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CHIPS Articles: Air Force Chief of Staff, Chief of Naval Operations prioritize integration in joint effort to achieve overmatch

Air Force Chief of Staff, Chief of Naval Operations prioritize integration in joint effort to achieve overmatch
By Joseph Lacdan, Army News Service - April 14, 2021
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- To build a force capable of meeting the evolving demands of warfare, Army, Air Force and Navy service chiefs gathered for a second joint warfighter talks here Thursday to discuss how to further develop Combined Joint All-Domain Command and Control.

In September, the Army signed a two-year agreement with the Air Force in support of CJADC2, which plans to make the joint force resilient to attack, responsive in new battlefields and integrated across all domains.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. James C. McConville then outlined in a paper published last month how the Army will build joint capabilities that could provide overmatch through speed and range by 2035.

McConville met with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. and Adm. Michael Gilday, chief of naval operations, during last week’s discussions on the concept.

“Being fully integrated across all domains and services is going to give us the overmatch we need for the future,” McConville said. “We really need to get ready for the next fight and if we are not careful, we will not be in the right place. The best way to get ready is through CJADC2.”

Data has become the new ammunition in a changing battlefield, the Army’s senior officer for operations, plans and training said during the daylong talks.

Lt. Gen. Charles Flynn, Army deputy chief of staff, G-3/5/7, added that U.S. military branches must be interoperable with that data to win future wars that will be fought in a multi-domain environment at greater speed and distance.

The Army plans to combine Project Convergence, which was created to accelerate joint, multi-domain capabilities and keep pace with technological change, with the Air Force’s Advanced Battle Management System, or ABMS, which gives joint forces the ability to rapidly gather, analyze and share data while making decisions in real time.

Both services also look to incorporate the Navy’s Project Overmatch, a multi-command effort that aims to enable a swarming sea force capable of delivering lethal and non-lethal effects across multiple domains.

The integration of data among the services will be key to achieving the fast-paced choices needed for success in future battles, Brown said.

“Decision speed requires integrating data from sensors and using data management tech and practices to make that data available to the right people at the right time,” Brown said. “We must ensure Project Convergence, Project Overmatch and ABMS can work together. National defense is our shared responsibility, and collaboration is critical.”

The Army aims to achieve decision dominance in which a commander can understand, evaluate and act more effectively than the adversary. In CJADC2, all military branches connect sensors, shooters and command nodes in a joint network.

“We achieve decision dominance by converging,” said Michael Monteleone, the Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Center's director of Space and Terrestrial Communications. “Or by rapidly and continuously integrating our capabilities and systems, the electromagnetic spectrum, and the information environment to link not only sensors to shooters, but joint sensors to joint platforms.”

The C5ISR Center falls under the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, known as DEVCOM.

According to McConville, as Russia and China continue to modernize their forces, the military must deliver transformational change to joint warfighting.

The Army and Air Force plan to achieve a greater level of interoperability with greater synchronization while allowing enhanced data sharing and improved data transfers.

"[CJADC2] is a revolution in military affairs … in the aspect of being able to bring all the information and data that we have together to allow quicker decisions to be able to have that range, speed, and agility,” Brown said during a media event with McConville on March 29.

To test the services’ compatibility, the Army has invested in joint exercises and experiments beginning with Project Convergence 2020 demonstrations and four joint communications exercises. The Army’s Joint Systems Integration Lab hosted the first communications exercise in January, followed by another currently underway, and will conclude with two more this summer. JSIL will also support Project Convergence 2021.

The JSIL, also under DEVCOM, partnered with the Network Cross-Functional Team and the Program Executive Office Command, Control and Communications–Tactical to conduct the tests.

Data informs system assessments and also shapes future iterations of multi-domain operations, said Monteleone, who also participated in the recent warfighter talks.

In addition, Gilday said one of the joint effort’s ultimate goals will be to achieve a position of decisive advantage, where U.S. forces can push data on any internal network while avoiding enemy detection.

The Army Futures Command’s Network CFT contacted Air Force Chief Engineer Thomas Fischer about working together to improve sensor-to-shooter data exchanges shortly after the services signed their collaboration agreement.

That conversation, coupled with the establishment of the JSIL and the new capabilities it provides, served as an opportunity for the Army to further expand its links with laboratories from other branches.

JSIL can accurately replicate joint, all-domain conditions including limited bandwidth, and simulate operational threats such as electronic warfare. This capability provides realistic testing scenarios, Monteleone said, and will test how systems perform against such obstacles.

“The JSIL provides the ability to replicate a tactical network environment,” he said. “[It] is comprised of many interconnected systems, at scale, to closely represent what our warfighters are using and what they would experience in the field.”

Through the JSIL, the Army and other branches perform a synchronized data collection effort, reaching a new level of collaboration.

“These efforts enable us to gain an early understanding of the data exchange requirements of future weapon and C2 systems to enable us to make informed decisions in delivering a network that will support converged effects,” said Portia Crowe, chief data officer of the Network CFT. “They are helping us to learn how to become more interoperable, identifying current technologies that enhance data exchanges.”

Army Chief of Staff Gen. James C. McConville, left, and Adm. Michael Gilday, chief of naval operations, listen to a briefing during the second joint warfighter talks at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., April 8, 2021. McConville, Gilday and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. discussed how to further develop Combined Joint All-Domain Command and Control in order to build a joint force that is resilient to enemy attacks.
From left in the front row, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., Army Chief of Staff Gen. James C. McConville, Adm. Michael Gilday, chief of naval operations, and Lt. Gen. Charles Flynn, Army deputy chief of staff, G-3/5/7, pause for a photo during the second joint warfighter talks at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., April 8, 2021.
Army Chief of Staff Gen. James C. McConville, Adm. Michael Gilday, chief of naval operations, and Air Force Chief of Staff Charles Q. Brown Jr. attend the second joint warfighter talks at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., April 8, 2021.
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