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OVERVIEW: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities definition of network-centric operations, and network-centric operations are treated in terms of mission accomplishment by that system. When the committee examined the naval forces' mission spectrum from this point of view, it realized that the force capability has not developed rapidly enough in all mission areas since the end of the Cold War to keep up with the ensuing profound change of emphasis in overall mission orientation (see discussion in Box 1.2). As a consequence, attention is devoted in several parts of this report to the power projection mission, and network-centric operations are discussed in terms of the subsystems and components that will enable the naval force network to succeed in that mission. Finally, as requested in the terms of reference, attention is also given to the demands that the move to network-centric operations will make on the business practices and organization of the Department of the Navy, including the problems associated with the training, retention, and promotion of naval personnel in the developing network-centric operations environment, as well as the unprecedented opportunities offered by the new information and networking technologies. In the following overview of study results, the recommendations associated with each major topic are presented following the discussion of that topic. Additional recommendations are offered in Chapters 2 through 7. 1.2 LEADING THE TRANSFORMATION TO NETWORK-CENTRIC OPERATIONS 1.2.1 Integrated Systems for Operations Network-centric operations represent a new approach to warfighting. When that approach and its elements are discussed, familiar terms come to be used in new ways to deal with new concepts. In network-centric operations, a set of assets, balanced in their design and acquisition so as to be integrated with one another, must operate together effectively as one complete system to accomplish a mission. The assets assembled in such a network-centric operations (NCO) system encompass naval force combat, support, and command, control, communication, computing, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) elements and subsystems, integrated into an operational and combat network. Such subsystems will be designed and acquired to meet specific requirements of their tasks in the overall mission. For example, a fleet and amphibious force assembled for an expeditionary operation along the littoral will comprise subsystems designed for power projection but will also include antiair, antimissile, and antisubmarine subsystems to protect the naval force while it is projecting power ashore, as well as logistics subsystems to support the forces at sea and ashore. The subsystems' components will be ships, aircraft, missiles, communications, and other parts of the C4ISR network. These components will continue to
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OVERVIEW: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities Box 1.2 Network-Centric Operations for Power Projection The naval forces have always had the missions of deterrence, forward presence, sea and air control, and power projection. During the Cold War the emphasis was on strategic deterrence, protection of the sea transit of reinforcements to the European theater, and the ability, under the maritime strategy of the 1980s, to bring naval aviation within striking distance of the Soviet Union. Because the Soviet threats to the fleet were severe enough to keep it from carrying out those missions, defensive operations were of critical importance and led to networked operations in antisubmarine warfare (ASW) and Fleet Air Defense. The ASW network included fixed arrays such as the Sonar Ocean Surveillance Underwater System, as well as sensor and attack capabilities by maritime patrol aircraft, carrier-based aircraft, and ship- and submarine-based ASW systems, all operated in a cooperative manner to find and neutralize Soviet submarines. The Fleet Air Defense system included the Outer Air Battle systems, Aegis, and ultimately the cooperative engagement capability to counter low, stealthy, or supersonic antiship cruise missiles. Since the end of the Cold War the naval forces have turned their attention to expeditionary warfare and military operations other than war in the world's littoral zones, especially those of the Eurasian and African land masses. As threats against the fleet and movement over the seas have diminished, emphasis has shifted to the forward presence and power projection missions. In the words of the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Jay Johnson, USN, “The purpose of Naval Forces is to influence directly and decisively, events ashore from the sea—anytime, anywhere.”1 Although much work remains to be done in the other mission areas, it became apparent to the committee during its study that elements of the power projection mission have lagged significantly and now require renewed emphasis. These mission elements may be grouped according to the following phases of a campaign: Preparing the battlespace: This involves integrated battlespace sensing and sea- and air-launched strikes against inland targets using fleet firepower and information warfare; Landing the force: This includes countermine warfare, landing the Marines ashore in their developing Operational Maneuver From the Sea mode of operation, and providing them with close air support during the landing; Engaging the enemy; and Supporting the force ashore: This entails supplying fire support and logistic support from the sea. 1 Sestak, RADM Joseph A., Jr., USN, Director of Strategy and Policy Division. 1999. “A Maritime Concept for the Information Age,” brief presented to the Naval Studies Board on November 18, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (N51), Washington, D.C.
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OVERVIEW: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities involve research, development, and acquisition efforts involving extensive resources. Although this characterization of the NCO system might imply a classical system-subsystem-component hierarchy, it must be recognized that NCO systems may differ in composition, but not in concept, depending on the mission or the circumstances. Thus there can be different NCO systems for various purposes—e.g., for forward presence and deterrence, or for fighting a major theater war—sometimes operating simultaneously within a global network. To support such adaptations of the overall system concept, different stages of system design and acquisition will require different types of system-oriented analyses. Development and experimentation in the field to perfect various NCO concepts require operational analyses. System planning, programming, and budgeting, as well as making trade-offs among mission-oriented subsystems of what will become NCO systems, require systems analyses. Building the components and subsystems to work together satisfactorily requires system engineering. Network-centric operations represent a new paradigm for the naval forces, which no longer will be considered in terms of assemblages of ships, aircraft, Marine units, and weapons drawn together to tight battles. Rather, the platforms, Marine units, and weapons will be part of a network integrated into a system to carry out a mission, supported by a common command and information infrastructure. All the naval forces, at all command levels, will be involved in and affected by this change. Network-centric operations are characterized by the rapid and effective acquisition, processing, and exchange of mission-essential information among decision makers at all command levels, enabling them to operate from the same verified knowledge base, kept current according to the temporal needs of the commanders at the different levels. This approach will enable the naval forces to perform collaborative planning and to achieve rapid, decentralized execution of joint actions, based on the most accurate and timely situational and targeting knowledge available. It will enable them to focus the maneuvers and fire of widely dispersed forces to carry out assigned missions rapidly and with great economy of force. Network-centric operations systems include, in addition to the people who use the information in the network to direct operations, the naval forces' platforms, weapons, Marine units, and all the parts of the command and information structure within which they fit and that binds them together and guides their operations. Joint Service elements or forces and coalition forces operating with the naval forces must also be included. In any mission assignment, from peace-time engagement to combat in a major theater war, NCO systems encompass, as appropriate, all operations from a single weapon engaging a single target to a regional force including one or more fleets and Marine expeditionary forces that might be operating anywhere in the world. The command and information parts of NCO systems include all the sensors
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OVERVIEW: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities and their platforms, from shore-based installations through ships, manned and unmanned aircraft, and spacecraft; processing and display subsystems; communication links; common supporting software; the standards, rules, and procedures that lend structure to the network and enable seamless, integrated functioning of all its parts; and the people at all levels, in joint and combined forces, who use the information in carrying out their tasks and missions and who maintain and operate the system's infrastructure. The Naval Command and Information Infrastructure (NCII), meshed with and functioning as part of a joint and national infrastructure, must provide a functional framework for establishing and maintaining the relationships and for transferring information among all the system parts, and for coordinating functions across all the platforms and force units in the joint and combined environment. Figure 1.1 summarizes the comprehensive nature of network-centric operations systems; that view guided the committee's deliberations. 1.2.2 Creating Network-Centric Operations Systems Transforming the naval forces from platform-centric to network-centric design and operations will require a disciplined approach to developing very-large-scale integrated systems. New concepts of operation embodying new technical capabilities will have to be developed and then tested in the field, with the test results used to refine the concepts continually and adapt them to changing conditions of threat, environment, and technological advance. This means using up-front, empirically founded operational and system analyses to set system performance, cost, and schedule requirements based on emerging concepts of opera FIGURE 1.1 An NCO system structure.
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OVERVIEW: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities tion; performing studies of the trade-offs in alternative approaches to system design; selecting and documenting a baseline approach; managing the design and implementation of the system according to the planned schedule and cost targets, while being adaptable to unforeseen contingencies; verifying that the design meets requirements; and maintaining meticulous documentation of the entire process. To implement the system, responsible organizations must first devise joint concepts of how network-centric operations would work. These concepts will form the starting point for the spiral development process described below. Within the naval forces, the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) and the Commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC) have assigned such development responsibility to the Navy Warfare Development Command (NWDC) and the Marine Corps Combat Development Command (MCCDC), respectively. To date, these organizations have been functioning more or less independently, each devising concepts for its parent Service. However, since network-centric operations will be joint and will most likely involve coalition partners, the NWDC and MCCDC must work together and must incorporate the inputs from other Services and agencies, as well as from potential coalition partners, into their work. The implementation of network-centric operations does not start from a zero base. The naval forces are faced with transforming today' s systems—including “legacy” subsystems, new ones entering service or under development for future service, and also elements of subsystems of other Services, National agencies, and possibly coalition partners—into new, all-inclusive systems. All of these subsystems and their components must be able to operate together, even if they were not originally designed to do so. All must be accounted for in devising network-centric concepts of operation and in designing the systems that will support them. One of the greatest problems in shifting from today's platform-centric operational concepts to tomorrow's network-centric operational concepts is to ensure interoperability among the subsystems and components of the fleet and the Marine forces as well as of joint and coalition forces. The forces can operate to their full potential only if all subsystems and information network components can operate smoothly and seamlessly together. In the current context “interoperability” does not necessarily mean that the characteristics of all subsystems and components must match at the level of waveforms and data formats. Interoperability means that the subsystems must be able to transfer raw or processed data among themselves by any means that can be made available, from actually having the common waveforms and data formats to using standard interfaces or intermediate black boxes enabling translation from one to another. Ensuring interoperability will be a very complex, technically intensive task involving network protocols, data standards, consistency algorithms, and many other aspects of network design, as well as numerous procedural matters. The subsystem mix will evolve and will be different from the one that exists today.
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OVERVIEW: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities Eventually, today's legacy subsystems, most of which were not designed for interoperability, will give way to subsystems that are so designed, but only if the networks are configured appropriately now. Even so, different subsystem and component upgrades or replacements will have different time frames for development and installation, so that interface standards will have to ensure their proper meshing into overall systems as they are created. As network-centric operations systems are constituted, all will have to be based on the same command and information framework (the NCII) and all will have to be interoperable. Network-centric operations must be based on the transformation of both raw and processed data into “knowledge.” That is, the masses of information from often dispersed sources must be integrated, interpreted, and presented to combat leaders in a common operational picture that will enable them to discern meaningful patterns of enemy activity in conditions that are disordered and confused, and to act effectively on that information. This knowledge, coupled with their own experience, judgment, and intuition, will allow well-trained leaders to adapt to the situation at hand, identifying and exploiting enemy vulnerabilities while guarding against exploitation of their own. All the design concepts, equipment, and supporting elements of NCO systems must support this capability. Essential as they are, analytical methods alone are insufficient for the design of systems of this complexity. Actual experimentation by the fleet and Marine force elements is required, to learn how legacy subsystems and their components will operate together with existing or testbed versions of new subsystems and components and to devise concepts of operation using the new and the legacy subsystems and components in the actual operational environment. When such a development process, part of what has been called spiral development, is used, new equipment and concepts can be incorporated into the fleet and the Marine forces based on validated concepts of operation. In spiral development, equipment and operational concepts are designed, tested, and then refined or redesigned based on the results of real-world experiments. Concepts and components whose effectiveness is demonstrated in the experiments are incorporated into the operational forces, while those requiring improvement enter the next phase of the development spiral. This process will ensure that NCO systems remain vital and current, evolving continuously to incorporate new technology in a constantly changing environment. The process of spiral development can be expected to converge on successive versions of NCO systems that incorporate major force elements far more rapidly than do traditional processes that call for the full development of subsystems and components before outfitting the forces. Also, it will help to identify and resolve interoperability problems in time to avoid large and expensive retrofit programs. The shift from platform-centric to network-centric thinking and operation of naval forces will require a shift in the mind-sets, culture, and ways of doing business of all the naval forces (and, indeed, in their connections to other Services and National agencies). To shorten the interval between learning about situations
Representative terms from entire chapter: