Due to a schedule conflict, I missed covering the exciting Trident Warrior 2006 series of experiments conducted June 16 through 26 off the southern coast of California and in the Pacific operating area aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard. Previous Trident Warrior exercises focused primarily on optimizing military communications in the fleet and interoperability capability for coalition forces on multiple networks. However, this year's TW also demonstrated a FORCEnet "Information Bridge" that allows naval and interagency emergency first responders to exchange information on a near real-time basis.
Participants in this first responder command and control team included Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen along with the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services and several local municipalities. TW 06 provided a tool for all the participants to coordinate data sharing with federal, state and local participants, a capability deficiency revealed during Hurricane Katrina.
"The benefits to our nation's capability to organize and respond to a crisis will be immediate from the work done during Trident Warrior 2006," said Cmdr. Tony Parrillo, director of the exercise. "We have already been tasked to integrate several of our procedures and technologies to help the East Coast prepare for the 2006 hurricane season."
TW06 is not an isolated event. There is ongoing work across the Department of the Navy and Defense Department to share information and work seamlessly with coalition partners, humanitarian organizations, local, state and federal government agencies — and international agencies. The need is paramount, and DON and DoD leadership are committed to breaking down barriers to information sharing. From "Combined Endeavor" to "Communicating from the field with the Australian Army," you can read about some of these strategic initiatives in this issue of CHIPS.
Joint Staff Director for Command, Control, Communications and Computer Systems (J6) Lt. Gen. Robert Shea recently said, "We are moving from the need to know — to the need to share." Let's do our part to be part of this transformation.
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