Maritime domain security is a local, national and international concern and responsibility. To meet the challenges of protecting this complex environment, an assembly of representatives from multiple agencies including local, state, federal and international organizations met January 17 and 18 at the Tidewater Node of the FORCEnet Composeable Environment on Naval Station Norfolk, as the Trident Warrior 07 Process Engineering Workshop.
The purpose of the workshop was to evaluate and document detailed responsibilities and procedures in response to several potential maritime threats in the Hampton Roads area. Such procedures are vital to maximize awareness, define resources, and coordinate an integrated defense among a diverse group of response partners from the U.S. departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security, state and local law enforcement officials, and fire and rescue teams.
Though this may seem like an internal problem, U.S. partner nations are significant participants in situations that involve defense of the homeland.
President Bush has underscored the importance of securing the maritime domain, defined as "all areas and things of, on, under, relating to, adjacent to, or bordering on a sea, ocean, or other navigable waterway, including all maritime-related activities, infrastructure, people, cargo, and vessels and other conveyances."
This mandate requires the establishment of an integrated network of national-level maritime command centers to achieve coordinated, unified, timely, and effective planning and execution by the U.S. government in the event of a threat.
The president's guidance directs clear relationships and operational coordination among maritime domain agencies, enabling the U.S. government to act quickly and decisively. A federal Maritime Operational Threat Response Plan was developed that sets forth high level guidance for interagency coordination and assessment.
But for any operation to be successful, lower-level procedures must be established. Understanding interagency relationships and processes to integrate Navy command and control systems into the plan is the focus of the Defense Support to Civil Authority and Maritime Domain Awareness initiatives of TW07.
The Trident Warrior experimentation series is the primary FORCEnet Sea Trial exercise, conducted annually, and co-sponsored by the Naval Network Warfare Command (NETWARCOM) and Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR). The experiments are targeted for "speed to market" to meet fleet requirements. TW07, the fifth in this series, was conducted in late March 2007 in the Norfolk, Va., area.
TW exploits advanced technology concepts to provide the warfighter with information superiority over an adversary to give him predominant decision-making ability for operational success in the battlespace.
One of the major experimentation areas is maritime domain awareness, specifically "Defense Support to Civil Authority." The workshop's goal was to document and measure development with a focus on information exchange requirements and methodologies. Action centered around four scenarios that required each participating agency to conduct a function of command and control.
The scenarios provided context to experimentation events: (1) a high value asset escort from sea to port, using liquid propane in this experiment as the HVA; (2) port of Norfolk security with a focus on the Norfolk International Terminal and Norfolk Naval Station, and a corresponding event with cargo transition to intermodal transportation; (3) a threat to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel; and (4) escort of the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Strike Group from port to sea with a follow-on incident at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel requiring interagency response.
Each activity was sequenced into a step-by-step evolution. The results were documented in several time-sequence diagrams to provide the procedural backbone to any comparable real-world operation. These procedures were executed with real forces during the actual TW experiment in March. Rigorous evaluation methods for the experiments is one of the hallmarks of Trident Warrior's success, according to the TW team.
"It is imperative that we enter into Trident Warrior 07 with a solid baseline process in the context of the supporting scenarios, so that we have a framework to measure information flow and Trident Warrior technology or process treatments, and identify command and control system gaps for the responding community of interest," said Dan Dunaway, the TW07 lead for process development.
Data Sharing for Interoperability
Technical focus is on data sharing and interoperability. Unified procedures are vital, but it is equally important to have the major data providers and consumers available to make sure that methods for pulling and pushing data are accurately depicted in the process models. TW07 will continue development for an unclassified Crisis Preparedness and Response Network. The genesis of this network came from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita lessons learned.
The development team included NETWARCOM, U.S. Joint Forces Command, U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) and the Naval Surface Warfare Center Mission Assurance Division in Dahlgren, Va. The network has a collaborative common operational picture that includes static infrastructure data, dynamic Automatic Identification System tracks from USNORTHCOM, real-time weather conditions from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, imagery from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and Federal Emergency Management Agency flood plains, as well as data from other sources.
According to the TW team, the actual importance of the collaboration wasn't the resulting map, as much as it was the sharing of data and understanding between the Defense Department and state and local first responders.
"There is a lot of talk about sharing data and information between civilian and military authorities, but we are actually exchanging data and showing the value of collaborating in a common environment at both the operational and tactical levels of command," said Kevin Kurtz, TW07 maritime domain awareness technical lead.
The procedural and technical recommendations from this workshop and Trident Warrior 07 will be incorporated into the procedures of all the participating agencies and organizations in the event of a real threat in the maritime domain.
Kevin Kurtz is a retired Navy lieutenant commander and the maritime domain awareness technical lead for Trident Warrior.
Dan Dunaway is a retired Navy commander and the maritime domain awareness cognitive lead for Trident Warrior.
Brad Poeltler is a retired Navy captain and the deputy director for Trident Warrior.