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.
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.