2
Network-Centric Operations—Promise and Challenges

2.1 INTRODUCTION

2.1.1 Potential for Enhancing Mission Effectiveness

The promise of network-centric operations (NCO) for carrying out naval force combat and peacetime missions includes increased reaction speed and improved quality of decision making made possible by greatly improved situational awareness and access to widely dispersed forces and weapons. NCO are characterized by the rapid acquisition, processing, and exchange of mission-essential information among decision makers at all command levels, enabling them to operate from the same, verified, situational and targeting knowledge bases at the resolution and the decision cycle time required at each level. When coupled with a clear understanding of the higher commander’s intent, this shared awareness will enable naval forces to reach joint action decisions more rapidly than would otherwise be possible and to focus the maneuvers and fire of widely dispersed forces to the greatest effect possible.

In NCO, all naval force elements will operate as a coherent whole in ways that were not possible with previous capabilities, with their actions synchronized in support of the commander’s intent. The committee emphasizes, however, that network-centric operations must be conceived, designed, and implemented as systems consisting of sensors, human decision makers, forces and weapons, information repositories, and logistics. Every element of these systems must receive attention if the promised benefits of NCO—overwhelming naval warfighting superiority—are to be realized. It is envisioned that all levels of command, from the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) and the Commandant of



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Network-Centric Naval Forces: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities 2 Network-Centric Operations—Promise and Challenges 2.1 INTRODUCTION 2.1.1 Potential for Enhancing Mission Effectiveness The promise of network-centric operations (NCO) for carrying out naval force combat and peacetime missions includes increased reaction speed and improved quality of decision making made possible by greatly improved situational awareness and access to widely dispersed forces and weapons. NCO are characterized by the rapid acquisition, processing, and exchange of mission-essential information among decision makers at all command levels, enabling them to operate from the same, verified, situational and targeting knowledge bases at the resolution and the decision cycle time required at each level. When coupled with a clear understanding of the higher commander’s intent, this shared awareness will enable naval forces to reach joint action decisions more rapidly than would otherwise be possible and to focus the maneuvers and fire of widely dispersed forces to the greatest effect possible. In NCO, all naval force elements will operate as a coherent whole in ways that were not possible with previous capabilities, with their actions synchronized in support of the commander’s intent. The committee emphasizes, however, that network-centric operations must be conceived, designed, and implemented as systems consisting of sensors, human decision makers, forces and weapons, information repositories, and logistics. Every element of these systems must receive attention if the promised benefits of NCO—overwhelming naval warfighting superiority—are to be realized. It is envisioned that all levels of command, from the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) and the Commandant of

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Network-Centric Naval Forces: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities the Marine Corps (CMC) to individual sailors and marines, will engage in NCO over the complete spectrum of naval missions from humanitarian peacekeeping to full-scale war. The Navy and Marines of the future have four fundamental missions: maritime dominance, power projection, deterrence, and air dominance. Increased effectiveness in these missions is the goal of network-centric operations. Because of changes in the geopolitical environment and a shift to continental U.S. (CONUS)-based forces, a premium is placed on forward presence and sea-based forces. A major goal of NCO should be to have decision superiority, i.e., the ability to operate well inside an adversary’s decision cycle so as to significantly reduce or lock out his options. When rapid decision making is coupled with access to a wider range of high-precision guided weapons delivered from more distributed locations on the network, the probability of achieving first-round-for-effect targeting with an accompanying reduction of collateral damage and logistic tail will be greatly increased. 2.1.2 Measuring Output In NCO, combining sensors should enable naval forces to achieve results that surpass the sum of the results from individual sensor capabilities. For example, a single radar sensor can locate a target with great precision in range but with an angular uncertainty that can be orders of magnitude larger due to the width of the transmitted beam. (The resulting target location resembles a long, narrow ellipse, transverse to the target line of sight.) However, if a second radar sensor located at a different spatial position observes the same target at about the same time from a very different angle, the two regions of uncertainty intersect in a rather small overlap region. If both observations are combined to define the target position, uncertainty about its location is immediately refined in all directions to dimensions on the order of the range resolution (see Figure 1.4 in Chapter 1). Neither radar alone could provide the same overall location accuracy. Multiple-sensor cooperation in defining target location for precision-guided munitions will be a routine activity in NCO. In a more revolutionary sense, NCO can enable the naval forces, as the first forces on the scene in many cases, to establish the command and control for an entire joint task force with responsibility for air and missile defense, initial land operations, and other support functions. Benefits that derive from NCO include the greater flexibility of forces and support structure to conduct diverse operations faster than is possible today; the increased speed with which a commander in action can maneuver both forces and fire; the greater adaptiveness of pilots and controllers to shift en route aircraft to moving targets of opportunity; and the enhanced robustness of operations to the effects of uncontrollable events such as real-time enemy threats, tactics, and behavior, or the random events of nature and problems with technical systems.

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Network-Centric Naval Forces: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities Possibly the most important benefits for improved mission effectiveness are yet to be derived and will result from the development of new concepts of operations (CONOPS) made possible by a common information infrastructure (the Naval Command and Information Infrastructure (NCII)) and the development of highly integrated systems of human decision makers, sensors, forces, and weapons. The potential for a substantial increase in mission effectiveness is the value proposition afforded by NCO. Realizing that potential will require that CONOPS be developed and doctrine changed with this top-level output metric in mind. Operations analyses, systems analysis, simulations, operations gaming, field experiments, and prototype forces must all be used to derive quantitative measures of improved, if not revolutionary, mission effectiveness as the output metric. Such measures might include target(s) destroyed, opposing forces turned back or defeated, success in completing a combined exercise plan, or other measures of mission accomplishment. Understanding this simple concept of output metrics is crucial before delving into the technical issues associated with networks, links, architectures, and other details of infrastructure. If, for example, NCO can make bomb damage assessment (BDA) more timely and accurate, then restrikes against destroyed targets can be avoided, thereby reducing risk to pilots and permitting a greater number of engaged targets. One study suggests that improving BDA may reduce the number of strikes by as much as 25 percent.1 Finding: While the Department of the Navy has a long tradition and in many cases leads the way in network-centric-like operations in such missions as air defense and antisubmarine warfare, it does not currently possess the metrics and measuring systems needed for the broad range of NCO mission areas envisioned. Department of the Navy efforts to implement NCO could be greatly improved by identifying output measures directly tied to mission effectiveness. 2.1.3 Evolving in a Changing Context The naval forces—i.e., the Navy-Marine team—will continue to be a major forward-deployed arm of the United States around the world well into the foreseeable future. They are likely to be engaged in a wide range of operations from humanitarian relief to full-scale war. Engagements will occur at sea, sometimes far from friendly territories, and at times on land without the benefit of in-country support systems. The Navy-Marine team will sometimes have power projection ashore as a major mission, entailing many new challenges for which solutions do not currently exist. The Navy and Marines must develop an operational process 1   Soules, CAPT Stephen, USN, Joint C4ISR Decision Support Center [Norfolk Brief 99] (U), Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (C3I), Washington, D.C., February 16, 1999, briefing to the committee (classified).

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Network-Centric Naval Forces: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities for accomplishing this mission and must put in place the organization and structure to implement the process. This process includes preparing the battlefield through strikes, landing the Marines while dealing with mine warfare, and supporting the Marines once ashore with long-range fire, logistics from the sea, and control of the seas. Because of the dispersed nature of the likely engagement scenarios and the need for speed of action, and in some cases for new CONOPS, naval forces stand to benefit significantly if the move to global network-centric operations currently under way within the Department of the Navy can be planned, led, and executed cohesively. 2.1.3.1 Planning for Collaboration and Interoperability Future naval force operations will require joint-Service collaboration and in most cases coalition involvement. Naval forces have a core set of equipment, doctrine, training, and responsibilities, but the other Services and agencies of the United States provide critically needed additional capabilities in almost all engagements. The Air Force provides bombers, in-flight aircraft refueling, specialized stealth bombers, long-duration manned and unmanned reconnaissance air vehicles, and other resources. The National Reconnaissance Office provides vitally needed overhead sensors of the battlespace. The Army provides large numbers of ground troops in any major land engagement and is much more richly endowed than the Marines in long-range weapons and support structure for sustained operations. The Navy and Marines cannot do the whole job by themselves. The naval forces alone do not have a complete system involving sufficient situational sensors, and forces and weapons, to successfully conduct many of the missions assigned to them. Moreover, the Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) vision of future operations is exceedingly joint and demands unprecedented integration, not mere defusing of conflict across the Services. In designing the NCII and planning for future network-centric operations, the Department of the Navy must accept the responsibility to provide the necessary interfaces to ensure effective interoperability with the sensors and assets from other Services and agencies because the Department of the Navy is the beneficiary of these resources. Joint force commanders of the future must be able to seamlessly integrate across the various Services. The design and implementation of the NCII and NCO planning must be fully compliant with the vision and intent of Joint Vision 2010.2 National interests will often dictate that the United States be part of a bilateral or multinational coalition force. Indeed, coalition operations will probably be—as they are today—the norm rather than the exception. The Department of the Navy and the DOD will need to develop and ensure effective methods of information interoperability with these coalition forces as new network-centric 2   Shalikashvili, GEN John M., USA. 1997. Joint Vision 2010. Joint Chiefs of Staff, The Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

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Network-Centric Naval Forces: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities systems are developed and deployed. Coalition members can change from engagement to engagement and sometimes will not have procured the appropriate equipment or developed the appropriate doctrine. This presents many challenges—including the need to establish links and liaisons quickly in a crisis. Doing so can greatly leverage the capabilities of allied forces, which are often numerous and in place. 2.1.3.2 Providing Comprehensive Support for Decision Making and Action To ensure smooth functioning across joint force operations, the NCII, the hardware and software that integrate seamlessly all the elements of NCO—namely, sensors, information and knowledge bases, logistics and support, commanders, and the forces and weapons and their subsystems (see Figure 1.1 in Chapter 1)—must be entirely consistent with DOD standards. However, investment in a common information structure alone is not sufficient to realize the significant potential benefits of NCO. In addition, investments must be made in sensors because the Department of the Navy lacks many of the sensor systems necessary to accomplish future missions. For example, naval aircraft are not equipped with appropriate sensors to track and destroy mobile and maneuvering land-based targets. The Marines need some form of a hovering observation and communications-relay platform over the battlespace to implement their land-attack plans. In the future, determining whether the desired effects of a military action have been achieved (the output metric) may require a collection of sensors that is not in place today from any U.S. resource. Investments must also be made in supporting human decision makers so that they can reach more accurate decisions more quickly. Research in the cognitive sciences, in such areas as naturalistic decision making,3 may provide answers regarding how humans make better decisions under stress and time pressures. The science of naturalistic decision making shows that, given time pressure, high stakes, and uncertainty, human intuition rather than analytic reasoning takes over. In stressful situations, experts recognize patterns and react immediately without building and evaluating multiple options. The Department of the Navy may need to train commanders in recognizing patterns in typical cases and anomalies encountered in operations to improve their mental simulation skills and enable quicker and better decisions. Figure 2.1 illustrates the observe, orient, decide, and act (OODA) process in simple terms. At any point in time, Navy and Marine commanders at all levels are working in a context with specified objectives and constraints. This context 3   Klein, Gary. 1997. Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., November.

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Network-Centric Naval Forces: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities FIGURE 2.1 Steps in the observe, orient, decide, and act (OODA) loop. is their military situation, which includes the strength, status, and location of friendly, coalition, neutral, and enemy forces; the political situation; environmental constraints; and any other factors, such as enemy tactics and morale, that can influence future actions and outcomes. The military situation is observed imperfectly by sensors of all types, ranging from satellite sensors to Aegis ships and E-2 aircraft, to Marine forward observers and even human spies. The information from all these sensors, some of which is erroneous and sometimes deliberately misleading or contradictory, must be collected and converted into a higher level of knowledge by staff personnel, or better yet by computers and software agents whenever possible, because of their speed. Validated information is presented to commanders so that they can make assessments, estimates, and judgments, i.e., orient themselves to the operational picture. Based on this situational awareness, the constraints presented by the military situation, and the time and resources available, commanders must decide what to do. Commanders can use a variety of instruments, the most potent of which are forces and weapons, to effect change in the military situation. A commander who is planning what to do when tensions are rising may have enough time to seek additional input from sensors. A commander who observes that his ship is under missile attack may have only seconds to deploy defensive weapons. Time is a very important dynamic that overlays every OODA loop. Therefore, the NCII must be designed to reflect the time dynamic of most critical network-centric operations and to ensure that the OODA loop can be executed in the required time. Early in the NCII development process, requirements must be

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Network-Centric Naval Forces: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities derived for response time and quality of information, based on analysis of likely future operations. When validated, these requirements must inform the overall NCII systems design. In some operations, the required time to complete the OODA loop may be so fast that it cannot be met by the response time of the NCII. In these cases, specialized closed-loop automated systems may have to be used. The Navy and Marine decision makers who will affect military situations and outcomes range from the CNO and CMC to a ship commander, an aircraft commander, or a Marine platoon leader, and potentially to individual squadron leaders. This entire range of individuals could conceivably be operating simultaneously on the network, and the total number engaged at any time could be quite large. The average and peak numbers of users and their response-time requirements must be determined and analyzed as part of NCII system design. Each decision maker has a level of required information, with its associated level of granularity and specificity, as a basis for acting decisively in his or her own OODA loop time dimension. Special priority must be given to high-temporal-response OODA loops, such as in missile defense, for which traffic bottlenecks in the system could mean disaster and loss of a platform. The NCII must be designed to accommodate all these different requirements. In addition, the type of operations being conducted by decision makers in their OODA loops at any given time will determine further requirements for the NCII. In operations ranging from operations other than war through major theater war, the tempo in each OODA loop and hence the demands on the NCII will increase significantly as tensions escalate. The NCII must be designed to respond dynamically to these changing requirements and to give each user confidence that the system will provide the necessary sensor information to permit deliberation, decision making, and execution that preclude the adversary’s ability to respond. 2.1.4 Examples of Network-Centric Operations and Requirements for Success in Mission Objectives As designers undertake the difficult job of designing the NCII to enable future NCO, it is useful to present brief examples or vignettes of missions or operations that occur in different parts of the four-dimensional space described above in terms of the OODA loop. In addition to indicating the range and characteristics of the information needed by the decision makers involved at various levels in resolving military situations, the scenarios also highlight technical requirements to be met by sensor systems and other sources of information in achieving mission success. The committee points out here that its definition of NCO is quite general and does not prejudge important issues such as the form of command relationships, extent of delegation, dependence on automated systems, or globality of the networking. NCO encompass a broad range of activities over diverse circumstances. For example, the commander of a particular peacemaking operation might de-

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Network-Centric Naval Forces: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities mand rigid control over even low-level actions, such as whether to engage a single enemy aircraft, because such actions could have strategic consequences. In another peacemaking operation, authority for on-the-spot decisions might be delegated down to a marine platoon. In large, intense wars against a highly competent enemy, operations might be driven by mission orders with extensive delegation and relatively little middle management; further, they might include—for certain periods of time—automated actions by air and missile defenses. In some instances, NCO might involve a fleet commander depending heavily on information provided from sensors and analysts many thousands of miles away (in an Internet-like fashion). In other instances, NCO might pertain only to the real-time sharing, within a much smaller region, of fire-control-quality information (in a cooperative engagement capability (CEC)-like fashion). One of the distinguishing features of NCO is that mission objectives are achieved by coordinating functions across platform boundaries. NCO are thus a natural next step in warfighting that already includes multisensor cueing and networked defense systems. But network centricity is revolutionary, perhaps, in the sense that many critical mission components, including self-defense, targeting, and firing of weapons, will rely to an unprecedented extent on close multiplatform cooperation. In fact, the shift to NCO is driven in part by the inability of sensors on any single platform to provide the information necessary for force protection and power projection in the modern threat environment. While traditional requirements are tied to platforms and platform subsystems, the technical requirements for NCO begin with the need to accomplish missions. Of the missions mentioned above in Section 2.1.1, the Navy has built considerable networking capability in deterrence, air power, and sea dominance, surface and undersea. The committee’s judgment was, however, that the Navy’s capability for the power projection mission, particularly the land-attack aspect, lags behind those of other mission areas. Hence in the examples below and in the remainder of the report, major emphasis is given to the land-attack aspect of the network-centric power projection mission. 2.1.4.1 Preparation for Major Theater War When naval forces conduct strike planning for a major theater war during rising tensions and with a time frame of days or months, Navy and Marine commanders and staff are working with information at an intermediate level of detail on the numbers, location, and characteristics of targets. Because commanders in this situation must directly order and oversee execution of sensor and weapon missions, it is their responsibility to obtain the information needed to develop plans and a prioritized and synchronized target queue, including the type and number of forces and weapons to be used. As tensions escalate, the effort and focus turn to indication and warning and a faster update of order-of-battle information through surveillance and reconnais-

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Network-Centric Naval Forces: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities sance, thus increasing the sensor tasking rate and the associated flow of information through the network. Given that many of the sensors to be tasked will not be organic to the Navy or Marines, the NCII must provide seamless connectivity to these joint assets so that the target queue can be updated continuously as targets are destroyed, as friendly weapons are no longer available, or as environmental conditions change. The position and mobility of the aim points must be understood at spatial and temporal resolution sufficient to ensure that any weapon or sensor will execute effectively. The full suite of sensors available on surface and air platforms within the sphere of influence must be accessible to commanders on the network so that they have the information required for flexibility and speed in adapting to changing requirements. The results of any attacks must be quickly ascertainable based on rapid input from appropriate sensors. For complex targets, such as military positions in urban environments, several different sources of data may have to be tasked, fused, and analyzed quickly. Upon firing, the weapons inventory will be decremented automatically and the information automatically presented to the commanders. 2.1.4.2 Long-range Targeting The following scenario, focused on long-range targeting, illustrates the need for joint networked operations in many military situations and highlights the complexity of the technical requirements for success in this mission component. Satellite imagery shows enhanced activity at a terrorist base located 40 miles from friendly territory. The satellite imagery is presented through the NCII to the Navy battle group commander, who decides to monitor and attack if terrorist vehicles are directed toward the friendly territory. A Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) is deployed, and the synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery gathered in early flights is added via the NCII to the National Imagery and Mapping Agency’s (NIMA’s) point positional database (PPDB) (aboard JSTARS or located in CONUS) to determine the precise latitude, longitude, and elevation of fixed targets in the base. The data are entered into the automated planning system used by the battle group commander and his staff to preplan an F18 mission strike with joint standoff weapon-Global Positioning System (JSOW-GPS) missiles. On the fifth day of flight operations, the moving-target indicator (MTI) radar on JSTARS indicates significant movement in the angular sector that contains the base. Imagery from a Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) confirms that the movement is due to terrorist vehicles leaving the base, and not to commercial traffic. The JSTARS data and the Global Hawk information are instantly provided to the

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Network-Centric Naval Forces: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities battle group commander, who decides to act by ordering an attack on the terrorist base and vehicles. While on the carrier, the JSOW missiles on F18s are loaded with GPS coordinates for approved targets in the terrorist base. The F18s take off and head toward their target. Intelligence indicates that GPS jamming might be a problem, so the F18s ensure that GPS coordinates are accurate and release the JSOWs. As the JSOW missiles fly toward the base, each detects that its Inertial Navigation System (INS) and GPS coordinates differ by more than an acceptable margin, suggesting the effects of jamming. The INS in each missile now guides it to the selected target. The targets in the terrorist base are destroyed. Because the terrorist vehicles are moving, they cannot be targeted with a GPS weapon. Based on the earlier alert status, special forces were landed and positioned to laser-designate any vehicular movement out of the terrorist base. The battle group commander decides to attack any moving targets with Maverick missiles fired from an F18. The F18 flies into enemy territory and releases its AGM-65C missiles. The missiles fly to the laser-designated targets and destroy them. The technical keys to success in this mission scenario are as follows: Satellite intelligence; Precise localization of fixed targets by adding SAR data against NIMA’s PPDB; Precise GPS localization of the aircraft before launch, and download of the data to the missile; Self-localization of the JSOW missile using inertial navigation when GPS is denied; MTI radar indications of movement; Imagery validation of potential moving targets using a UAV; Ground designation of moving targets; and Instant information on the situation provided by the NCII to the battle group commander. The scenario illustrates the complex interplay between intelligence and tactical data that must be designed into the NCII. Satellite data are extremely valuable for identifying a potential target but often do not provide tactical targeting data. To provide the precision needed to target smart weapons, SAR and MTI data must be processed extensively, which works for fixed targets but not mobile targets. With the support of a network of sensors and platforms, GPS smart weapons are well suited for fixed targets. Currently, mobile targets can be detected by MTI but still require visual identification, which can be provided by imagery obtained from UAVs, and designation when targeted from the air, which

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Network-Centric Naval Forces: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities involves the potential for significant risk to friendly assets. The critical capabilities are accurate identification to prevent kills of the wrong target and very timely localization to keep the target within range of the weapon. Reliance on National and joint assets for satellite imagery, the JSTARS SAR, and the Global Hawk information illustrates the importance of designing an NCII that has seamless interfaces to the valuable sensor assets enabling this kind of complex operation. 2.1.4.3 Individual Combat Missions In a major theater war, individual sailors, marines, and aviators conduct combat in a time frame of seconds, minutes, or hours and are told the “what” of their commander’s intent. With few exceptions, the “how” is left to these frontline operators, who work within the OODA operational model to plan and execute against the assigned target in a very stressful space-time dimension. They must have information about enemy defenses to outmaneuver them and must know or negate the target location (in four dimensions, including time) in the reference frame of the weapon or sensor to be used. Given that modern, high-speed, stealthy, and precision weapons are deployed by all combatants, decision times are short, and the effects of attacks must be determined dynamically with great precision and speed. Because all the information for planning and execution must be timely and specific enough for mission completion, this situation represents the highest level of detail required and the most exacting time dimension. Combat in these circumstances will often place the greatest demands on the responsiveness of the NCII and movement of information through it and on the speed with which decisions can be made and acted on. 2.1.4.4 Network-Centric Expeditionary Operations Expeditionary power projection operations include amphibious landing, fire and logistics support of forces ashore, and establishment of air superiority. At the same time, the task force commander must provide force protection, including theater, air, ballistic, and cruise missile defense, antisubmarine warfare (ASW), and mine countermeasures (MCM). Networking for each of these functions and/ or missions will carry its own particular requirements for the NCII. Fully networking the overall expeditionary operations to provide and enable sharing of a comprehensive joint operational picture offers the potential of a very great improvement of efficiency and effectiveness in a joint system-like operation. While the land-attack aspect of the power projection mission is emphasized in the ashore examples and throughout much of this report, it should be emphasized also that expeditionary power projection by the joint task force (JTF) will include littoral battlespace preparation involving ASW and MCM, as well as

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Network-Centric Naval Forces: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities different mission types, and with different operational communities. Experiments should complement modeling and simulation activities and demonstrations such as the advanced concept technology demonstrations (ACTDs). They should be designed to provide insight into the ramifications of a new operational concept or innovative technologies. They should have hypotheses about and measures of effectiveness, and as such require rigorous analysis of results. They can fail in their ability to find the right solution but should always succeed in providing knowledge about the ramifications of new ideas and technologies. Both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force have incorporated experimentation in their own transition to network-centric architectures. Their programs have helped to refine not only system architectures but operational architectures as well. The spiral process they applied was essential to their transition strategy because it accelerated innovations into the field. Analogously, this core process is essential to the Navy’s migration path for NCO, and it warrants further discussion. 2.5.3 The Spiral Process 2.5.3.1 Characteristics of the Spiral Process The spiral process is also called evolutionary development because it “… is an innovative method to field a system quickly using commercial and government off-the-shelf equipment, with maximum user involvement throughout the process.”10 The first spiral is usually regarded as the first development cycle of a system. Subsequent spirals allow technology insertion, addition of new mission capabilities and upgrades, and enhancement of interoperability and integration, all in an environment of continuous user feedback. The process characteristically partitions the more traditional development cycle into shorter, incremental cycles, during which operators get hands-on access to the evolving system in each cycle and provide their feedback and requirements to a development team that is prepared to respond with modifications. In so doing, the operators may modify their own operational processes and concepts based on use of the emerging capability. The spiral process is more than an acquisition process; it also supports reengineering the operational concepts. Each spiral has its own defined activities, performance objectives, schedule, and cost; each spiral concludes with a user decision to field the system, continue with evolution, or stop. The spiral process has several distinguishing characteristics: 10   Gilmartin, Kevin, Electronic Systems Command Public Affairs. 1998. Spiral Development Key to EFX 98. Department of the Air Force, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass. Available online at <http://www.hanscom.af.mil/ESC-PA/news/1998/jul98/efx98.htm>.

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Network-Centric Naval Forces: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities Continuous feedback is accepted from users throughout each spiral based on their actual use of the evolving capabilities. This is a preferred alternative to a paper-requirements process. It is an acquisition process—the operators’ reactions are used to alter actual system capabilities during development. The operational concepts supported by the system capabilities are evolved as well, through a reengineering of operational processes, doctrine, tactics, and organizations. An experimentation program provides the framework for the spiral process to evolve new operational concepts and processes in addition to the new system capabilities. 2.5.3.2 Advantages of the Spiral Process The spiral process is a powerful alternative to the traditional acquisition process. One of its advantages is that it offers a sound replacement in areas where technology is changing rapidly and cycle times in the commercial sector are short compared to the traditional DOD requirements and acquisition processes. It is difficult to specify requirements for revolutionary concepts in advance and equally difficult to anticipate how new and innovative capabilities will be used. Rather, such understanding matures over time. The spiral process as embedded in an experimentation framework enables a faster maturation of this understanding in incremental bursts and over discrete, short time periods. The spiral process also accomplishes the following: It enables new capabilities to be developed based on known requirements (from actual use) rather than on unknown requirements (postulated many years in advance of deliveries into the field). It facilitates interoperability and integration of systems. Spiral development is effective at uncovering interoperability problems because the output of each cycle, though intermediate, is the result of a testing and integration process using operators with hands-on access. This is the best method for uncovering anomalies in interoperability. It reduces risk. It is possible to focus on higher-risk and unknown aspects of programs in early cycles of the process, rather than delaying until the final stages of a long requirements, design, and development process to detect problems and identify their solutions. It accelerates fielding of innovative operational processes and systems. The intermediate products of the spiral process can themselves be deliverables for operational use. Systems results can be fielded rapidly because there is a direct and immediate correlation between the product designed and developed and the operational process supported, which can be replicated in the field without another prolonged requirements-and-development phase.

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Network-Centric Naval Forces: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities 2.5.4 Spiral Development in Army and Air Force Programs 2.5.4.1 Army Experimentation Program The Army vision of battlefield digitization was articulated in the early 1990s. The goal is improved lethality and increased operational tempo through the application of information technology. Significantly enhanced situational awareness at all echelons is intrinsic. To evolve, the Army used a series of experiments to shape and equip its future force by evaluating networked forces equipped with information technologies. More specifically, the Army embarked on a series of experiments, simulations, and exercises, including several advanced warfighting experiments (AWEs), echelon by echelon. This process continues today with a view toward fielding an Army XXI over the next several years and evolving toward the Army After Next by FY 2020+. Each experiment required changes to the then-current operational concepts and doctrine, supported by certain advanced information technology capabilities not fielded in the operational Army. The resulting systems architecture was a composite of experimental technologies integrated with legacy systems, designed and developed as an integrated product specifically for the experiment. Because of continuing problems with interoperability, the Army evolved a technical architecture after soliciting responses from the commercial sector. At least two-thirds of this architecture was migrated into the first version of the Joint Technical Architecture (JTA). Today the Army’s unique extension of the JTA is synopsized as JTA-Army. Compliance is addressed through acquisition oversight and certification testing conducted on systems before fielding. The Director for Information Systems, Command, Control, Communications, and Computers is the responsible architect and reports directly to the Army’s top acquisition executive. The Army’s use of the spiral process in the migration strategy resulted from its experience with the Task Force XXI, an AWE that culminated in a force-on-force engagement at the National Training Center in March 1997. The preparation began with an operational architecture that described how a digitized brigade would conduct operations if equipped with all the information technology the Army had at the time. A spiral evolutionary process was used to deliver the systems architecture. This is discussed in an article by General Steven Boutelle, USA, and Alfred Grasso, in the Army RD&A magazine.11 The Army has given much credit to the spiral process for the transformation. The process was used at the Central Technical Support Facility at Fort Hood, Texas, where operators 11   Boutelle, BG Steven, USA, and Alfred Grasso. 1998. “A Case Study: The Central Technical Support Facility,” Army RD&A, March-April, pp. 30-33. Available online at <ftp://204.151.48.250/docs/dacm/rda9802.pdf>.

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Network-Centric Naval Forces: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities trained with a series of operations-like drills on the systems architecture that evolved in increasingly robust stages. The evolutionary acquisition process allowed developers to adapt and/or correct while operators trained. The net result was an integrated “system of systems” that was used in the AWE. For Task Force XXI, the architectural process began when an operational architecture was postulated. Legacy systems and digitization initiatives were evolved for the experiment to support that postulation and to conform to the then-current Army technical architecture. The actual conduct of the AWE was affected by some immaturity in certain advanced technologies used, but this is to be expected with an experimental process. The Army gained substantial knowledge from the event. The subsequent assessment of what actually happened during the AWE was used to accelerate certain key system acquisitions for subsequent fielding by the Army. The net result was that the Army moved to accelerate into the field operational concepts and a system architecture that incorporated key information technologies. This constituted an intermediate step toward a longer-term goal, one that will be achieved at a considerably accelerated pace in years over that allowed by the traditional acquisition process. Today the Army is pursuing a migration strategy that incorporates the spiral process and experimentation as key components. Joint experimentation is being expanded, and an international coalition program for digitization is in the early stages, with specific international partners. 2.5.4.2 Air Force Experimentation Program The vision of the battlespace infosphere proposed to the Air Force by the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board (AFSAB) is organized around information.12 The architecture framework addresses not only the capabilities of network-connected command, control, communications, computing, and intelligence (C4I) components with database and communications services but also all forces and systems associated with conducting a military operation. To move toward this vision, the AFSAB proposed jump-starting a prototype of the battlespace infosphere, starting with the colocation of elements of the Electronic Systems Command (ESC) and an aerospace command, control, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C2ISR) center, and then moving rapidly to a major experiment applying many Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency initiatives, which, if successful, would result in “leave behinds” for operations. Locating this initiative near Norfolk, Virginia, was anticipated to improve “jointness.” Use of the spiral development model initially developed at 12   U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board. 1998. Report on Information Management to Support the Warrior, SAB-TR-98-02. Department of the Air Force, Washington, D.C., December. Available online at <http://ecs.rams.com/afosr/download/sab98r1.pdf>.

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Network-Centric Naval Forces: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities ESC was intrinsic to the migration and was articulated as a specific recommendation: “… [T]he evolution model starts with a set of mature technologies plus an initial concept. The initial experiments will result in a revised concept and possibly a revised list of technologies. The art in using this spiral approach to concept and system evolution is to find the collection of mature technology that will support a meaningful test of the concept. If this spiral development approach is done correctly, this will simultaneously change the way people think about and deal with information while accelerating the development and maturation of enabling technologies.”13 The migration process applied by the Air Force for its command and control (C2) architecture is illustrated by the expeditionary force experiments (EFXs) used to build the Expeditionary Aerospace Force. These are major and minor experiments conducted every year, alternating in scale every other year. EFX98 was a major experiment that used processes that align with the generic migration framework described above. The EFX98 explored command and control using global networks for forces and information. The prototype operational organization was significantly reduced in footprint. A robust network linked shooters to C2 nodes to gain improved responsiveness. The objectives included reduced time lines and en route mission updates for changes in targeting based on an assessment of the situation more current than that available at the outset of the mission. The operational architecture and systems architecture used in the actual experiment, conducted in September 1998, resulted from the “fourth spiral” of an evolutionary acquisition process begun at ESC many months earlier. The JTA-Air Force was applied as the standards and guidelines. Spirals occurred approximately every 3 months. Many operators exercised the evolving systems architecture that included many technology initiatives and continuously evolved until the time of the experiment. Their hands-on use stimulated many adaptations that eventually were stabilized in the architectures used for conducting EFX98. The result assessment is being used to establish an integrated C2 capability for the field. The EFX98 was so successful14 that the Air Force determined that the spiral process for evolutionary acquisition should be adopted Air Force-wide. The process is currently being documented in an Air Force instruction with the intent to mandate its application. 13   United States Air Force Scientific Advisory Board. 1998. Report on Information Management to Support the Warrior, SAB-TR-98-02. Department of the Air Force, Washington, D.C., December, p. x. Available online at <http://ecs.rams.com/afosr/download/sab98r1.pdf>. 14   As with Task Force XXI, “success” in an experiment does not imply that all innovations applied in the experiment are ready for operations. The knowledge derived from the experiment can be the most important product.

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Network-Centric Naval Forces: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities 2.5.5 Navy and Marine Corps Experimentation The Navy and Marine Corps have embraced large-scale field experimentation. The Navy used a war game, Global ’97, to study ways that Joint Vision 2010 would be applied in the future for naval forces and also for joint task forces. A series of fleet battle experiments (FBEs) has been planned, and many experiments already have been executed to explore new concepts and systems. Among these are the maritime fire support demonstrator, the cooperative engagement capability, and new strategies for theater ballistic missile defense. ACTDs are also being used to explore emerging technologies with a view to earlier (than traditional) fielding. FBEs Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, and Echo are completed. More are planned.15 Alpha was linked with a prior Marine AWE called Hunter Warrior, conducted in March 1997. This experiment explored increases in lethality against time-critical targets with a robustly networked force of sea- and air-based shooters employing automated pairing of weapons to targets and allowing deconfliction (collision avoidance) of all objects in the integrated airspace.16 Among the concepts tested were naval fire17 coordination, C4I, the arsenal ship, and joint precision fire. FBE Delta in September 1998 combined Navy and Army sensors and shooters, real and simulated, to combat a simulated attack by North Korea. Submarines, surface combatants, and aircraft were linked with a joint fire coordination network. The common operational picture enabled by Navy sensors was exploited by Army helicopters to react on time lines not previously demonstrated.18 FBE Echo, in tandem with the Marine Corps’ Urban Warrior experiment in the San Francisco Bay area, dealt with maritime asymmetrical threats in a littoral urban environment, using new concepts for undersea warfare. It also continued to explore naval fire, networked sensors, and strike/land-attack weaponry with command and control and theater air defense. FBE Foxtrot is currently in the 15   FBE Foxtrot, Golf, and Hotel have been planned for December 1999, May 2000, and September 2000, respectively. 16   Alberts, David S., John J. Garstka, and Frederick P. Stein. 1999. Network Centric Warfare: Developing and Leveraging Information Superiority. CCRP Publication Series, Department of Defense, Washington, D.C. Available online at <www.dodccrp.org>. 17   Fire encompasses all ordnance deliveries and their required targeting, as well as integrating and coordinating mechanisms. See Soroka, Maj Thomas, USMC, 1997, A Concept for Seabased Warfighting in the 21st Century, Working Paper, Naval Doctrine Command, Norfolk, Va., October 31 (unpublished); and Maritime Battle Center, Navy Warfare Development Command, 1998, “The New Naval War College,” in Surface Warfare, Vol. 23, No. 5, September/October, pp. 2-5. 18   Alberts, David S., John J. Garstka, and Frederick P. Stein. 1999. Network Centric Warfare: Developing and Leveraging Information Superiority. CCRP Publication Series, Department of Defense; Washington, D.C. Available online at <www.dodccrp.org>.

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Network-Centric Naval Forces: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities planning stages to explore network-centric concepts for precision engagement, mine warfare, antisubmarine warfare, and counterweapons of mass destruction. The FBEs alternate between U.S.-based and forward-deployed fleets. Each experiment is focused on a core mission, such as land attack. Results are assessed to establish how new technologies and tactics may enhance the capabilities of the fleet (and joint/allied forces). As an example, a technology concept called Ring of Fire19 has been tested and modified four times. The objective is to allow surface ships to respond quickly to a call for fire ashore using both existing and future weapons (simulated). To date, this experimentation has been used to demonstrate a significant increase in the speed with which targets can be identified and attacked. The concept is being evolved to include ground forces: Marine or Army, whichever unit is best positioned to engage. Ultimately the maturity of the concept will result in fielding a land or sea capability.20 The ACTD Extending the Littoral Battlespace, which had an initial demonstration in April 1999, provided new capabilities for theater-wide situation awareness, integration of sensors, and over-the-horizon connectivity. The objectives were to leverage C4I for improved precision targeting and mass remote firepower through integration and collaboration for use by dispersed units. Experimental capabilities included a central tactical information infrastructure for enhanced situational awareness and broadband communications networks. In the U.S. Marine Corps’ series of AWEs—Hunter Warrior, Urban Warrior, and Capable Warrior—each was preceded by its own series of limited-objective experiments; all are parts of a 5-year plan focused on an extended dispersed battlespace with varying terrain and including urban and near-urban littoral areas. Among the concepts being examined are unit enhancements that include long-range precision strike, urban operating capabilities for sea-based forces, and the effects of networking with weapons systems. The Hunter Warrior experiment focused on tactical operations and equipped a Marine task force with a communications web over the theater of engagement, connecting all levels so that they could access the common digital picture of the battlefield. Enhancements were made to command and control, fire support, and targeting. Urban Warrior was conducted in conjunction with a CINCPAC-sponsored exercise, with FBE Echo, and with the first Littoral Battlespace ACTD. The objectives were to enhance the ability of naval forces to accomplish simulta- 19   A joint fire coordination network that receives calls for fire, assigns a firing platform using the appropriate ammunition, keeps track of force ammunition inventories, and deconflicts fire in the joint operations arena, as described in Surface Warfare, September/October, 1998, p. 4. 20   “Fleet Battle Experiments Set to Spearhead Future Technology,” Jane’s Defence Weekly, Vol. 31, No. 12, March 24, 1999, pp. 25-26.

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Network-Centric Naval Forces: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities neous noncontiguous operations throughout a littoral region. Capable Warrior will be used to integrate what was learned in the earlier series of experiments by using operational concepts, force structures, TTPs, and technologies that proved successful and modifying those that did not. It will be accomplished in conjunction with naval units operating at the level of a joint task force. Broadly speaking, however, the committee believes that the Navy and Marine approach to experimentation has been inadequate. Among the problems have been the following: A tendency to focus on a few critical “events” (e.g., major fleet experiments or short, intense Marine experiments) rather than a process of systematically studying a warfare mission and options for accomplishing it; Extreme underutilization of analysis, modeling, and simulation (including virtual simulation with people in the loop); and A failure to decompose the broad problems into components that can be studied in appropriate ways over time, whether with small-scale laboratory or operational experiments, analysis, systematic interviewing of experienced officers, or other methods. In recent months the Department of Defense, the U.S. Joint Forces Command, and the Services have all received recommendations along the lines the committee urges here.21 Sometimes this approach has been described as a recommendation to embrace the model-test-model paradigm (although “model” must be understood to include man-in-the-loop gaming). 2.5.6 Uniqueness of the Spiral Process The spiral approach to designing network-centric naval forces—especially, the integration of major platforms into the information-based fleet network—will present many challenges to the current way of doing business. Methods of budgeting, planning, and allocating resources, congressional authorization and appropriation, enforcing accountability, and achieving standardization are needed to guide a rapidly evolving naval force configuration. Only in this way will the naval forces be able to evolve into their new configuration and modes of operation under the anticipated conditions of rapidly changing technologies and environment. The alternative is to remain with today’s fragmented, stovepiped approaches that cannot keep up with changing technology and the demands of the 21   Military Operations Research Society (MORS). 1999. Proceedings of Joint Experimentation Mini-Symposium and Workshop (Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va., March 8-11, 1999). Military Operations Research Society (MORS), Alexandria, Va.

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Network-Centric Naval Forces: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities “information economy” within which the naval forces are becoming embedded and will have to operate. This alternative is unacceptable, so that the naval forces will have no choice but to make the difficult and necessary adaptations to achieve the spiral process, including the negotiation of mutually acceptable approaches with the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Congress. 2.6 SUMMARY OF FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS In reviewing the naval forces development of network-centric operations to date, the committee arrived at a number of findings presented and discussed throughout the chapter and makes the following recommendations for improvement. Finding: While the Department of the Navy has a long tradition and in many cases leads the way in network-centric-like operations in such missions as air defense and antisubmarine warfare, it does not currently possess the metrics and measuring systems needed for the broad range of NCO mission areas envisioned. Department of the Navy efforts at implementing NCO could be greatly improved by identifying output measures directly tied to mission effectiveness. Recommendation: The Department of the Navy leadership should develop a set of strategic goals and expectations for NCO with accompanying measures of output performance. The current capability must be baselined, targets of improvement established, and progress verified as NCO become a reality. Finding: With few exceptions, a disciplined system engineering methodology is not currently being applied to the development of the NCII. Recommendation: The Department of the Navy should ensure that the NCII and the interfaces to external sensors, knowledge bases, human decision makers, forces, weapons, and logistics are treated as a system and that system engineering methodology is applied to all development aspects. Failure to implement this disciplined approach will have dire consequences. Finding: The Department of the Navy needs to focus R&D on methods to achieve improvement in human decision making because human decision makers are a key element in NCO, and their ability to make faster and better decisions is essential to mission effectiveness. Recommendation: The Department of the Navy should develop technology, techniques, and training for presenting information to human commanders in a way that increases the quality and speed of their decisions.

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Network-Centric Naval Forces: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities Finding: The naval force leadership needs to develop a shared vision of what network-centric operations can accomplish that includes concrete measures of improvements expected in mission effectiveness. Recommendation: The naval force leadership should implement a consensus-building process that brings all of the key stakeholders together to define NCO goals and objectives based on expectations for improvement in the output measures of mission effectiveness. Finding: The naval force leadership is not developing the type of rapid, adaptive, and innovative top-down planning required to realize the full benefits of NCO. Recommendation: The naval force leadership needs to encourage and reward innovative system thinking to solve high-level operational challenges and ensure that the best concepts are moved into prototype and operational forces. Finding: There is no effective Navy and Marine Corps process for selecting, developing, and implementing CONOPS in the network-centric paradigm. Recommendation: The Navy Warfare Development Command and the Marine Corps Combat Development Command should work together on a few high-priority and challenging naval force operations that can be implemented more effectively using NCO. The committee believes that power projection from the sea involving the landing and engagement of Marines deep inland against an aggressor with long-range supporting fire from the Navy is one such operation. The NWDC, supplemented with the proper staffing, should analyze these missions as part of a spiral development process in which modeling and simulation, gaming, testing, experimentation, and new technologies are introduced to select a candidate CONOPS. The selected CONOPS should be implemented in a prototype fleet or in elements of the operational fleet. Fleet experimentation should be conducted, and measures of output effectiveness should be determined and used to evaluate performance. When finalized the CONOPS should be introduced into the fleet over time and the accompanying doctrine, equipment, training, and organizational structure co-evolved. 2.7 BIBLIOGRAPHY Alberts, David S., John J. Garstka, and Frederick P. Stein. 1999. Network Centric Warfare: Developing and Leveraging Information Superiority. CCRP Publication Series, Department of Defense, Washington, D.C. Available online at <www.dodccrp.org>. Beinhocker, Eric D. 1999. “Robust Adaptive Strategies,” Sloan Management Review, Vol. 40, No. 3. Available online at <http://mitsloan.mit.edu/smr/past/1999/smr4039.html>. Cohen, Secretary of Defense William S. 1999. Annual Report to the President and Congress. Department of Defense, Washington, D.C.

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Network-Centric Naval Forces: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, National Research Council. 1999. Realizing the Potential of C4I: Fundamental Challenges. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C. Davis, Paul K., David Gompert, and Richard Kugler. 1996. Adaptiveness in National Defense: The Basis of a New Framework, Issue Paper IP-155. RAND, Santa Monica, Calif. Davis, Paul K., David Gompert, Richard Hillestad, and Stuart Johnson. 1998. Transforming the Force: Suggestions for DoD Strategy. RAND, Santa Monica, Calif. Davis, Paul K., James Bigelow, and Jimmie McEver. 1999. Analytical Methods for Studies and Experiments on “Transforming the Force,” DB-278-OSD. RAND, Santa Monica, Calif. Defense Science Board. 1996. Summer Study Task Force on Tactics and Technology for 21st Century Military Superiority, Vol. 1, Summary. Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C. Defense Science Board. 1996. Summer Study Task Force on Tactics and Technology for 21st Century Military Superiority, Vol. 2, Part 1, Supporting Materials. Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C. Defense Science Board. 1998. Joint Operations Superiority in the 21st Century: Integrating Capabilities Underwriting Joint Vision 2010 and Beyond, Vol. 1. Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology, Department of Defense, Washington, D.C., October. Defense Science Board. 1998. Joint Operations Superiority in the 21st Century: Integrating Capabilities Underwriting Joint Vision 2010 and Beyond, Vol. 2, Supporting Analyses. Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology, Department of Defense, Washington, D.C., October. Herman, Mark. 1999. Measuring the Effects of Network-Centric Warfare, Office of the Secretary of Defense (Net Assessment) and Booz-Allen Hamilton, draft, March. Hundley, Richard. 1999. Past Revolutions, Future Transformations: What Can the History of Revolutions in Military Affairs Tell Us About Transforming the U.S. Military? RAND, Santa Monica, Calif. Johnson, ADM Jay L., USN, Chief of Naval Operations. 1998. “The New Naval War College: Focusing on Forward Thinking,” Surface Warfare, September/October, p. 2. Joint Chiefs of Staff. 1997. Concept for Future Joint Operations, Expanding Joint Vision 2010. The Pentagon, Washington, D.C., May. Klein, Gary. 1997. Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., November. Naval Studies Board, National Research Council. 1997. Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps: 2000-2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force, Volume 9, Modeling and Simulation. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C. Naval Studies Board, National Research Council. 1997. Technology for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, 2000-2035: Becoming a 21st-Century Force, 9 volumes. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C. Shalikashvili, GEN John M., USA. 1997. Joint Vision 2010. Joint Chiefs of Staff, The Pentagon, Washington, D.C. U.S Atlantic Command. 1998. Joint Experimentation Plan 1999.56,57 Norfolk, Va., December. (This plan has now been superseded by: U.S. Joint Forces Command. 1999. Joint Experimentation Campaign Plan 2000. Norfolk, Va., September.)