Navy organizations partnered at the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise 2018 to use the Deployable Joint Command and Control (DJC2) system in an unprecedented way, enabling important new warfighting capabilities from mid-June through August 2.
DJC2 is managed by the Navy’s Shore and Expeditionary Integration Program Office (PMW 790) at the Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (PEO C4I). Forces have used the systems across the world at different times for Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Response (HA/DR) operations during the past decade, including devastating earthquakes in Haiti and Nepal, the tsunami in Japan and the Ebola relief efforts in Liberia. RIMPAC participants also have used DJC2 in years past—even helping influence a new lighter, more modular form factor of it—but always for HA/DR.
For the 2018 event, members of the U.S. 3rd Fleet had a different plan, working with PMW 790 to configure the capabilities of DJC2 into a Maritime Operations Center (MOC). The change in mission demanded new sets of technologies and connections.
“This became the watch floor for the MOC commander, where he maintained C2 of all operational assets under his command,” said Tony Vanaria, PMW 790’s joint expeditionary assistant program manager. “That work is normally done at a fixed site or in a shipboard environment. It’s never been done before from a mobile shore environment. We determined we can make that capability mobile.
“It moved the fleet commander forward.”
Under the MOC construct, DJC2 has to provide capabilities to generate the Common Operational Picture, intelligence and readiness in addition to the C2 and communications capabilities it always enables.
“For the MOC, we moved into a completely different environment, providing access to more information and systems,” said Diana Akins. Akins works for the Georgia Tech Research Institute, supporting PMW 790 as a DJC2 and Navy shore and expeditionary subject matter expert.
Members of the PMW 790 DJC2 team worked with representatives from 3rd Fleet to reconfigure systems and networks to enable the necessary capabilities. Impetus for the project began a year ago during the exercise Talisman Sabre in Australia, when U.S. Pacific Fleet saw what it provided there, including scaling to accommodate more than 300 more people than intended in the original design. It took several months of working with Pacific Fleet to create the necessary MOC environment.
“They say what they want, we work with them to make sure we understand their requirements and we incorporate changes,” said Kevin Washburn, the expeditionary principal assistant program manager in PMW 790.
The program office collaborates with the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Panama City, which provides the personnel who do the hands-on changes and set up.
DJC2 always comes with the necessary technical equipment that is set up in tents that include floors, air conditioning and heating. Akins calls it the Taj Mahal of expeditionary set ups. Several of the full systems, with all that modular infrastructure, are located around the world, including in Hawaii and Japan. In addition to the capability they provide actually inside the tents when set up, they offer additional reach. At RIMPAC, members of 3rd Fleet had the additional DJC2 capabilities with them as they moved from the system's set up location at Pearl Harbor onboard the USS Portland where they conducted operations during the final days of the exercise.
The system is so capable, that its owners are continually exploring new use cases for it, and end users respond with increased interest.
“DJC2 has been around since 2007,” Vanaria said. “Through our continuous tech insertion and tech refresh efforts we’ve kept the system completely modernized and viable for systems going forward. It’s really good for the adaptive force.”
The Navy's Shore and Expeditionary Integration Program Office (PMW 790) delivers resilient, adaptable, interoperable and affordable shore and expeditionary C4I capability enabling mission success in all domains. For more information, contact PMW 790's Program Manager, Capt. Kyle Turco, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (PEO C4I) provides integrated communication and information technology systems that enable information warfare and command and control of maritime forces. PEO C4I acquires, fields and supports C4I systems which extend across Navy, joint and coalition platforms. More information can be found at http://www.public.navy.mil/spawar/PEOC4I/Pages/default.aspx.