The first generation of 'Skynet'?!
Joint command and control
Date: January, 2004
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DISA is the single DoD integrator for joint, coalition, and combined command and control (C2) and combat support capabilities. The integration of Service and Agency-developed data sources and decision support tools is essential to the Combatant Commanders' abilities to "fight joint." These products must support both fixed-base and deployed decision makers on diverse platforms and under communications conditions ranging from robust to austere. DISA's own joint C2 capabilities are focused on enabling the readiness, planning, mobilisation support, deployment, execution, and sustainment of deployed forces. In addition, DISA provides the infrastructure that integrates those Service and Agency products, to include common distributed track object services, messaging, applications management, data access and translation, and collaboration services.
Through the Global Command and Control System (GCCS), DISA enables joint operations planning and execution, global access to readiness data, situational awareness via a common operational picture, and collaboration and decision support capabilities for Combatant Commanders as well as many joint force commanders. GCCS components form the critical C2 backbone of joint operations, deployed in over 625 locations world-wide, supporting more than 10,000 joint and coalition workstations. Lighter, configurable deployments of GCCS - such as the Bosnia Operational Picture - support selected Joint Task Forces and coalition operations. In support of Operation Enduring Freedom, DISA dramatically improved situational awareness, rapid application of combined force elements, and integration of intelligence in planning and decision-making. Specifically, DISA accelerated the fielding of real-time Unmanned Aerial Vehicle video overlays, multi-source air pictures, intelligence and imagery data source integration, and unit track alerts to all levels in the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), including United States Marine Corps units in the field, aboard aircraft carriers for strike planning, and at CENTCOM headquarters for target planning and execution. DISA also provides global military organisational messaging on a mix of commercial off-the-shelf and proprietary applications.
C2 systems at all levels gain significant interoperability across components and increased effectiveness by leveraging a common suite of tools and infrastructure components provided by the Common Operating Environment (COE). Today 125 C2 systems either use the COE or plan to deploy on it.
DISA is deeply involved today in Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrations (ACTDs) working with the Combatant Commanders to pilot key capabilities essential to the ongoing transformation. These ACTDs respond to high-priority capability shortfalls involving complex conceptual or technical issues appropriately addressed early in a technology lifecycle. Active ACTDs include: Adaptive Courses of Action, Combatant Commander for the 21st Century, C4I for the Coalition Warrior, Joint Logistics, Joint Theatre Logistics, Automated Intrusion Detection, Homeland Security C2, and Coalition Rear Area Security Operations Command and Control. This last ACTD is already providing shared force protection situation awareness at more than 10 locations world-wide in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The Global Command and Control System and the common operational picture it provides serve as a solid foundation for evolving C2 capabilities. New information and communications technologies hold promise for providing highly distributed joint and combined forces an effective joint command and control structure that is better able to integrate combined operations than today. Such a joint command and control structure must reside not only at the combatant commanders' headquarters and the joint staff, but extend down to the Joint Task Force and operational Service components at home and abroad. Tactical systems must have lateral as well as vertical connectivity to enable fusion of available information. The joint command and control system - both the information that flows through the network and the equipment and applications upon which it resides and is processed - must be secure and protected from an adversary's information operations or other attacks. To achieve transformation, a more extensive and robust set of network-centric enterprise services must be provided.
U.S. command and control systems require the ability to share situational awareness with other government agencies as well as allies and friends. Such joint and combined interoperability requires forces that can immediately "plug" into the joint battlefield systems (command and control, intelligence, fire support, logistics, etc.) and perform effectively. These forces need compatible systems with interoperable standards, doctrine, tactics, techniques, and procedures.
To support joint and combined command and control and enable a common operational picture of the battlespace, DoD needs not only enhanced end-to-end communications but also effective applications for secure collaborative planning and operations. These applications must have access to trusted data, and then catalyse shared situational awareness for the integration of joint fires, manoeuvre, and intelligence. They must be interoperable across all components and tailorable for coalition operations with other countries. These capabilities - the network and its applications - will enable forces to plan and execute operations faster than the enemy and to seize tactical opportunities. On this foundation, innovation will foster surprise. This requires additional applications exploiting web-based technologies and adapted to a wireless environment.
To enable transformation, DoD must develop the C2 capabilities to underpin the Standing Joint Force (SJF) headquarters. These headquarters must have interoperable joint command, control, communications, computing, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities that provide a common operational picture of the battlespace - with awareness of friendly and adversary forces as well as non-combatants - for joint and combined forces. They must also have a responsive integrated logistics system that provides easy warfighter access to essential support without the burdensome lift and for a large information technology infrastructure in the area of operations. The SJF headquarters requires adaptive battlespace awareness, targeting, and mission planning tools enabling U.S. forces to operate within the adversary's decision cycle. Further, these capabilities must be integrated into the Deployable Joint Command and Control centre.
Finally, DoD must find ways to field mission-essential C2 capabilities faster. Today's lengthy oversight processes in which almost any special interest can delay or derail a joint program is lethal to transformation.
Common Operating Environment (COE)
The Defence Information Systems Agency's (DISA) COE provides the foundation for Command and Control (C2) system architectures to enable operational realisation of the Department of Defence's Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence for the Warfighter (C4IFTW) vision.
The COE provides integration and runtime environments and a set of common support applications, such as the Common Operational Picture (COP), to developers of C2 applications. The COE contributes a common architecture and reusable components to further interoperability among systems.
Common functions of C2 systems are built and maintained once as common components to be reused across C2 systems. The COE achieves interoperability primarily by using common software, both commercial-off-the-shelf and government-off-the-shelf. It provides "plug-able," reusable, architecturally consistent, integrated components called segments.
The COE is a three-tiered architecture. The first layer, the Kernel, contains the operating system, operating system extensions, a common desktop, software installation tools, and security extensions. The second layer, Infrastructure Services, includes the relational database, world-wide web, network and system management, communications, and print services components. The third layer, Common Support Applications, includes mapping, correlation/fusion, collaboration, and COP.
COE supports major systems such as DISA's Global Command and Control System and Global Combat Support System, the Army Battle Command System, the Global Command and Control System-Army, Global Command and Control System-Maritime and the Air Force's Theatre Battle Management Core Systems.
Defence Collaboration Tool Suite (DCTS)
DCTS is a flexible, Commercial-off-the-Shelf (COTS) based application providing interoperable, synchronous and asynchronous collaboration capability to the Department of Defence's (DoD) Combatant Commands, the military services and DoD agencies. The DCTS Program identifies, fields and sustains a dynamic set of evolving standard collaboration tools that bridge between DoD and the Intelligence Community. These tools enhance simultaneous, ad hoc crisis and deliberate continuous operational action planning (vertically and horizontally) across operational theatres and other domains that provide operational units and defence organisations simultaneous access to real-time operational, tactical, and administrative information.
DCTS offers voice and video conferencing, document and application sharing, instant messaging, and whiteboard functionality to support defence planning. It enables two or more distributed operational users to simultaneously participate in the mission planning process ("collaborative") without the need to be co-located ("distributed"). With DCTS, military forces enjoy the capability to link various C4I and mission planning systems together on a common network to share data, conduct collaborative planning, and collaboratively consult on information and data at various locations around the world. The DCTS strategy is to provide standards based services via COTS applications while supporting Government Off the Shelf (GOTS) required extensions to meet DoD CINC/Service/Agency or team unique requirements. DCTS has demonstrated interoperability and compliance with DoD collaboration interoperability criteria and has passed interoperability testing at the Joint Interoperability Testing Command (JITC).
Initial fielding of DCTS V1.1.12 began in April 2002. By December 2002, it was installed at 63 sites world-wide, with another 62 sites to be installed in 2003 at all combatant commands, their major components and all the services. Fielding of DCTS V2.0, with several user enhancements, is scheduled for January 2003.
GIG Enterprise Services (GES)
Global Information Grid (GIG) Enterprise Services (GES) is a high-priority, transformational initiative that provides a common set of net-centric, interoperable information capabilities across the Global Information Grid. These capabilities include on-demand access, collection, processing, storage, dissemination, and management of information to warfighters, policy-makers, and support personnel. Information producers will be able to publish their products in an environment that facilitates consumer discovery, retrieval, and utility. Information consumers will be able to publicise their information needs and then be notified when the required information becomes available.
GES is a collaborative effort of the Joint Staff, ASD (NII) - Assistant Secretary of Defence (Networks and Information Integration), and the Defence Information Systems Agency which will leverage the efforts of many organisations for the benefit of the Department of Defence.
Global Command and Control System- Joint (GCCS-J)
As the Department of Defence (DoD) joint command and control (C2) system of record, GCCS-J fuses a suite of critical warfighting capabilities to present an integrated, near real-time picture of the battlespace for planning and executing joint military and multinational operations. GCCS-J is an essential component for achieving the full spectrum dominance articulated in Joint Vision 2020 and is central to successful implementation of DoD Transformation objectives. GCCS-J customers include the Commander-in-Chief; Secretary of Defence; National Military Command Centre (NMCC); and Combatant, Joint Force, and Service Component Commanders. GCCS-J is operational at more than 600 sites world-wide.
GCCS-J consists of hardware, software, procedures, standards, and interfaces, providing world-wide connectivity at all levels of command. Built upon the Common Operating Environment (COE) infrastructure, GCCS-J integrates joint and Service/Agency C2 mission capabilities, databases, web technology, and office automation tools. It provides an open system architecture that allows a diverse group of systems and commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) software packages to operate at any GCCS-J location.
GCCS-J implements a series of capability improvements fielded as spiral and emergent releases within evolutionary blocks. Currently in Block IV, each release supports evolving user requirements and includes new or upgraded functional capabilities on an adaptable and constantly improving architecture.
GCCS-J continues to provide essential warfighting functionality in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). Since May 2001, GCCS-J has delivered three spiral releases: v3.4.0, v3.5.0, and v3.6.0. GCCS-J v3.6.0, released in January 2003, accelerated delivery of specific intelligence functionality by four months. This functionality is critical to the continued execution of OEF by USCENTCOM and supporting commands.
GCCS-J Block IV culminates with GCCS-J v4.0.0, scheduled for global release in 2004. GCCS-J v4.0.0 is an essential prerequisite to implementing greatly expanded web-based solutions. GCCS-J v4.0.0 will introduce a more sophisticated "n-tier" architecture supporting dynamic infrastructure resources, thin browser-based clients, and enterprise-wide services. GCCS-J v4.0.0 will introduce a new version of the underlying COE infrastructure and provide significant enhancements to mission capabilities in the areas of Force Planning, Intelligence, Readiness, Situational Awareness, and Sustainment.