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CHIPS Articles: USS Truman Readies for Operational Testing of Key Data Integration

USS Truman Readies for Operational Testing of Key Data Integration
DCGS-N allows ashore and afloat ISR and IO sharing
By Michael Pobat - July-September 2009
Training has intensified for Sailors aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) as crew members learn to operate and maintain the Navy's newest intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting (ISR&T) system.

USS Truman became the first ship in the fleet to receive the Distributed Common Ground System – Navy (DCGS–N) in January 2009. The accelerated training is in preparation for a series of upcoming test events that will culminate in August 2009 with an operational evaluation (OPEVAL) conducted by Commander Operational Test and Evaluation Force. Upon completion of OPEVAL, USS Truman will deploy overseas as the first operational unit to feature DCGS-N.

The DCGS-N is the fleet variant of the Defense Department's DCGS family of systems that provides integration of ISR&T support capabilities previously accessed from a variety of stand-alone systems. The system allows USS Truman Sailors to produce and share actionable intelligence products that adhere to intelligence community standards within the family of systems and with other DoD customers.

"Our fleet users continually ask for increased interoperability and ease of use with regard to C4I products," said Chris Miller, the Program Executive Officer for Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (PEO C4I). "The introduction of DCGS-N to the fleet satisfies both criteria and will significantly improve the Navy's ability to share the actionable intelligence needed to identify and destroy targets."

Initial feedback on the system is extremely positive. Sailors like the improved capability of launching the Generic Area Limitation Environment signals intelligence application; the Integrated Imagery and Intelligence analyst application; the Common Geospatial-Intelligence System; and SHARP Display System (for rapid screening of digital tactical image data from a live datalink) from all DCGS-N workstations.

This multi-mission, multi-workspace flexibility allows users to tailor their tools and situational picture for virtually any mission and any workcenter, saving time and streamlining operations. Sailors are also pleased that DCGS-N operational reliability and stable software allow the system to operate for long periods of time without the need to reboot.

Cmdr. Eric Law, USS Truman's intelligence department head, indicated he was glad to finally see DCGS-N come to fruition.

"It had been a long road with a few bumps, but it is important to get all the intelligence systems bundled and to the fleet in a usable format," he said. "DCGS-N has the ability to transform the way we do intelligence business in the fleet."

Law said DCGS-N is user-friendly and provides a significant improvement in imagery processing and geocoordinate point mensuration. He also gave credit to the installation team.

"System installations can sometimes be difficult and complex. This install was relatively smooth and the team aggressively worked at mitigating any problems," he said.

PEO C4I's Battlespace Awareness and Information Operations Program Office is responsible for managing the program and training the USS Truman's intelligence team to effectively employ DCGS-N in an operational environment.

Training began during an at-sea period in February 2009 and has been augmented by additional training at the SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic Charleston, S.C., facility.

Intelligence specialists and cryptologic technicians are receiving in-depth instruction in the geospatial intelligence, imagery intelligence, signals intelligence and operational intelligence disciplines required to effectively operate the DCGS-N system.

Additionally, the ship's electronic technicians will receive instruction on hardware and software maintenance to ensure the system is kept up and running.

With DCGS-N, USS Truman has the capability to develop new naval intelligence concepts of operations and access intelligence software applications that were previously found only on stand-alone workstations in specified shipboard workcenters, for example, Multi-Sensor Interpretation, Strike Intelligence Analysis Center, Ship Signal Exploitation Space and Supplementary Plot. These software applications are now conveniently available as icons on all DCGS-N workstations in the ship's intelligence spaces.

DCGS-N was designed to leverage commercial off-the-shelf and mature government off-the-shelf software, tools and standards to provide a scalable, modular and extensible multi-source capability that operates at the general service and Sensitive Compartmented Information security levels.

DCGS-N uses an ashore Enterprise Point of Presence, accessible to all users via a Web interface, to facilitate sharing and receiving information with mission partners in a Web-enabled, network-centric, joint-interoperable enterprise. This improvement also significantly reduces the stress on already limited bandwidth in the DCGS-N afloat configuration.

The DoD DCGS family of systems access and ingest data from spaceborne, airborne, afloat ISR collection assets, intelligence databases and intelligence producers. Data is shared across the joint enterprise using DCGS Integration Backbone and Net-Centric Enterprise Services standards to optimize timeliness, quality and multi-service integration of ISR information.

Michael Pobat works in the PEO C4I Battlespace Awareness and Information Operations Program Office. For more information, contact the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command public affairs office at (619) 524-3432.

May 2, 2009 – The aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) transits the Atlantic Ocean during a Tailored Ships Training Availability and Final Evaluation Phase. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Justin M. Smelley.
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