRON 15.
The team members spend dedicated time with the Sailors, troubleshooting the networks and systems and identifying any concerns. The time spent between the team member and the Sailor identifies key lessons for the continuing embarks.
"The biggest lesson I hope to learn when we embark is how to optimize the coverage I have with the Sailors I am working with," said Jesus Verduzco, systems integrator for the DGSIT team. "Our job is one-half working with the Sailors on the technical side of the system and one-half training the improved processes and fixes to the Sailors."
Team members also have the opportunity to work remotely with USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) and embark USS Antietam (CG 54), USS Benfold (DDG 65) and USS Milius (DDG 69) working directly with the Sailors to address questions and concerns aboard their ships.
DGSIT teams identify all of the hardware and software issues while embarked and build a report identifying all interoperability issues and provides the report to higher headquarters.
"DGSIT provides a one-stop-shop for the Reagan Carrier Strike Group to receive assistance from over 40 incredibly talented subject matter experts from around the United States in identifying and fixing integration and connectivity challenges that only become apparent when groups of ships deploy together," said Lt. Jason Gerontes, Ronald Reagan's combat systems information officer.
The DGSIT planning process begins six to nine months prior to the team's embark, to include a preliminary assessment of the platforms, system concerns and logistical support needed, a defined plan outlining expectations, requirements and testing processes to the unit leadership, an execution phase where the DGSIT team embarks the units and works with the strike groups, and finally issue reporting and resolution tracking.
The Pacific DGSIT team, based in San Diego, tests all of the Pacific-based carrier strike groups, amphibious strike groups and Marine expeditionary units.
The Ronald Reagan strike group is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.