At the brink of a new century, the U.S. military is grappling with its role, its requirements, and its operational imperative as an instrument of national power. Military responsibilities span a wide range, from peacetime engagement to shape the international environment, maintain alliances, and ensure access; to stability and support operations including humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, counterterrorism, and peacekeeping; to a capability for prosecution of conflict from small-scale contingencies to major theater war. Primarily a deterrent force during the Cold War, today the U.S. military is seen more as an integral element of U.S. national power that is committed around the world on an ongoing basis. At the same time, its forces are smaller and stationed mainly in the continental United States, and the military budget will likely continue to be constrained. The resulting leaner force structure will need the versatility to project power flexibly, rapidly, and from a distance, in combination with allies and coalition forces.
Information creation, communication, analysis, and exploitation have always played a key role in military strategy and operations. But the recent and continuing rapid progress in information and communications technologies dramatically enhances the strategic role of information, positioning effective exploitation of these technology advances as a critical success factor in military affairs. These technology advances are drivers and enablers for the "nervous system" of the military—its command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I) systems—to more effectively use the "muscle" side of the military, namely the weapons and platforms and troops. The growing importance of C4I systems reflects an
information technology-driven transformation of strategy and operations similar to what is occurring across almost every segment of society. Information superiority, indispensable to dominance in the full range of military operations, is central to Joint Vision 2010,1 the conceptual template guiding Department of Defense (DOD)2 efforts to leverage technological opportunities and structure innovations by military personnel to achieve new levels of effectiveness in joint military operations. As this report discusses in detail, in realizing this vision for C4I the U.S. military faces a fundamental set of technical and management challenges.
1.1 What Is C4I?
The acronym C4I stands for "command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence" (see Box 1.1 for DOD definitions of each of these terms). Command and control is about decision making, the exercise of direction by a properly designated commander over assigned and attached forces in the accomplishment of a mission, and is supported by information technology (the computers and communications part of C4I). The United States is aggressively exploiting these technologies in order to achieve information superiority, with the objective of achieving better and faster decisions,3 and continually projecting, albeit with uncertainties, future desired states and directing actions to bring about those future states. (Box 1.2 describes some major C4I systems; Box 1.3 describes elements of the defense information infrastructure.)
One important capability that C4I systems provide commanders is situational awareness—information about the location and status of enemy and friendly forces. A necessary component of achieving superiority in decision making, it does not alone guarantee superior decision making. Commanders must take relevant knowledge and combine it with their
BOX 1.1 DOD Definitions of Terms: Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I)
Command and control (C2)—The exercise of authority and direction by a properly designated commander over assigned and attached forces in the accomplishment of the mission. Command and control functions are performed through an arrangement of personnel, equipment, communications, facilities, and procedures employed by a commander in planning, directing, coordinating, and controlling forces and operations in the accomplishment of the mission.
Command—The authority that a commander in the Armed Forces lawfully exercises over subordinates by virtue of rank or assignment. Command includes the authority and responsibility for effectively using available resources and for planning the employment of, organizing, directing, coordinating, and controlling military forces for the accomplishment of assigned missions.
Computing and communications—Two pervasive enabling technologies that support C2 and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. Computers and communications process and transport information.
Control—Authority which may be less than full command exercised by a commander over part of the activities of subordinate or other organizations. Physical or psychological pressures exerted with the intent to assure that an agent or group will respond as directed.
Intelligence (I)—The product resulting from the collection, processing, integration, analysis, evaluation, and interpretation of available information concerning foreign countries or areas. Information and knowledge about an adversary obtained through observation, investigation, analysis, or understanding.
Sometimes the term "C4ISR" is employed. The additional elements included in C4ISR are the following.
Surveillance—The systematic observation of aerospace, surface or subsurface areas, places, persons, or things, by visual, aural, electronic, photographic, or other means.
Reconnaissance—A mission undertaken to obtain, by visual observation or other detection methods, information about the activities and resources of an enemy or potential enemy, or to secure data concerning the meteorological, hydrographic, or geographic characteristics of a particular area.
Two additional terms are commonly used in describing C4I capabilities:
Situational awareness—The knowledge of where you are, where other friendly elements are located, and the status, state, and location of the enemy.
Information superiority—The relative advantage of one opponent over another in commanding and controlling his force. Information superiority or dominance is achieved both through the training of leaders to make rapid and appropriate decisions using superior technical information means provided to them, and through efforts to degrade and deny these same capabilities to an opponent while protecting one's own capability.
SOURCE: joint Chiefs of Staff, Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, as amended through December 7, 1998 Joint Publication 1-02).
judgment—including difficult-to-quantify aspects of human behavior (such as fatigue, experience level, and stress), the uncertainty of data, and the plausible future states resulting from actions by both their own force and the enemy—to make decisions about future actions and how to convey those decisions in ways to facilitate their proper execution. In doing so, commanders are supported by tools to enable and accelerate the planning and decision-making process, to achieve the decision-making superiority envisioned by DOD. And, of course, to be effective, command decisions must be implemented, a process to which C4I technologies are also relevant (e.g., in speeding up the link through which targeting information is passed to weapons, the so-called sensor-to-shooter link). The development and use of the right tools allow the commander to focus better on those issues associated with the essence of command—the art versus the science. As more and better-automated tools are developed and people are trained to use them, it will become even more important to recognize the art of command as distinguished from the mechanics of the tools used to provide information.
1.2 The Impact of C4I on Military Effectiveness
1.2.1 Evidence from Recent Experience
Although the Gulf War was plagued by innumerable problems with C4I capability, timeliness, and interoperability among both U.S. and allied forces, the real-world impact of C4I technology in enhancing the effectiveness and security of the coalition forces was amply demonstrated.
The C4I capabilities on which allied forces depended were highly tenuous and relied on inadequate methods for construction and distribution of operational plans and execution orders (e.g., the air tasking order had to be delivered manually to ships at sea), collection and assessment of battle damage information, and coordination of operations on a global
BOX 1.2 Examples of C4I Systems
The following examples of some current C4I systems are intended as illustrative only; many other C4I systems would serve equally well to provide context and orient the reader to the myriad of C4I systems used currently by DOD.
BOX 1.3 Major Elements of the Defense Information Infrastructure
Defense Information Systems Network
The Defense Information Systems Network is the global, end-to-end, information transfer infrastructure of the DOD. The Defense Information Systems Network provides the communications infrastructure and services needed to satisfy national defense command, control, communications, and intelligence requirements and meet worldwide U.S. defense requirements. The purpose of the Defense Information Systems Network is to enable rapid, reliable and secure information access to conduct effective military operations, and, in particular, to allow any warrior to perform any mission, any time, any place in the world, based on information needs. The network's architecture prescribes a global network integrating DOD-wide communications systems assets, military satellite communications, commercial satellite communications initiatives, leased telecommunications services, dedicated DOD service and defense agency networks, and mobile/deployable networks, i.e., the consolidated worldwide enterprise-level telecommunications infrastructure that provides the end-to-end information transfer component of the Defense Information Infrastructure (DII).
The Defense Information Systems Network infrastructure consists of the sustaining base (i.e., base/post/camp/station) C4I infrastructure (including legacy systems) that interfaces with the long-haul network in order to support the deployed warfighter with reach-back services, the long-haul telecommunications infrastructure (including today's defense communications systems and the communication systems and services between the fixed environment and the deployed (joint task force/combined task force) warfighter), and the deployed warfighter and associated telecommunications infrastructures that support the joint task force/combined task force.
The Defense Information Infrastructure Common Operating Environment
The Defense Information Infrastructure Common Operating Environment (DII-COE) is a software infrastructure for supporting DOD's C3I and combat support applications. It consists of a collection of reusable software components (commercial off the shelf (COTS) and government off the shelf) along with a set of guidelines, applications program interfaces, and built-in conformance with standards specified in the Joint Technical Architecture.
The key goals of the DII-COE are interoperability among joint service applications and data, software reuse, and rapid information retrieval. The payoff of a common software infrastructure lies in the reduction of costs related to acquisition, operations, and support. Acquisition costs can be reduced by taking advantage of commercial trends and COTS software products. Reductions in operations and support costs will be attained with government off-the-shelf software reuse, easier system upgrades to new software
versions or platforms, and a common environment for operations and training.
The software structure of the DII-COE is composed of three layers: the kernel, infrastructure services, and common support applications. The kernel consists of the computer's operating system (e.g., Solaris, HP/UX, Windows NT, etc.) and fundamental services for desktop functions (e.g., display presentation, file management, printing, and network and system administration). The infrastructure services layer contains utilities, tools, and software for network and database management (e.g., relational database server/ tools), and communications and presentation services (e.g., TCP/IP, World Wide Web browser, etc.). The common support applications layer contains software for message processing (e.g., Automated Message Handling system, map display development via the Joint Mapping Tool Kit, track correlation, alerts, help, and office automation).
The Defense Message System
The Defense Message System is a joint DOD program created to improve the department's electronic messaging capabilities while reducing the cost associated with the current messaging systems. The Defense Message System is undergoing an evolutionary transition from the baseline Automatic Digital Network and electronic messaging services to an integrated system using the common user communications transport provided by the Defense Information Systems Network. During the transition, the Defense Message System requires the ability to maintain interoperability between the baseline systems, the allied messaging systems, other governmental agencies, and commercial messaging users. The target Defense Message System is based on international standards for messaging, directory, and service management. It will employ security services as approved by the National Security Agency to provide protection appropriate to the required level of trust.
C3 and Combat Support Applications
Global Command and Control System. The Global Command and Control System is intended to provide combatant commanders one integrated resource for generating, receiving, sharing, and using information securely. It provides for surveillance and reconnaissance information and access to global intelligence sources as well as data on the precise location of friendly forces. The Global Command and Control System provides support for crisis planning, intelligence analysis, tactical planning and tactical execution, and collaborative planning. It establishes the top-level technical infrastructure for automated support to command and control (C2) operations. The Global Command and Control System supports the National Command Authorities and subordinate elements in the generation and application of national power. It is intended to provide for maintenance of a common perception of the crisis or battlespace, access to planning support information, collaborative access to a common operational plan, visibility of plan execution status,
and adaptive control of communication and information centers for surge needs and users with degraded communications.
Global Combat Support System. The Global Combat Support System provides information access and fusion across the entire spectrum of combat support. The Global Combat Support System provides each combat support functional area—supply, transportation, finance, medical, personnel, acquisition—with access to authoritative data and integrating existing combat support information to gain efficiency and interoperability in support of the warfighter. It is designed to overcome existing shortfalls in the limited breadth of isolated and stovepiped systems by combining and/or fusing data provided from multiple authoritative sources into relevant, coherent, integrated information. It applies current information technology to provide that full spectrum of information system capabilities to the warfighter and to the sustaining bases. The Global Combat Support System will enable accurate and real-time combat support information to be available to the National Command Authorities, services, CINCs, the joint task force commanders, and service components. The Global Combat Support System is a demand-driven, joint warfighter-focused capability to accelerate delivery of improved combat support effectiveness.
Ultimately, both the Global Combat Support System and the Global Command and Control System applications will be available on the same workstation to provide a truly integrated view of the battlespace.
Theater Deployable Systems
The Standardized Tactical Entry Points program provides global access to standardized Defense Information Systems Network services that support deployed joint task forces. Standardized Tactical Entry Points constitute a global network that provides interoperable communications between the strategic and tactical forces and provides essential circuits and worldwide information transfer capability by using the Defense Information Systems Network. The Standardized Tactical Entry Points network provides standard/prepositioned C4I communications for the warfighter and improves tactical access to strategic voice and data services, tactical/strategic communications interoperability, deployed tactical commanders' access to headquarters, CINCs, and the Pentagon, and interoperability and reach-back for the tri-service tactical ground mobile forces and the Navy shipboard tactical users.
Network and System Management
Management of the DII as a whole is performed by a combination of the Defense Information Systems Agency and the CINCs, services, and agencies that work in collaboration to provide an end-to-end enterprise view of the DII. This collaboration of systems, roles, and responsibilities is termed the
Joint DII Control System. From a network and systems management perspective, the DII is composed of three ''blocks" or domains: the sustaining base block (managed locally by CINC/service/agency control), the long-haul block (managed by the Defense Information Systems Agency), and the deployed block (managed by the joint task force commander). The Joint DII Control System establishes the operational integration of the systems and network management roles, responsibilities, and relationships across all three "blocks" or domains of the DII. It will also result in establishing the common operating picture that will be shared by the CINC/service/agency managers.
The Joint DII Control System is based on a jointly defined technical architecture, interface standards, and performance standards derived from the Joint Technical Architecture and the DII-COE. The ultimate goal of the Joint DII Control System is to field a capability whereby all DII users and providers will be able to share a common picture of their DII assets and supporting infrastructure. The Joint DII Control System will also provide a converged capability with information assurance and defensive information operations to ensure that a fully articulated picture is available for global situational awareness.
scale among systems ranging from highly sophisticated to significantly outdated.
Nonetheless, given sufficient time (in the case of the Gulf War, nearly 6 months) to prepare, a formidable capability was established for command and control of a multinational force in a region of the world where virtually no infrastructure previously existed to accommodate such complex operations. C4I has been reported in numerous after-action media as a major force multiplier in the conflict. For example:
- C4I systems supported—through simultaneous suppression of enemy air defenses—highly effective, precise, orchestrated strikes on a variety of targets in Baghdad on the initial night of war, with extremely low casualties.
- The Global Positioning System allowed orchestrated movements of coalition armored forces to outflank Iraqi forces and engage them at the maximum effective range of coalition weapons.
More recently in Bosnia, advanced C4I technology has provided forces with enhanced capabilities to detect, process, decide, and communicate. For example:
- The Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle has improved monitoring of compliance with the Dayton Peace Accord.
- Linked Operations-Intelligence Centers Europe4 systems have facilitated the sharing of intelligence among selected coalition partners.
- The Joint Surveillance Target Airborne Radar System supported the insertion of ground forces into Bosnia.
Many warfighters involved came away from the Gulf War with the view that improving C4I capability and interoperability would add more to military operations than additional improvements in weapons. Continued improvement in the precision and/or lethality of weapons remains a priority; in fact, such enhancements in capabilities may well result more from application of C4I improvements than from near-term advancements in weapons technology. In addition, the challenges of operating in urban environments and in rough, wooded areas must be addressed rather than simply extrapolating the successes achieved in a desert environment.
1.2.2 Potential Impact of C4I on Military Operations
The examples below are illustrative of how many military thinkers conceptualize the potential impact of C4I on military operations. Some evidence to support these concepts is available from studies and exercises and experiments,5 but for the most part their full significance has not been demonstrated in real-life operational scenarios.
Information Superiority and Greater Situational Awareness
To exercise authority and direction effectively in combat and other military operations, commanders must have situational awareness. Use of information technology to make a commander's situational awareness better also creates the potential to improve the effectiveness with which the commander directs and controls his forces. To the extent that the promise of C4I technologies is realized, reduced force size might be compensated for by information superiority—the ability of a force to have, and protect, a comprehensive view of enemy and friendly forces as well as the combat environment, while denying the enemy a comparable capa-
Linked Operations-Intelligence Centers Europe is the U.S. European Command's system that provides U.S. and NATO forces, and other allied forces, with near-real-time correlated situation and order-of-battle information. For more information see Joint Distributive Intelligence Support System Program Office, online at <http://www.jdisspmo.org/relpro/loce.htm>.
See, for example, H.S. Marsh and P.J. Walsh, Employment Strategies and CONOPS Enabled: A Compilation of Draft White Papers on Future Employment Strategies and CONOPS Enabled Prepared to Support the C4ISR Mission Assessment, November 22, 1996, Draft, SRI International.
bility—where it can be shown that information superiority is a force multiplier.
The growing list of land-, air-, sea-, and space-based sensors combined with other sources makes the fusion of information an essential dimension of situational awareness. Fusion of data from this multitude of sources is indispensable to achieving information superiority in the regional environment. The challenge in doing so goes beyond the receipt and display of sensor data to include reconciling those data (eliminating redundancy and outdated information) and extends to the fusion of multiple sources of information into timely and meaningful intelligence. Through this process, true information dominance can be achieved. In that regard, information dominance must also include situational awareness with regard to space-based systems. Knowing friendly, enemy, and neutral satellite coverage and capability will be of vital concern to the joint commander and his component commands.
The cornerstone of information superiority is advanced C4I technology and systems, which can provide to all tactical levels of command a robust, continuous, common operating picture of the battlespace. 6 The resulting heightened situational awareness should vastly improve the effectiveness with which commanders at all levels can pursue a mission. The common operating picture can allow tactical decision making at the lowest levels of command consistent with the higher-level commander's operational objectives, and the decentralized tactical execution can enhance the ability of lower-level tactical units to react quickly to changing circumstances. A common operating picture is a central element in a number of initiatives, including the following four:7
- The Army Digitization Master Plan (Force XXI). The Army Digitization Master Plan is intended to "create a simultaneous, common picture of the battlefield from soldier to commander at each echelon
- through the networking of sensors, command posts, processors, and weapons platforms. The program provides the communication and displays which allow participants to aggregate information and maintain an awareness of what is happening around them, both friendly and enemy. Digitization allows the employment of forces in a highly mobile, synergistic, and overwhelming manner."8 Warfighting experiments, designed to test the concept of digital command and control, suggest that the Army may be able to significantly reduce the size of its mechanized division while increasing the physical space for which it is responsible in a traditional conflict.
- The Theater Air and Missile Defense program. Conducted by the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, the Theater Air and Missile Defense program seeks to develop capabilities to display a single integrated air picture, available to all relevant units in the theater, that is accurate, resolved, consistent, and timely (essentially real-time). The single integrated air picture, which would integrate data on air (and cruise-missile) threats provided by multiple sensors (possibly of different types) and sources located on different platforms, is intended for use by commanders at all levels to identify, prioritize, and execute air defense engagements.
- The Battlefield Awareness and Data Dissemination (BADD) advanced concept technology demonstration (ACTD). The purpose of the Battlefield Awareness and Data Dissemination ACTD, which is supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is to develop, install, and evaluate an operational system that would allow commanders to design their own information system; deliver to warfighters an accurate, timely, and consistent picture of the joint/coalition battlefield; and provide access to worldwide data repositories. It integrates a wideband, low-cost broadcast mechanism, information management services providing user access to a wide variety of information sources (including unmanned aerial vehicle and national imagery; Global Command and Control System operational data; and combat information systems such as the U.S. Army's All Source Analysis System, the Joint Maritime Combat Information System, the U.S. Air Force Combat Intelligence System, and the Common Ground Station), and battlefield awareness services that present to the user a coherent picture of enemy and friendly forces integrated with terrain, image, and video data.9
Army Digitization Office. 1996. Army Digitization Master Plan, 1996, Army Digitization Office, Washington, D.C., March.
Adapted from the BADD program overview: Office of the Under Secretary for Acquisition and Technology, 1999, Battlefield Awareness and Data Dissemination, Office of the Under Secretary for Acquisition and Technology, Department of Defense, Washington, D.C.; available online from <http://www.acq.osd.mil/at/badd.htm>.
- The "Extending the Littoral Battlespace" (ELB) ACTD. The ELB ACTD is intended to enhance the advanced warfighting concepts of the Navy and Marine Corps by providing or enabling theater-wide situation awareness, integrated sensors, responsive remote fires and targeting, and over-the-horizon connectivity. Further, it proposes a range of operational and tactical concepts that leverage command, control, communications, computational, and other technologies to exploit information and improve precision firing and targeting in future operations. For example, it would enable the effective employment of dispersed and disaggregated units as well as increasing the capability for rapid operations by conventionally configured forces. Disaggregated units could operate in an enlarged battlespace, presenting few concentrated targets to the enemy while employing massed remote firepower to harass, damage, and destroy. Central to ELB is a beyond-line-of-sight tactical information infrastructure with wideband communications networks and enhanced situation understanding that would provide common situational awareness at all levels of command.10
Decentralized Freedom of Action
The transmission of a common operating picture to each unit, in real time and in parallel, would enable commanders at the tactical level to quickly grasp the larger battle picture and thus to determine local unit objectives with much greater latitude and assurance.11 Also, lower echelons of command could quickly orient their units to new orders and specific objectives and pursue those objectives with greater freedom of action, all within the framework of the overall objectives of the joint or combined force commander. Peer unit collaboration in achieving local objectives and increased autonomy would thus become more feasible and could lead to higher operational tempos.
Using C4I to Conduct Precision Strikes
In the traditional context of ground warfare, overwhelming force was applied by massing forces at points of contact with the enemy.
Adapted from the ELB program overview: Office of the Under Secretary for Acquisition and Technology, 1999, Extending the Littoral Battlespace, Office of the Under Secretary for Acquisition and Technology, Department of Defense, Washington, D.C.; available online from <http://www.acq.osd.mil/at/eld.htm>.
A potential downside to a common operating picture is that detailed awareness at all levels of command above those that are the "trigger pullers" creates the potential for second-guessing, with a negative impact on the initiative of those who are engaged in combat. Whether this and other potential problems in fact turn out to be real problems, and if they are, how they can be managed, are research areas that need to be explored.
Through the use of modern C4I technology and systems, together with "smart" weapons that are guided directly to their targets, massed effects without massed forces can indeed be possible. Indirect fire launched from assets that are widely dispersed and not in direct contact with enemy forces could produce effects comparable to those possible with forces massed at points of contact. Sensors would be deployed close to or within enemy operating areas and would be linked directly to the forces that are engaging those enemy forces. These same sensors would be used to feed the C4I infrastructure that provides the real-time common operating picture of the battlespace. Such an approach would significantly increase the effectiveness of remotely delivered firepower, reduce friendly losses, and provide significant increases in the effectiveness of the maneuver forces, thus constituting a major shift from the traditional notion of attrition-based warfare. Box 1.4 describes how a current ACTD may be able to reduce the cycle time for striking time-critical targets.
Using C4I to Enhance the Effectiveness of Air Operations
Advanced C4I offers the means to achieve greatly improved effectiveness in carrying out most of the challenging tasks in air operations. The single integrated air picture is critical to improving the effectiveness of the air and missile defense missions. Creating a single integrated air picture (SIAP) is a significant technical challenge, given the extremely short time lines against which the air assets must operate.
The United States has been striving for a single integrated air picture since 1969 when the Tactical Air Control System/Tactical Air Defense System program was launched. Subsequent developments have yielded capabilities that allow the creation and maintenance of a single integrated air picture, but these systems still have clear deficiencies in such areas as integration and the ability to share information with potential coalition partners.
Today the problem has become even more challenging with increased concerns about ballistic missiles and stealthy cruise missiles. Engaging targets that are mobile or relocatable or that have short dwell times is another challenging air task that could be improved through rapid assessment of target changes and feedback to the attacking units. The use of advanced sensor technology and the fusion of data from applicable sensors of each of the services could help the further development of a single integrated air picture. This advanced C4I capability would also enhance the effectiveness of precision guided weapons against fixed targets by providing timely and precise target location information. Box 1.5 describes how networked sensors can improve air defense.
BOX 1.4 Reducing the Cycle Time for Striking Time-Critical Targets
Emergent targets are high-payoff land and maritime platforms, force groupings, and geographic complexes that must be attacked inside cycle times that are not consistently achievable by the current Joint Targeting Process. The effective attack of such targets demands a seamless flow of information across service, organization, and system boundaries if they are to be consistently attacked within their short windows of vulnerability (1 to 2 hours or less). Emergent targets operate inside the Joint Targeting Cycle because information is decelerated as it crosses organizational and system boundaries. Numerous studies have documented the latency introduced into the targeting process when data has to be rekeyed, air gapped, disseminated in hard copy, or otherwise transferred manually between systems; and even when such impediments do not exist one component of the force rarely has visibility into what strike assets the other has available against what portions of the battlespace on a time-sensitive basis—so that requests for other services' weapons are made inefficiently or not at all. The warfighter is not receiving the full benefit of our massive investment in information and weapons technology.
The Joint Continuous Strike Environment advanced concept technology demonstration seeks to improve the responsiveness of U.S. strike cycles against emergent, time-critical surface targets. The Joint Continuous Strike Environment functionality will encompass deep-strike assets from all services and selected allied assets. It will take advantage of existing but untapped potential for servicing emergent targets to shunt and accelerate information along the sensor-to-shooter pathways, thus enabling a joint force commander to hold emergent targets at risk without disrupting other aspects of his campaign plan. Whether a target pops up due to enemy action, or emerges because it is critical to accomplishing a joint force commander's plans in a temporally dominated battlespace, the Joint Continuous Strike Environment will provide the tools to put the right weapon on the right target at the right time.
Its goal is to reduce by at least one order of magnitude the latency associated with correlating command guidance, weapons, targets, and airspace deconfliction and launching attacks against emergent targets. The Joint Continuous Strike Environment provides to warfighters automated target prioritization based on a commander's guidance and objectives, continuous monitoring of weapon availability (resulting in visibility into all service weapons rather than today's service-centric view at execution nodes), optimized weapon target pairing in which actionable intelligence is matched to available strike assets, and near-real-time airspace deconfliction that avoids the need to constrain operations throughout the theater by altitude and volume.
SOURCE: Adapted from the description of the Joint Communications Strike Environment program available online at <http://www.cisa.osd.mil/hostedsites/jcse/overview.htm>.
BOX 1.5 Network of Sensors Approach to Theater Air Defense Against Cruise Missiles
Fast, low-flying cruise missiles attacking targets on: land or at sea are a very difficult threat against which to defend. In principle, engagements of an incoming cruise missile far away from the threatened target are highly desirable, because such engagements allow multiple attempts to destroy the cruise missile. (An important collateral benefit is that the long-range destruction of a cruise missile carrying chemical or biological weapons reduces the likelihood that the chemical or biological weapons agent will affect the target.)
Cruise missiles can be engaged with surface-to-air missiles or fighters. In the case of a surface-to-air missile engagement, the range at which it occurs is limited by one of two factors—the fly-out range of the missile itself and the range of the sensors (usually radar) that guide it to the target However, the range of a ground-based radar is limited by the line of sight to the horizon, which is typically much smaller than the missile's fly-out range.
The horizon line-of-sight limitation can be overcome by increasing the altitude of the radar (e.g., placing it on an airborne platform) and thus increasing the radar line-of-sight range to the horizon, or by using over-the-horizon sensors to guide the missile. It is often the case that over-the-horizon sensors are present, but in general these sensors will be associated with platforms other than the one that can fire the surface-to-air missile.
in any event, a network of sensors providing the right kinds of data can in principle support surface-to-air missile engagements for any surface-to-air missile within fly-out range of its target. Since fly-out ranges are often four to five times the distance to the radar horizon, the improvement in air defense coverage is significant.
Today, the ability to employ networks of heterogeneous sensors is limited by the fact that fire-control-quality data cannot in general be shared among all the shooters that might come into play in an engagement. Moreover, the "stovepipe" architecture in place can prevent even the surveillance data generated by some sensors from being available to certain shooters. The Navy's program to develop the Cooperative Engagement Capability system is intended to provide such functionality for air defense over water; similar developments are under way to provide comparable capabilities over land.
SOURCE: Adapted from Joint C4ISR Decision Support Center. 1997. Precision Engagement C4I Operational Architecture Study (Sensor-to-Shooter III), Joint C4ISR Decision Support Center, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence, Department of Defense, Washington, D.C.
1.3 The U.S. Military's Work In Exploiting Information Technology
The Joint Chiefs of Staff and the military services have taken note, in a number of studies, of the role of information technology in future military operations. In particular, DOD has identified a technology-enabled "revolution in military affairs" as one that involves "harnessing new technologies to give U.S. forces greater military capabilities through advanced concepts, doctrine, and organizations so that they can dominate any future battlefield."12 Joint Vision 2010 is based on four broad operational concepts: dominant maneuver, precision engagement, full-dimension protection, and focused logistics (Box 1.6). For each of these concepts, information superiority is a critical enabler.
Each of the services is exploring the implications of Joint Vision 2010 for itself, taking steps with experimental studies, wargames, research and development investments, advanced concept technology demonstrations, and simulation gaming to develop and test concepts and capabilities that will ensure military preparedness for the 21st century. The goal is to understand how to more effectively organize, equip, and train military forces. The effort goes far beyond learning how to modernize current weapons systems, and includes how to deploy and employ new systems, and how to support these systems efficiently and effectively at a lower cost and within a drastically reduced cycle time. (Box 1.7 describes service initiatives in more detail.) Additionally, as an extension of individual service experimentation, and in response to congressional pressures, a joint experimentation activity is being established at the U.S. Atlantic Command to address the co-evolution of doctrine, tactics, and new technological capabilities.
1.4 The Role of C4I Systems in Future Military Environments
1.4.1 Likely Environments of Future Military Operations
The 21st century will see the U.S. military continuing to be fully committed to responding to a full spectrum of missions, from peacekeeping and other military operations other than war to major theater war. These operations will be conducted in a world where sophisticated military equipment can be purchased by anyone with adequate funds, and some military capabilities can be purchased through commercial markets. Com-
William S. Cohen. 1998. Annual Report to the President and to Congress, Department of Defense, Washington, D.C., Chapter 1.
BOX 1.6 Joint Vision 2010
Joint Vision 2010 provides a "conceptual template" for the improved conduct of joint warfighting operations by leveraging technological advances. Joint Vision 2010 stresses the importance of information superiority—defined as "the capability to collect, process, and disseminate an uninterrupted flow of information while exploiting or denying an adversary's ability to do the same"—as the basis for improved command, control, and intelligence functions.
It is based on four emerging operational concepts that taken together will allow the U.S. armed forces to "dominate the full range of operations from humanitarian assistance, through peace operations, up and into the highest intensity conflict (i.e., full spectrum dominance)":
Joint Vision 2010 identifies several critical considerations necessary to implement these new operational concepts: high-quality personnel, innovative leadership, joint doctrine, joint education and training, agile organizations, and technology enhancements.
SOURCE: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. 1996. Joint Vision 2010, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C.
mercialization in such areas as information technology, space operations, imaging, and global positioning, and the increased need and desire of the United States to use commercial technology for military use, reduce the ability of the United States to protect these technologies. Also, when an adversary is able to make use of commercial space and information tech-
BOX 1.7 Service Initiatives to Leverage Information Technology
The Army's contribution to joint operations is "the ability to conduct prompt and sustained operations on land throughout the entire spectrum of crisis." Army Vision 2010 also lays out a vision between the Army's ongoing and relatively near term (FY 04 and sooner) Force XXI implementation process, and the longer-term vision of the Army After Next, which looks at the future geostrategic environment (i.e., 30 years out). In the future, the Army plans to focus the execution of its responsibilities through "a deliberate set of patterns of operations": project the force, protect the force, shape the battlespace, conduct decisive operations, sustain the force, and gain information dominance. (The latter is fundamental to the five other patterns, as well as to the operational concepts of Joint Vision 2010.)
Both the Force XXI and the Army After Next processes are identifying new concepts of land warfare that have implications for the Army's organization, structure, operations, support, and materiel. Force XXI's premise is that greater situational awareness, obtained by leveraging information technology, particularly from the commercial sector, on current platforms (Abrams tanks, Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, and Apache helicopters) will provide friendly commanders with greater "mental agility" and thus increase the lethality, survivability, and operations tempo of their forces.
The Army's Experimental Force, the 4th Infantry Division at Ft. Hood, Texas, is the vehicle for testing these innovations. The Experimental Force is a heavy force used to identify and evaluate, through a series of Army advanced warfighting experiments, new operational concepts, organizational designs, doctrine, and tactics that take advantage of "digitization' technologies and the capabilities they offer. The Experimental Force also will examine flexible, highly tailorable organizations—from individuals to small units to echelons above corps—to meet the diverse needs of future operations.
At the same time, the premise of the more futuristic Army After Next is that greatly increased strategic and tactical mobility—i.e., physical agility—and all-encompassing ''knowledge" of the battlespace—i.e., mental agility—will be the dominant factors in wars of the first quarter of the next century. As a result the Army is examining "leap ahead" technologies that will result in much lighter, smaller, more durable equipment that will enhance deployability and reduce the sustainability burden, while generating the lethality necessary for decisive operations.
Through an annual cycle of wargames, workshops, and conferences, the Army After Next strives to lay the research foundation necessary for assessing the effects of increased mobility, lethality, and maneuverability,
and to ensure that land power remains a strategically decisive element of warfighting into the 21st century. The largest part of the effort is focused on examining the impact of technologies and system concepts for both air and land vehicles to provide significantly increased strategic and tactical mobility. From a command and control perspective, the goal will be to greatly facilitate the decision-making process for protecting, projecting, and employing the force. Use will be made of advanced, highly mobile, and easy-to-use sensors; communications; and processors that collect and distribute data throughout the battlespace, develop information, and create the knowledge to enable and ensure effective freedom of maneuver and dominant lethality. The innovations selected during this process will be tested by the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment at Ft. Polk, Louisiana.
(SOURCE Department of the Army. 1996 Army Vision 2010, Department of the Army, Washington D.C.)
The Air Force's future vision is given in Global Engagements: A Vision for the 21st Century Air Force. Global Engagement is a strategic plan for meeting the Air Force's challenge of dominating air and space as a unique dimension of military power in the 21st century. The Air Force identifies six core competencies—air and space superiority, global attack, rapid global mobility, precision engagement, information superiority, and agile combat support—and is committed to ensuring these components through innovation. Air and space superiority will allow all U.S. forces freedom from attack and freedom to attack, while the Air Force's ability to attack rapidly anywhere on the globe will continue to be critical. Rapid global mobility will help ensure that the United States can respond quickly and decisively to unexpected challenges to its interests The Air Forces precision engagement core competency will enable it to reliably apply selective force against specific targets simultaneously to achieve desired affects with minimal risk and collateral damage. Air- and space-based assets will contribute to U.S. forces' information superiority, and agile combat support will allow combat commanders to improve the responsiveness, deployability, and sustainability of their forces
To better understand: the potential offered by advanced technologies, the Air Force conducted its Expeditionary Force Experiment in September 1998;. In that scenario, a rogue nation attacked a U.S. ally that requested U.S. assistance in halting the invasion, An air expeditionary force was deployed in response. and the experiment tested the ability to exercise coherent command and control through the use of forward and rear (continental U.S.-based) joint air operations centers and to plan and execute combat missions en route to the area of hostility. Under the experiment scenario, a much smaller number of command and control military per
sonnel and much less equipment were deployed to the combat area, with the rear joint air operations center housing the bulk of these personnel and equipment (as well as the joint force air component commander).
In the area of information superiority, the Air Force will focus on future global battle management/command and control systems to allow for real-time control and execution of all air and space missions, exploit unmanned aerial vehicle technology(especially in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance and communications applications), and expand its defensive information warfare efforts.
The Air Force has established six new battle laboratories to implement its vision. The mission of these battle labs is to identify and validate innovative ideas that improve the ability of the Air Force to execute both its core competencies and joint warfighting. The concepts validated in the labs will be assimilated into Air Force organizational, doctrinal, training, and acquisition efforts. The six labs are concentrating on the following areas: unmanned aerial vehicles, information warfare, air expeditionary forces, space capabilities, battle management command and control, and force protection.
(SOURCE: Department of the Air Force. 1996 Global Engagement: A Vision for the 21st Century, Department of the Air Force, Washington D.C.; Air Force Experimentation Office EFX Public Web Site, available online at <http://efx.acc.af.mil>.)
The building blocks of forward-deployed Navy and Marine Corps forces that contribute to peacetime presence, crisis response, and regional conflicts are the air carrier battle groups and the amphibious ready groups , which are highly flexible formations. The naval services will focus on a new direction to "project power from the sea in the critical littoral regions of the world," and have committed to structuring their expeditionary forces so that they are inherently prepared for joint operations.
The Navy's future vision of warfare, delineated in From the Sea and Forward...From the Sea, and further developed in the Navy Operational Concept, identifies five fundamental roles for the Navy: sea control and maritime supremacy, power projection from sea to land, strategic deterrence, strategic sealift, and forward naval presence. However, in the future the Navy will fulfill these roles with enhanced capabilities. The Navy has embraced a concept called network-centric warfare: the ability of widely dispersed but robustly networked sensors, command centers, and forces to have significantly enhanced massed effects. Combining forward presence with network-centric combat power, the Navy intends to close time lines, decisively alter initial conditions, and seek to head off undesired events before they start. The naval contribution to dominant maneuver will use the sea to gain advantage over the enemy, while naval precision engage
ments will use sensors, information systems, precisely targeted weapons, and agile, lethal forces to attack key targets. Naval full-dimensional protection will address the full spectrum of threats, providing information superiority, air and maritime superiority, theater air and missile defense, and delivery of naval firepower. Finally, naval forces will be increasingly called upon to provide sea-based focused logistics for joint operations in the littorals.
The At-Sea Fleet Battle Experiments, to be overseen by the Maritime Battle Center, are designed to explore new concepts and emerging systems like the Maritime Fire Support Demonstrator, Cooperative Engagement Capability, and theater ballistic missile defense to evaluate their effects on fleet capabilities and determine future requirements. These experiments are limited in number to maintain their quality and are combined with other fleet exercises to maximize participation. The first of these experiments, Fleet Battle Experiment Alpha (conducted off southern California in March 1997), evaluated C4ISR capabilities, requirements for a sea-based combined joint task force, and other emerging concepts.
(SOURCE: Department of the Navy. 1996. Forward...From the Sea, Department of the Navy, Washington, D.C.)
The Marine Corps strategy Operational Maneuver from the Sea foresees warfare that requires tactically adaptive, technologically agile, opportunistic, and exploitative forces. Individuals and forces must be able to rapidly reorganize and reorient across a broad range of new tasks and missions in fluid operational environments. The Marines will still need to project power ashore for a variety of potential tasks ranging from disaster relief to high-intensity combat.
This vision calls for the following actions: focus on an operational objective; use the sea as maneuver space; generate overwhelming tempo and momentum; pit strengths against weakness; emphasize intelligence, deceptions, and flexibility; and integrate all organic, joint and combined assets. In order to implement these principles, new operational directions will be needed to enhance the integration of naval expeditionary forces, revolutionize forcible entry operations between the land and sea, and expand maritime maneuver across the spectrum of conflict. The vision also calls for modernizing capabilities in the following areas by capitalizing on new technology and approaches to doctrine, organization, tactics, and training: mobility, intelligence, command and control, fire support, aviation, mine countermeasures, and combat service support.
The focus of The Marine Corps Revolution in Military Affairs efforts is on the enhancement of the individual Marine and his or her ability to win in combat. The Marine Corps Combat Development System focuses on gen-
erating the most effective combination of innovative operational concepts, new organizational structures, and emerging technologies. Through the 5-year "Sea Dragon" program, the Marines have developed an extensive experimentation plan divided into three phases, each culminating in an Advanced Warfighting Experiment:
(SOURCE: U.S. Marine Corps. 1996. Operational Maneuver from the Sea, Headquarters, Marine Corps, Washington, D.C.)
nologies, it will be more difficult for the United States to preclude their use in time of conflict.
Given the U.S. military strengths and vulnerabilities and the difficulty, if not impossibility, of an adversary effectively matching the United States in organization, training, and military equipment, a potential adversary's strategy is likely to entail the development of asymmetric capabilities to effectively counter the United States. Asymmetric opportunities for a would-be adversary include finding low-cost means of precluding the U.S. ability to project its military power, particularly in landing forces in another country, by exploiting the aversion of the U.S. public for casualties; developing ways to counter the effectiveness of U.S. air power and precision munitions; and seeking ways to preclude or undermine U.S. information superiority.
Such trends portend a future in which low-cost ballistic and cruise missiles, weapons of mass destruction, and information attacks are a threat. Weapons of mass destruction, particularly chemical and biological weapons, will be available to the full range of threats, from rogue nations to transnational actors, international criminals, and terrorists. At-
tacks on targets within the continental United States may be launched to reduce the DOD's ability to command, control, deploy, and support its forces, or—if launched against non-military targets in the United States—to influence the American public. It will be harder to predetermine threats to U.S. interests, and attacks against the continental United States may well occur in the United States as terrorist attacks or as integral parts of an overall campaign against the United States.
The changed and changing world environment has a number of important military implications for the U.S. military. U.S. command and control must be global, capable of supporting a wide range of operations anywhere in the world, must operate in any terrain and on the move (by ship, plane, or land vehicle), and must be sustained from early warning and crisis management through post-conflict tasks. Also, given the U.S. public's aversion to U.S. military casualties, the U.S. military has placed an even greater emphasis on high-technology solutions, such as precision munitions and remote delivery.
Service component forces will operate jointly under a joint commander and, in many cases, will be combined with allied and coalition forces. To carry out command and control, the joint commander must receive information about the threat, operational environment, and status of his service component forces, and must be able to communicate with his component commanders about decisions related to the integrated allocation and employment of service assets.
As the United States responds to situations around the world, it will do so with other international powers, either regional allies or coalitions formed in response to the specific crisis, and operations will not only be joint, but combined. The type of missions and the international composition of the force will require coordination with multiple departments, agencies, and organizations (non-governmental as well as governmental), including those of coalition partners. The combined joint task force commander, when American, would have the same command and control requirements with his entire combined forces as he would have with his U.S. forces.
1.4.2 Rapid Planning to Support Rapid Response
Given the range of potential adversaries and the unpredictability of events that might challenge the interests of the United States, the need to consider the use of U.S. military forces could occur at any time. Despite the best available intelligence information, surprises will occur, and it is likely that there will be only a very short time period between indications of trouble and force employment, thus making rapid planning tools an essential C4I requirement at both joint command and service component
command levels. Such planning tools can assist in determining force composition, force deployment, and probable battle outcomes. The planning process must be sufficiently flexible to accommodate situational changes as they unfold even as deployments are under way, as occurred during the deployment to Haiti. In that regard, rehearsal tools capable of receiving current intelligence, updating an original plan, and disseminating appropriate changes must be an integral part of the rapid planning process and must be made available to deploying units and their leaders. The tools that support planning and rehearsal must be able to run much faster than real time to explore the impact of alternative courses of action, and also to run at slower than real-time speeds to support rehearsal and learning.
The increase in operational tempo and the range of weapons employed demand that planning and execution be continuous, and not discrete, time-phased, sequential actions. As stated in Joint Vision 2010, "Realtime information will likely drive parallel, not sequential, planning and real-time, not prearranged, decision making."13 Mobile communications and computers supporting command and control must be able to support operations en route on the land, at sea, and in the air. Command posts must be small, agile, and mobile to survive and remain relevant. How small can a command post be made, how can it be made redundant enough to support continuous operations and still accept some losses, and how can dispersed command and control operations be conducted without incurring inefficiencies associated with the dispersion?14
One of the most difficult challenges in supporting command decision making is the fusion of data into knowledge. More and more sensors will provide more and more data from more and more locations. A major challenge is converting this information into fused knowledge. What do all the pieces of data mean? Access to more data may actually inhibit, rather than support, better decision making unless this data is fused into reliable knowledge. Different users may need different geographic presentations fused and placed into a common reference grid and may need different levels of detail. Uncertainty regarding the completeness, accuracy, or time of data must be conveyed in its display so that commanders can assess the impact of this uncertainty on decisions. Further, commanders must have the ability and the training to query the "fused" picture to get the understanding they need to carry out their particular piece of the mission. However, the displays all must have a common basis so as to
convey a common relevant operating picture, enable understanding of command intent, and facilitate self-synchronization.
1.4.3 Support for Deployment of Forces in the Changing Environment
In many cases where the U.S. military will be committed to an actual or emerging situation that destabilizes regional peace or adversely affects U.S. interests in the region, a strategic deployment (from the continental United States) will be required. This need has grown as forward stationing of U.S. forces has diminished, and the early introduction of military capability may become even more crucial. One of the purposes of the military mission of shaping is to facilitate the early approval of overflight, staging, landing, and porting rights at the time of a crisis. With the reduction of forward-stationed U.S. forces worldwide, a significant forward presence may not exist, and U.S. forces would be most vulnerable during their initial arrival, as was the case for the 82nd Airborne's arrival in Saudi Arabia during Desert Shield. A C4I system of systems is needed that can better examine alternative deployments and input requirements, allocate airlift and sealift resources, track deployment movements, and adjust arrival flows. The system of systems must be supported by a global communications network since it must provide the linkage between the home stations of deploying units, the providers of transportation, the supporting forces, enroute movements, the supported forces, and the arrival locations. Obviously, such a system of systems is inherently joint, and often combined, since it must be used by the joint force commander, the military service component commanders, the supporting unified commanders, and the nations providing forces and transportation capabilities. Further, the execution of the deployment must be coordinated with the countries through and into which the flow occurs.
A companion C4I requirement for operating in that environment is the capability to support a reduced logistics footprint, with most of the support needed by U.S. forces provided directly by producer-to-user delivery rather than delivering, receiving, storing, and subsequently redistributing major quantities of materiel in-theater. To meet this requirement, C4I systems need to provide in-transit visibility (not unlike that perfected by Federal Express) and problem detection and movement adjustment capabilities such as that used by much of the trucking industry, and be sufficiently adaptable to support deliveries to small, dispersed, and mobile forces. Again, this system must support the providers (often located in the continental United States), the transportation system, and the eventual recipient of that support, who may be mobile.
A challenge to regional deployments is the missile threat, particularly short- and medium-range ballistic missiles and cruise missiles. While each of the military services may provide some capability for defense against missile attack, it would desirable to rapidly phase in and integrate these capabilities upon initial deployment. Likewise, protecting the arriving forces from air attack will be an important first task involving elements of each of the services. While clearly a critical initial task, an effective air and missile defense must be sustained for both fixed assets and mobile forces. In that environment, C4I and related surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities will need to provide a common air picture, reduce sensor-to-shooter time lines, and integrate service weapon systems into the overall joint mission.
Air power may be the earliest arriving capability and will most likely be a combined effort of contributing nations and elements of the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy. Accompanying C4I systems will need to provide the means to determine the most appropriate air assets to allocate to each mission, and disseminate this information in time to allow the missions to be prepared adequately and to be responsive to moving as well as stationary targets. These C4I requirements apply to the Joint Air Operations Center, each service component command, and the air command elements of the contributing nations' air forces.
1.4.4 Proliferation in the Use of the U.S. Military for Sustainment and Support Operations (Military Operations Other Than War)
Current military planning for advanced C4I capabilities is based largely on scenarios in which forces are employed against traditional adversaries in relatively traditional conflict situations. While this focus of planning is generally reasonable, planning must also be sufficiently broad to take into account the likely use of the U.S. military in a much more varied spectrum of military operations. The commitment of U.S. forces to military operations other than war such as peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and non-combatant evacuation operations places different demands on C4I systems and may require some different C4I capabilities and/or equipment.
U.S. forces are and will continue to be employed to conduct operations other than war, stability and support operations that cover a wide spectrum of very different missions. Military operations other than war, in contrast to more traditional military operations, can be characterized by (1) forces tailored to accomplish the specific stated mission, which often will involve creating non-standard and non-traditional organizations from elements of other organizations; (2) a need for greater coordination
and interoperation with government and non-government agencies; (3) the operation of these tailored forces with new command organizations; (4) forces limited in size;15 (5) forces that are dispersed and require greater operational independence; (6) restrictive rules of engagement aimed at reducing the potential for undesired escalation, and providing clear limits on the force, and which are understood by potential adversaries; and (7) the potential for undesired escalation or "mission creep" without having the proper force to deal with the new or expanded mission.
For operations other than war, requirements for C4I may entail some of the following issues:
- Intelligence collection and analysis. In traditional military operations, the enemy is reasonably well defined; in operations other than war, changing environments and situations may lead to rapid, radical shifts in the definition of the enemy. Intelligence for operations other than war is more focused on individual human beings rather than vehicles or weapons platforms. Thus, intelligence efforts (and hence C4I systems) for operations other than war must have a greater focus on human intelligence—scout patrols, informants, and the like. Operations other than war have a different set of information requirements, such as the need for a great deal of detail on a small area (e.g., the layout and shape of a particular room and the route to that room in a building in which a particular group of people is located). And finally, because in operations other than war forces are often inserted into a situation in which political and historical factors may be highly significant, intelligence analysis must include such contextual factors.
- Combat Identification and Identification Friend or Foe. In operations other than war, hostile parties may not identify themselves (e.g., with distinctive personnel uniforms or vehicle insignias). A hostile party may be an individual from the same population that U.S. forces are trying to help, or a large group of refugees on the move that may overwhelm available resources. Furthermore, "hostile" behavior may not even be easy to identify.
- Planning and coordination. Because DOD planning tools are for the most part oriented toward major conflict, they often do not provide the
- granularity needed to manage the relatively small forces that are generally deployed for operations other than war. For example, a force sized for such an operation might in its entirety be composed of a couple of battalions-worth of individuals, with platoon- and squad-sized units providing critical functions, whereas planning tools for a major conflict might quantize components by battalion-sized units.
- Tactical connectivity. Higher-frequency wireless communications are generally limited to line-of-sight connections. Passing a message from one point to another thus requires either a direct line-of-sight connection or relays that can provide intermediate connection points. When a small force is responsible for a large area (as is the case in distributed expeditionary operations), the density of relay nodes is low, distances between relay nodes are large, and connectivity thus may be more intermittent for patrols communicating with field headquarters. Satellite-based or unmanned aerial vehicle-based communications are an obvious solution, and a number of programs now under way provide such intermediate nodes.16
- Coordination with non-military organizations. Non-DOD U.S. government agencies, inter-governmental organizations such as the United Nations, indigenous agencies such as the local police force, and non-governmental organizations (and perhaps non-compliant or even belligerent parties) often play key roles in operations other than war, and effective command and control requires communication with them. A high degree of interoperability between U.S. communications equipment and the civilian communications infrastructure, for example, can support non-governmental organizations, thus helping to build trust and good working relationships.
- Command and control over junior personnel at a distance. Because of the potential for inadvertent escalation of an interaction between U.S. forces and others (e.g., indigenous civilians or military personnel), troops in the field must often think before they act, whereas a traditional military operation would place a premium on their acting (or reacting) very quickly. Situation assessment must be done in real time by the very junior personnel (privates and corporals) who do the real work in the field. Supporting these junior personnel at a considerable distance can be problematic because many contextual cues are not available to an off-site senior commander. Such field personnel would have greater need for technologies that support consultations and assessment (e.g., laptop computer access to intelligence databases, translation and language services, remote
For example there is an effort under way to create a version of the Trojan Spirit system, which provides satellite-based access to intelligence information, that is sized down to be carried by a single vehicle.
- conferences with a wide spectrum of possible players) rather than for the capabilities required for combat such as automatic downloads of targeting information.
The C4I implications of military operations other than war and those of counterterrorist operations and operations against the use of weapons of mass destruction will need further study.
1.4.5 Complexities of Exercising Command and Control of Forces in Regional Conflict Environments
Smaller, more capable forces that are widely dispersed will have to depend on firepower from weapons that are not under their direct control. Command and control of these ground forces will be conducted by dispersed and often mobile command elements that also may perform their tasks from multiple locations. To survive and be effective in this environment, dispersed units will need timely, accurate, and common pictures of the combat environment and rapid exchange of target information. Ground line-of-sight communications will not be sufficient, nor will manned or time-consuming relay and switching equipment.
A basic requirement is mobile, agile command and control that can be transferred, for example, from shipboard to ground or from air to ground during the execution of an operation without degrading command and control. The C4I system must be capable of providing robust data, voice, and video communications suitable for collaborative planning. A fundamental and enduring C4I requirement is to facilitate rapid decision making so that the multiple military capabilities of the services can be appropriately integrated and exploited.
The conditions under which U.S. forces are deployed to support military operations other than war may well become more characteristic of some wartime operations in the future. Urban warfare in particular has many of the same characteristics as military operations other than war, e.g., an orientation toward individuals rather than platforms, and a difficulty in separating combatants from non-combatants. In other scenarios, smaller land forces—relying in part on C4I technologies—might be used to control larger expanses of territory, much as forces deployed in operations other than war today do.
1.4.6 Strategic Vulnerability of Infrastructure to Information Attack
The growing dependence of the United States on its national information infrastructure, as well the dependence of other elements of its infrastructure (e.g., electric power, transportation) on information technology,
poses potential strategic vulnerabilities that are without precedent. Exploitation of these vulnerabilities by an adversary poses the risk of asymmetric warfare or conflict, in which an adversary does not directly challenge U.S. military might but rather seeks to do damage to the United States in ways that do not require large military forces and where the source of the attack is difficult to identify with certainty.
A further concern is that the U.S. military itself is highly dependent on the U.S. national infrastructure for C4I (information and communications) as well as other services. Thus, a successful attack on the U.S. infrastructure might well have the additional effect of compromising traditional U.S. military readiness and ability to respond militarily. 17
1.5 Expected Information Technology Trends for C4I
Rapid development of information technology and the expectation that C4I technology can dramatically increase force effectiveness have made this technology a critical element of future military modernization. The time constant of progress in information technology, computers, and communications is measured in months, not years. Hardware technologies will continue to evolve at a rapid pace to produce significantly improved capabilities at ever-lower cost—an order-of-magnitude improvement in performance every 5 years for the same cost is likely to continue to be the norm for progress in computing capability (Moore's law), memory and storage capacities, and communications speed. Academic research and the commercial sector are, and will continue to be, the primary sources of fundamental advances in information technologies. Industry exploits these advances, developing and manufacturing high-volume, low-cost, high-reliability products and setting most of the relevant standards. This driving force and dominant market for this expanding capability will continue to be the commercial marketplace, and the same level of basic technology will be readily available to all comers. A key challenge to DOD and the services will continue to be to develop an appropriately responsive acquisition system that can procure, deploy, and exploit these commercial hardware and software capabilities for the military in a timely and cost-effective way.
Much of, although by no means all, the sensor technology essential to C4I systems is specifically developed by the military and for military ap-
plications. The pace of growth in capability is slower than for the base information technologies. Continued focused investment by DOD is expected to maintain a significant margin of leadership in critical sensor technologies.
The rate of progress predicted by Moore's law means that capabilities seen today in raw processing power of individual computers, as well as associated memory and storage capacities, are about 1% of what will be available at the same cost a decade hence. In addition, major progress will continue on other fronts with significant implications for military application. Decreases in physical size, power consumption, and cost will lead to expanded flexibility and scale of application at the systems level. Expanded and qualitatively more capable applications will become available. For example, more highly automated decision-support systems using intelligent agents will be able to search large databases, including images and other non-coded information, for specific information and features, process the results, and present tactical alternatives to a commander. Continued rapid progress will be made in technologies enabling easier human interaction with computers, including spoken input, high-resolution personal heads-up (e.g., helmet-mounted or windshield) displays, and distributed wearable systems.
The trend in information distribution and control systems is toward a communications medium that is completely transparent and robust to the military user. These systems will provide global coverage, consisting of highly automated digital networks utilizing both military and commercial transmission media. Current and future developments will enable multimedia service (voice, data, video) to all military users.
Key areas of progress in communications technology applicable to C4I will include advanced video and data compression techniques to transfer expanded information sets through limited-bandwidth channels; wireless wide area network/local area network packet-switched networks utilizing mobile base stations; wider-bandwidth optical communications networks for low-cost, robust terrestrial connectivity; advanced waveforms to maximize coding gain; advanced modulation approaches to increase bandwidth efficiency, given the pressures on military spectrum allocation; ''software" radios that provide broadband digital processing; and multifunction, multiband phased array antenna technology that will find application in both communications systems and sensor development.
The capability of active and passive multispectral high-resolution sensors in all physical domains (acoustic, thermal, electromagnetic, electro-optical, nuclear, biological, and chemical) is expected to progress at a pace somewhat slower than that of the base information technologies, but still at a rate that will yield impressive opportunities for application to all types of military systems. Continued miniaturization of these sensors and their associated processing units will make them deployable on a variety of platforms, including spacecraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and manned aircraft, land vehicles, ships, and personal battlefield systems. For example, radar technology advances are expected in solid-state transmit/ receive modules for higher output power, greater direct current to radio frequency conversion efficiency, increased miniaturization, and wider frequency band operation. Multispectral imaging sensors will prove to be of significant military value in detecting manmade and natural objects.
Technologies for geospatial referencing (such as the Global Positioning System and enhancements to it) that enable the location of targets, events, and friendly forces will also be important. Such technologies confer the ability to register events and objects in the same coordinate system, and underlie the ability to generate a common operating picture.
Some of this capability, originally military in its focus, will become readily available at low cost in the commercial world; some will be specifically developed by the military for its unique requirements. Examples of widely available technologies that were once predominantly military include low-cost Global Positioning System devices and satellite imaging.18 Examples of military-unique sensor systems include the Airborne Warning and Control System, the Space-based Infrared System, and the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System. DOD will be faced with determining and implementing the appropriate and timely application of this wide array of technologies.
Future weapons systems will have integrated digital information subsystems (versus simply having digital communications) that are tightly integrated with the overall C4I system of systems. This capability will allow information available on individual platforms to be simultaneously shared and acted upon across the battlefield (and airspace). Targets acquired by sensors in ground systems and aircraft will be seen concur-
rently by multiple platforms and will be rapidly targeted by surface weapons, given pre-established rules. Over time, the value of remote, precision weapons will increase relative to that of other platforms (e.g., tanks, airplanes) as long as the challenge of target identification is solved.
1.6 DOD Budget And Organizational Structure for C4I
In a defense budget on the order of $257 billion for FY 1998, spending on C4I is widely quoted as approximately $40 billion,19 but this figure does not represent an official DOD budget category. The DOD budget category for intelligence and communications is approximately $30.4 billion. But association of this particular figure or any other figure with spending on C4I must come with several caveats and cautions. Among them are the following:
- C4I programs are scattered throughout the 11 primary DOD budget categories.20 For example, the account for strategic forces includes some funding for C4I systems intended for command and control of the strategic forces. However, these systems can be used to provide connectivity to the general-purpose forces as well. (A good example is Milstar—originally a communications satellite for strategic use, it is now used for non-nuclear purposes as well.)
- C4I programs per se are distinct from C4I systems embedded within weapons systems. For example, neither the radar for an F-22 fighter nor the radar for a Patriot air defense system would be counted as C4I programs, though they are clearly C4I systems.
- C4I programs include systems for intelligence work, much of which is "black" and thus not known publicly.
- Programs for surveillance and reconnaissance are not always included in an accounting of C4I systems.
One public estimate of the amount of "electronic content" in the overall defense budget provided by the Electronic Industries Alliance is ap-
proximately $51.5 billion in FY 1998, a figure that includes acquisition as well as operations and maintenance.21 This figure covers all possible categories of C4I systems, including those for surveillance and reconnaissance.
These data are provided to give the reader a sense of scale of C4I within the defense budget. But it should be noted from the outset that because the committee does not seek to provide detailed programmatic guidance, the analysis, findings, and recommendations of this report are essentially independent of the numbers discussed above.
1.6.2 DOD Organizational Structure for C4I
Responsibility for the development, procurement, operations, and maintenance of specific C4I systems generally lies with the services. However, CINCs. 22 and field units do have some discretionary budget authority to purchase systems below a certain cost threshold. The Defense Information Systems Agency has the primary responsibility for maintaining defense-wide C4I infrastructure (e.g., that for long-haul communications). Research and development into information technologies that may eventually be integrated into actual C4I systems is undertaken by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the various service research arms. The National Security Agency plays a key role in providing technologies and products for information security.
Oversight of C4I system acquisition is performed by a myriad of organizations and offices. Some of the most important are the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology, the ultimate authority within DOD on acquisition matters; the Assistant Secretary of Defense for C3I, the focal point of DOD policy with respect to matters related to C4I and information superiority (and also today the DOD's Chief Information Officer); the Joint Requirements Oversight Council, an organization that validates requirements and military needs for "major" C4I systems; the Defense Acquisition Board, which is chaired by the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology and advises on individual acquisition programs and generally on acquisition policies and procedures; the
Electronics Industry Association press release, "EIA Ten-Year Forecast Projects 14% Growth in Electronics; Defense Market Remains Stable," October 8, 1997; available online at <http://www.eia.org/pad/press/files/9710/97-59.htm>.
CINC, an acronym for "commander-in-chief," refers to the commander of a specified or unified combatant command. The term "CINCs" refers to the commanders of the combatant commands. The combatant commands include the U.S. European Command, U.S. Pacific Command, U.S. Atlantic Command, U.S. Southern Command, U.S. Central Command, U.S. Space Command, U.S. Special Operations Command, U.S. Transportation Command, and U.S. Strategic Command.
Major Automated Information Systems Review Council, which is mandated to advise the Assistant Secretary of Defense for C3I on decisions regarding major individual automated information system acquisition programs; and the Directorate for C4 Systems of the Joint Staff, which has responsibility for command, control, communications, and computer (C4) systems, especially with respect to interoperability and integration.
This listing of organizations is far from complete—indeed, the committee was struck by both the multiplicity of organizations and offices with some responsibility for C4I matters, and the relative rapidity with which the organizational structure for C4I has been evolving.
1.7 Challenges to the Exploitation of the Military Leverage of C4I
While the complexities and uncertainties of the future produce a major set of challenges to the development, integration, and fielding of the "right" set of C4I systems and processes, the U.S. military faces another set of challenges in implementation. These challenges are of both a technical and management nature, and most are specific to the military system. They are challenges that can be, and indeed are being, addressed now. The remainder of this report is devoted to the committee's view of the nature of these challenges, the state of progress in addressing them, and the actions that must be taken to deal with them more forcefully and effectively. This report addresses challenges in three areas: (1) achieving interoperability, (2) ensuring security and systems availability, and (3) evolving the military culture and business processes to enable what is required in tomorrow's world.
First, C4I systems must be interoperable so as to support joint and combined operations and the necessary interaction with government and non-governmental organizations in an environment in which the sophistication of C4I systems available to various units (or coalition partners) will surely span a spectrum of capability. Achieving this level of interoperability poses technical as well as cultural and process challenges. Significant technical dimensions include design tensions between immediate and future needs; tensions between applications-specific needs and the needs of the entire system of systems; inability to anticipate all relevant scenarios for use, resulting in an inability to anticipate which systems need to interoperate; extent of backward compatibility to be designed into systems; difficulties of anticipating a sustainable technology environment; inherent difficulties of system integration; and synchronization of interdependent programs. A number of cultural dimensions also affect efforts to achieve C4I interoperability, including the profound differences between peacetime and wartime missions, rapid management turnover that
is characteristic of most government organizations, use of service-based acquisition, doctrine for interoperating with heterogeneously equipped forces, a lack of resources to pursue C4I integration as a high-priority budget item, line-item budget accountability, and the need to operate in coalitions that are quickly assembled and cannot be anticipated.
Second, C4I systems must be secured against information attacks. With increased reliance on C4I systems as well as an increased use of commercial technologies to build these systems comes a new and increased set of risks associated with the vulnerability of these systems to attack. Here, too, there are technical and cultural dimensions. Technical dimensions include the need for good automated tools for checking and inspecting network and system configurations and tools that allow the rapid and high-confidence identification of a cyber-attacker and retaliation against such attackers. A distinction must be maintained between the attacker whose intent is to disrupt or corrupt the C4I system and one whose intent is to monitor and collect information from one. Cultural dimensions include the need to promulgate a defense-wide awareness of information security (ranging from accountability to providing good information security support) and a legal constraint and military tradition of refraining from involvement in domestic security affairs.
Third, the base technologies of C4I evolve at such a rapid rate that cultural and technical challenges arise with respect to how, when, and what aspect of the technology can best be exploited to significantly increase the leverage of information systems in military operations. Infusion of technical skills in the military workplace will be required along with bringing doctrine abreast of the advances in technology. Also, leadership skills will need to be honed to take account of the technical and doctrinal shifts brought about by the potential inherent in advanced information technology. Indeed, the very fact of revolutionary changes in military operations brought about by advanced C4I systems poses enormous leadership challenges for the U.S. military, which as an institution practices well-justified conservatism. Finally, it is important to highlight the challenge to the whole acquisition process, which must take into account the rapid pace of change in information technology and the dominant role of the commercial sector in driving technological advances. The challenge is exploiting the rapid advances in information technology at a time when many, if not most, of these technologies are available through the commercial market with an acquisition system not designed to exploit rapid acquisition. Each of these three challenges, then, is discussed in the following chapters.