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Introduction

The U.S. military and its allies have committed to a strategy of developing network-centric warfare (NCW) capabilities through ever-increasing levels of investment in and dependence on networked systems. As a result, the Army is becoming increasingly aware of the critical role that network science research, technology, and experimentation will play in achieving national defense goals. This report discusses a strategy for an Army center for conducting network science, technology, and experimentation supportive of all of the military services and joint operations.

This chapter provides the context for the study covered in this report, including clarifications to the statement of task made by the report’s sponsor. It also discusses likely goals that the establishment of an Army center for network science, technology, and experimentation (NSTE) could meet, basic assumptions of the study, and the environment in which the study was undertaken. It also explains the organization of the report.

BACKGROUND

The overall study requirement was to examine, evaluate, and recommend appropriate operating models and infrastructure for a network science, technology, and experimentation center (NSTEC) with special attention given to including assets currently existing within the Department of the Army. Determining appropriate potential relationships between such a center and existing government, industry, and academic organizations was also important, since such relationships are critical for promoting the effective transfer of scientific knowledge and technologies among the user community, and for furthering the development



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Strategy for an Army Center for Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation 1 Introduction The U.S. military and its allies have committed to a strategy of developing network-centric warfare (NCW) capabilities through ever-increasing levels of investment in and dependence on networked systems. As a result, the Army is becoming increasingly aware of the critical role that network science research, technology, and experimentation will play in achieving national defense goals. This report discusses a strategy for an Army center for conducting network science, technology, and experimentation supportive of all of the military services and joint operations. This chapter provides the context for the study covered in this report, including clarifications to the statement of task made by the report’s sponsor. It also discusses likely goals that the establishment of an Army center for network science, technology, and experimentation (NSTE) could meet, basic assumptions of the study, and the environment in which the study was undertaken. It also explains the organization of the report. BACKGROUND The overall study requirement was to examine, evaluate, and recommend appropriate operating models and infrastructure for a network science, technology, and experimentation center (NSTEC) with special attention given to including assets currently existing within the Department of the Army. Determining appropriate potential relationships between such a center and existing government, industry, and academic organizations was also important, since such relationships are critical for promoting the effective transfer of scientific knowledge and technologies among the user community, and for furthering the development

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Strategy for an Army Center for Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation and demonstration of technological innovations that will enable continuous development of NCW capabilities. NCW capabilities are highly dependent on information and communications network technologies and are most often associated with conventional warfighting operations. However, the nature of likely future U.S. adversaries has changed. In the next decade, it is unlikely that any other existing military force would take on the U.S. military in a force-on-force conventional war. Although the Army must be prepared for traditional conventional war, the greater likelihood is that potential enemies are going to resort to asymmetrical or irregular approaches so they do not have to directly counter U.S. military technology. To be fully relevant in the future, NCW capabilities that traditionally have been viewed in terms of large force-on-force operations will need to apply to the activities of small Army units and to interface with small groups of friendly foreign military, paramilitary, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and civilian government forces. Future networks must be described not only in terms of military operations, but also in terms of how they can integrate the social, cultural, economic, and political aspects of human performance, including understanding the adversary in irregular warfare. In recognition of this, while the traditional focus of Army NSTE on physical networks must continue, it must also support research activities that are on the cutting edge of applying network science to the challenges of asymmetric warfare. In this context, an Army NSTEC may well become the key organization setting the course for S&T in network-centric warfare. Technologies for command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR), and associated concepts such as situational awareness, are currently the main focus for development of the “network” in NCW. However, these technologies and concepts are only part of the overall picture. The contribution of the human dimension must be properly integrated within the spectrum of C4ISR technologies for the potential of NCW to be fully realized. This necessitates an integrated, multi-disciplinary approach to ensure that an NSTEC addresses human-intensive issues associated with the function of social and other non-physical networks. A challenge for the Army is to expand the present emphasis on C4ISR networks to incorporate the full scope of the emerging field of network science. The impending base realignment and closure (BRAC) relocations of research, development, and engineering resources to Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), Maryland, provides a prime opportunity to do so. The committee grappled with what functions should be included within the construct for an NSTEC. Clearly, basic and advanced Army research S&T activities are essential,1 but an NSTEC could also support acquisition program 1 These are activities supported through Army budgetary classifications 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3 for program funding.

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Strategy for an Army Center for Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation managers on a reimbursable basis to transition technology, essentially spanning the gamut of funding for research, development, and acquisition. The committee evaluated a variety of existing and creative approaches that could help the Army overcome very difficult organizational and bureaucratic barriers and considered options for various organizational models, both new ones and those that have been previously explored in other studies. STATEMENT OF TASK AND STUDY OBJECTIVES The statement of task for the study is contained in the Preface. This task statement was further clarified by the sponsor to include the specific study objectives outlined below: Consider networks in the broader sense. Examine the Army needs for network science and technology (S&T) to support its longer-term goals, including network layers commonly referred to as the transport, services, information, and human interaction layers. Compare these needs with the current Army organization to undertake S&T and assess the spectrum of practical options available to pursue them. These options should include physical locations, organizational models, and required infrastructure. Recommend an optimized collaborative approach for Army research, technology, and experimentation to solve important real-world Army problems involving network science and technology and network operations. Collaboration in this sense means developing a multi-disciplinary approach within the Army and also collaborating or partnering with academia, industry, and other relevant organizations to bring their expertise and intellectual capital to bear on relevant problems of mutual interest. Existing Army organizations, current plans, and legal authorities need to be considered. If changes are recommended, they need to be practical and capable of being executed in a timely and resource-constrained manner. Recommend how to relocate organizations currently involved with network science and technology at Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey, and other facilities to Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, to facilitate establishment of a world-class center of NSTE activity for the Army. MAJOR ASSUMPTIONS AND CONSTRAINTS NSTE is rapidly evolving with changing needs, emerging technologies, and new capabilities. Flexibility is an essential characteristic for any organizational structure that will engage in NSTE in the future. The committee assumed that the purpose of establishing an NSTEC would be to promote creativity and innovation, to attract and retain intellectual talent, to establish partnerships that can capitalize

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Strategy for an Army Center for Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation on frontier research at universities and in industry, and to develop affordable and timely solutions to issues concerning network technology and systems through interactions with the warfighter/user. The committee made other key assumptions focused on the uncertainties of need and the practicalities of resource constraints in recognition that the Army cannot undertake everything that it deems important. These include: Base realignment and closure (BRAC) decisions are faits accomplis, but the individual personnel who will physically relocate to Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) remain to be determined. The location of APG could limit the ability to recruit and retain personnel with the highest qualifications and desired levels of expertise. Army compromises between the ideal and the practical are going to be necessary and should be carefully balanced. Study recommendations should be based on practical and realistic approaches. Recommendations should not require new enabling legislation. The proposed NSTEC would be capable of serving the needs of both Army and joint operational requirements. Of necessity, the committee took a high-level approach to its analyses of both personnel and infrastructure. Detailed data on current and projected levels of personnel resources and investments in all of the network-related activities were not available for all organizations, making a detailed manpower analysis impossible. S&T funding for an NSTEC was estimated by extrapolating amounts provided for Fiscal Year 2006 network-related activities. NETWORK SCIENCE As a starting point, the committee reviewed findings and recommendations of the 2005 National Research Council (NRC) report Network Science, which identified for the Army key research challenges, specific research areas, and the scope of facilities and equipment necessary to conduct world-class research in network science (NRC, 2005). Although that report was focused on basic research, it provided findings that had considerable relevance to the establishment of an NSTEC. These findings can be briefly summarized as follows: Networks are pervasive in all aspects of life (biological, physical, and social). Fundamental knowledge about the prediction of the properties of complex networks is primitive.

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Strategy for an Army Center for Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation Current funding policies and priorities are unlikely to provide adequate fundamental knowledge. Network science is an emerging field, and there is consensus on the topics appropriate to a network science curriculum among practitioners of network research in diverse disciplines. The high value attached to the efficient and failure-free operation of global, engineered networks makes their design, scaling, operation, and protection a national priority. The 2005 report also identified seven major research challenges for network science (pp. 36-37): Dynamics, spatial location, and information propagation in networks. Better understanding of the relationship between architecture and function is needed. Modeling and analysis of very large networks. Tools, abstractions, and approximations are needed that allow reasoning about large-scale networks as well as techniques for modeling networks characterized by noisy, incomplete data. Design and synthesis of networks. Sufficient understanding and adequate techniques are needed to design or modify a network to obtain the desired properties. Increasing level of rigor and mathematical structure in characterizing networks. Abstracting common concepts across fields. Practitioners of network science in disparate disciplines need uniform definitions for common concepts. Better experiments and measurements of network structure. Current data sets on large-scale networks tend to be sparse, and tools for investigating their structure and functions are limited. Robustness and security of networks. A clear need exists to better understand and design networked systems that are both robust to component variations and secure against hostile intent. REPORT ORGANIZATION The logic of the study and the organization of this report are represented by the following sequence of questions: What network science, technology, and experimentation is needed by the Army? What constitutes NSTE across the Army today? What infrastructure resources are needed? What operating and governance models are most likely to satisfy the creation of a world-class NSTE capability?

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Strategy for an Army Center for Network Science, Technology, and Experimentation Chapter 2 discusses the scope of what a center for NSTE should do. Chapter 3 describes what constitutes NSTE in the Army today. Chapter 4 considers infrastructure requirements and the physical realization of an NSTEC, pre- and post-BRAC. Chapter 5 describes basic organizational goals, compares operating models, and evaluates alternatives.