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Cisco Provides Core Network Infrastructure for World’s Largest Multinational Military Exercise


May 15, 2006

IP Leader a Major Supporter of U.S. European Command’s Global Interoperability Exercise

LAGER AULENBACH, Germany, - Cisco Systems® announced today that it will provide the core network infrastructure for Combined Endeavor 2006, a two-week operation designed to test and document the interoperability of vital communication systems for multinational forces deployed in humanitarian, peacekeeping and disaster relief efforts. Data gathered from earlier exercises has played a key role in recent multinational operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Kosovo as well as humanitarian operations in Pakistan and the tsunami-affected areas.

More than 1,000 tests beginning this week will focus mainly on the ability to pass data with a high level of security over an Internet Protocol (IP) backbone, using voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), private mobile radio, high frequency and satellite communications. Information assurance is another key focus area for the participating nations. In cooperation with the German Ministry of Defense, the U.S. European Command is sponsoring the communications and information systems interoperability exercise. Forty-one nations are taking part, including NATO, Partnership for Peace and non-aligned or strategic partner nations.

“Combined Endeavor 2006 is breaking new ground in many of the network areas that are being tested such as in multinational information sharing,” said Air Force Brig. Gen. Thomas Verbeck, the director of the International Interoperability, Concepts and Experimentation Directorate (ECJ9). “Our goal is to tackle these types of challenges long before the call comes to deploy, certainly as part of Phase Zero operations.”

Combined Endeavor officials knew from experience that upgrading its core backbone was crucial in working to ensure a more realistic test of simulated operational networks. Because the complex systems of more than 40 nations and organizations are involved, finding a common thread was the key to success. Since Cisco equipment is common to networking in most nations, the company is playing a major role in this year’s exercise.

“As military units worldwide are being challenged to perform at ever higher levels in conflicts and disaster recoveries, multinational forces are increasingly driving to an IP standard,” said Kevin MacRitchie, vice president of Global Defense Space and Security for Cisco’s Global Government Services Group. “As the world leader in IP networking, Cisco, through its IP backbone will help ensure that interoperability testing for all equipment from participating nations will be held to the highest standards of performance, furthering the information assurance and security enhancement goals of this exercise.”

Cisco technicians will provide real-time video teleconferencing and Web casting as well as the administrative local area networks (LANs) that will register and transport information and analyze results.

About Combined Endeavor 2006

Combined Endeavor 2006 (CE 06) is the 12th 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 and PfP nations’ fielded military strategic and tactical communications information equipment 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

About Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. News and information are available at For ongoing news, please go to


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