DOD combo fits one platform
- By Gregory Slabodkin
- Aug 25, 1997
"This demo is all about system integration," said Air Force Lt. Col. Tomasita
Lahue, commander of the Pentagon's Combat Support Operations Center.
"At last year's Joint Warrior Interoperability Demonstration, we were able to show
some of the capabilities that we are showing today, except they were shown on separate
platforms," she said. "Today, we're blending the operational command and control
picture and the combat support picture on one platform."
Last month's JWID showcased Defense Information Systems Agency initiatives, including
the Global Command and Control System, the Global Combat Support System, the Defense
Message System and the Defense Information Infrastructure Common Operating Environment.
DOD conducts a JWID annually to exhibit emerging technologies that senior brass expect
to improve the command, control, communications, computers and intelligence performance
for joint forces. JWID '97 involved 45 sites worldwide and tested communications
interoperability between the United States and selected allies. The demo used a wartime
scenario as its backdrop.
This year's scenario had a deja vu feeling of reality. With a Gulf War-like setting,
the demo positioned U.S. and allied forces in a defensive posture against a Scud missile
launch from enemy forces. Eight allied nations participated in JWID '97, including
Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
The demonstration highlighted C4I systems designed to support theater missile defense
operations, secure data transmission among coalition forces, improve logistics management
and integrate service-unique C2 systems.
GCCS, a previous JWID participant, provided a common operational picture but fused with
intelligence and imagery data for the first time. GCCS version 3.0, which DISA has yet to
release officially, ran on multiple platforms.
A new implementation of GCCS, the Command and Control PC, supports a common operational
picture for end users and is designed for high-end PCs running Unix. The application will
let the services bring GCCS to the field.
"The Global Combat Support System enhances the way we access our applications via
the GCSS Web, which is akin to America Online for combat support," said Air Force
Maj. Roland Rivera, DISA's GCSS engineering manager for joint systems. For the
battlefield, the services have been testing the use of TCP/IP intranets, such as GCSS Web,
to handle secure data transmissions.
"Last year, we had a stovepipe configuration with GCCS on one workstation and GCSS
on another workstation," Rivera said. "Today we have brought them together onto
a single workstation using the DII COE."
GCSS Web applications were accessed via the classified Secret IP Router Network and the
Nonclassified IP Router Network.
Sources of data included the Joint Total Asset Visibility information system.
JTAV provides accurate, real-time information on the availability and location of
materiel and personnel, including munitions, fuel and prepositioned equipment and
supplies. DISA updates the JTAV databases frequently with new information on assets
available within the department's supply pipeline.
Defense Message System products were used during the demo to provide secure, reliable
messaging and directory services. DISA installed DMS, which will replace AUTODIN, at the
Pentagon and ran its applications via the SIPRnet. DMS was also installed at NATO
headquarters in Belgium and sites in New Zealand and the United Kingdom on the Coalition
Wide Area Network.
The global CWAN connected eight allies on one network for the first time without
prohibitive firewalls or multilevel security barriers preventing access.
Later this year, the U.S. Atlantic Command, which sponsored JWID '97, will identify
what it calls the golden nuggets from the demonstration.
The command wants to promote work on technologies that met the goals established for
the exercise. The military services will then evaluate the systems and applications for
rapid acquisition and deployment. DOD officials at the demo said they expect the command
to select CWAN as a nugget candidate.
Personnel, supply, maintenance and operations officers ran the Combat Support
Operations Center at the Pentagon, monitored the JWID scenario and analyzed courses of
action during the exercise.
Each of the functional representatives made battle damage assessments and recorded them
in an electronic journal developed by the U.S. Transportation Command at Scott Air Force
The online records program, which runs on workstations under Unix or Sun Solaris,
captured everything that transpired during the scenario. DOD can use the records to review
The command is working on a Microsoft Windows NT version.