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Timber Sweet: The Untold Story of Military Tactical Data Links

  • Sean Bergesen, Director/Producer

artistic rendering of a data link, with icons of a soldier mounted on a tank, a fighter jet and an aircraft carrier

About the Project

“Timber Sweet” tells the story of military tactical data links, and the amazing people who build and use them. For non-data link people… data links are the unique and intricate communications that integrate military personnel and their combat systems into a coherent and lethal team. Data links push back on the proverbial fog of war and allow our forces to have a common picture of the battlespace - where the good guys are, where the bad guys are, and who's doing what to whom. “Timber Sweet” provides a fair bit of gee-wiz technology, and also puts data links into their historical context, but mostly the film is about our "Data Link Warriors" – the systems engineers who build the systems, the program managers who get them fielded, the interface architects who organize and control the networks, and the front-line warfighters who use data links to defeat the enemy in combat. Like all difficult challenges however, tactical data links are not without their warts. Often everything works as intended, and sometimes it does not. Occasionally the problem lies with faulty equipment, but more often it can be chalked up to operator error, miscommunication, or insufficient training. "Timber Sweet" presents all of this in a fair and balanced manner - the goods and the "others," the humor and the conflicts, the stunning successes and the inevitable meltdowns. What makes this story truly compelling is that our data link warriors and their endeavors are continually tested in the crucible of armed conflict, where lives hang in the balance. And their story has never been told before now – not in a book, not in a TV show, not in a film.