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CHIPS Articles: Submarine Team Wins Nuclear Command, Control and Communications Award

Submarine Team Wins Nuclear Command, Control and Communications Award
By Rita Boland, Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence Public Affairs - March 28, 2016
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Members of the Navy's Undersea Integration Program Office (PMW 770) and Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) Systems Centers (SSCs) Pacific and Atlantic accepted the Nuclear Command, Control and Communications (NC3) Support Award March 24.

PMW 770 is one of 10 program offices under Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence, or PEO C4I, and is responsible for the procurement, sustainment, modernization and integration of communications systems for manned and unmanned undersea systems.

The winning team developed a Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) environment for submarine communications, vastly enhancing systems engineering collaboration and data management on NC3 systems designs. The created MBSE tool has improved the submarine force's ability to manage NC3 communications infrastructure. Additionally, the model provides substantial improvements on traditional systems engineering approaches by providing stakeholders with an interactive, data-driven foundation for not only process improvement but also for innovation, cost reduction and risk avoidance.

The annual NC3 Awards are sponsored by the National Leadership Command Capability, or NLCC, Executive Management Board and NC3 Issues Working Group. The board is a four-star forum chaired by Terry Halvorsen, the Defense Department's chief information officer. Approximately 150 NC3 organizations have eligibility to submit nominations for individuals and teams. The aim of the honors is to recognize real heroes and dedicated teams that support all aspects of the NC3 System at every level of the department. Nominations in the support category can recognize an individual or a team.

With the MBSE model, submariners have a dynamic data management environment that holds a comprehensive NC3 submarine communications architectural model, rather than static and disparate systems. This change streamlines operations and communications. MBSE incorporates information on the Submarine Operating Authority Wide Area Network, Broadcast Command Authority sites, Broadcast Keying Stations, Broadcast Terminal Stations, Clarinet Merlin Receive System sites, Nova sites and associated NC3 messaging infrastructure.

"Combining all the information into a single architecture makes communications and operations simpler for the warfighter," said Brent Starr, MBSE team lead and a member of PMW 770. "Our goal is to enable sailors to spend more time with the information they need to complete their missions."

In addition to Starr, the team includes:
Ron Perez, PEO C4I PMW 770
Brady Bangert, PEO C4I PMW 770
Spencer Talley, PEO C4I PMW 770
Bryan Peterson, PEO C4I PMW 770
Todd Trahan, SSC Pacific
Peter Brklycica, SSC Pacific
Walter Landi, SSC Pacific
Don Cocker, SSC Pacific
Lauralee Von Husen, SSC Pacific
Robert Hunt, SSC Pacific
Doug Hovermale, SSC Atlantic
Nathan Cunningham, SSC Atlantic
Michael Glover, SSC Atlantic
Joyce Hansen, SSC Atlantic

MBSE specifically applies to the submarine community's adoption of methods to document network baselines and manage upgrades to the global submarine communications (SUBCOMMS) architecture.

"Similar to many other programs, the rapid insertion of capability — enabled by commercial-off-the-shelf technology — has driven up the turnover rate of technology in program systems," said Capt. Edward Anderson, program manager of PMW 770. "What sets PMW 770 apart is the decision to change the way it does business — how it documents and controls physical network architectures, manages engineering change and assesses mission readiness."

Model data is informing a comprehensive cybersecurity Crown Jewel Analysis — a process for identifying those cyber assets that are most critical to the accomplishment of an organization's mission — for the shore SUBCOMMS architecture.

Submarine community personnel also are using the MBSE model to decompose NC3 mission areas into specific message flows, topology diagrams and component listings. When complete, the model will contain detailed NC3 mission threads for each of those areas, resulting in detailed mapping of SSBN NC3 missions to the end-to-end architecture; that capability did not exist previously.

Meanwhile, Commander, Submarine Forces Atlantic personnel are leveraging data provided through the MBSE to stand up a new Tech Control division that is better optimized to troubleshoot outages and restore operations while their counterparts at the Pacific equivalent use outputs to aid troubleshooting and update data to provide new watchstander operator training.

"MBSE is making a real impact on various submarine and NC3 activities and operations," said Starr. "It's more efficient and effective than previous procedures and our team is proud to be making this difference for the fleet."

For more news from Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/spawar/.

Members of the Navy
Members of the Navy's Undersea Integration Program Office (PMW 770) and Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) Systems Centers (SSCs) Pacific and Atlantic accepted the Nuclear Command, Control and Communications (NC3) Support Award March 24.
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