information extraction pertaining to sea targets), but a significant portion of it would have more general utility.
Thus, the naval services (and similarly in the case of other joint or Service entities) will not “own” the NCII in the sense of a physical asset, just as no one body “owns” the Internet infrastructure. Rather, those charged with developing the NCII should have a concept of its overall capabilities and then see to what extent these capabilities are unique or, as would more generally be the case, shared or for common use. In this latter case, the NCII’s developers would have to interact with the broader community to ensure that developments meet their needs.
It is not possible in this report to indicate which components of the NCII are naval-unique and thus would be developed by the naval services alone and which would be shared or common-use assets developed more broadly. However, the NCII functional architecture (Figure 4.2) does provide a general way for the naval services to proceed. It delineates the necessary functional capabilities, and for each of those capabilities the naval office(s) developing the NCII would address how the capability is realized through naval-unique development or collaborative development for shared or common-use assets.
The committee believes it is feasible and desirable for the NCII to include the Navy’s tactical networks as well as its operational and strategic networks except in very rare special cases. Such an approach could offer the advantages of a uniform architecture and interfaces, resource management, and information assurance mechanisms and would be a great aid to interoperability. Clearly, a common architecture across the levels would greatly facilitate the rapid and widespread exchange of information that is central to network-centric operations.
A uniform architecture is not, however, the same thing as a seamless network. One concept for network-centric operations allows all data to flow seamlessly through any and all parts of the network. The committee does not agree with this concept. On the contrary, it believes, at least for the current state of technology, that the Navy’s tactical networks should be built using a uniform architecture and mechanisms but then deliberately segmented to provide speed-of-service guarantees and some degree of information assurance. Gateways, firewalls, and encryption devices should be interposed between segments.
More detail on this subject is contained in Appendix E, “Tactical Information Networks.”