DOD rushes C2 updates for war

The upgrades help warfighters identify dangers, DISA's Diane McCoy says.

The Defense Department has rushed delivery of the latest versions of the Global Command and Control System'Joint to help soldiers fighting in Iraq.

The Central Command in Florida requested an acceleration of GCCS-J Version 6.0, which added new intelligence capabilities, in January'four months ahead of its scheduled May release. And last month, DOD approved Version 6.2 to further upgrade intelligence functions and better synchronize data from the Common Operational Picture application, an integrated collection of battlefield images from numerous systems, said Col. Ronald Pontius, GCCS-J program manager for the Defense Information Systems Agency.

GCCS-J combines C2 systems of all the military services and ties in data from unmanned aerial vehicles, and ground and satellite sensors. It is used at more than 635 sites worldwide, mostly by combat commands, Pontius said. Each of the services works on system upgrades that are integrated into GCCS-J.

Representatives from each service sit on the GCCS Family of Systems Program Manager-Chief Engineering Steering Group, meeting quarterly to discuss application developments and C2 policies.

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This year, DISA became the designated GCCS integrator to work with other members of the group, setting update schedules, version testing and assuring interoperability, Pontius said.

'GCCS is providing near real-time situational awareness that is absolutely having tremendous positive impact and is being used extensively in Iraq,' he said.

Pontius said the Integrated Imagery and Intelligence (I3) suite of apps, which feeds video footage taken by unmanned aircraft such as the Predator and Global Hawk to commanders' networks, is now equipped with targeting and electronic-warfare simulation capabilities.

'It lets the warfighters know danger zones,' said Diane McCoy, principal director of the Applications Engineering Directorate at DISA.

One enhancement to I3 is the Improved Many on Many program, a 2-D computerized simulation app. IMOM has helped commanders plan missions and analyze battle intelligence data, Pontius said.

Another enhancement to I3 is the Joint Targeting Toolbox, which lets commanders manage and produce target data.

'It's a more seamless integration of intelligence and imagery information,' Pontius said.

Commanders are using the I3 data to determine where to use bombs, he added.

'As part of the planning, the intelligence guys are figuring out what the enemy is going to be doing, giving details about how the Iraqi Republican Guard normally does business,' Pontius said.

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