JWID '98 expands on past and looks to future

Military leaders will put a smorgasbord of high-tech systems through their paces during
Joint Warrior Interoperability Demonstration ’98, which begins today.


The Coalition Wide Area Network, which lets U.S. and allied forces share operational
data, is making a return engagement from last year’s JWID. The Defense Information
Systems Agency developed CWAN for coalition forces because America’s allies cannot
use the Defense Department’s Secret IP Router Network.


CWAN is the common coalition backbone that provides real-time collaborative planning,
interoperability and connectivity between U.S. and allied forces. The network runs at a
secret security level throughout a coalition environment.


Because the United States and its allies frequently hold joint military exercises, DISA
recommended after JWID ’97 that CWAN be permanently established. U.S. Atlantic
Command, host of JWID 1997/1998, decided not to pursue the recommendation, said Navy Capt.
Dennis Murphy, JWID project manager.


But this year, DOD and British Defence Ministry officials will try to demonstrate that
a U.S. command and control system can talk to a U.K. C2 system using CWAN. Attempts last
year to exchange data between the United States and the United Kingdom among multiple
security levels were not successful.


“A few months after JWID ’97, DISA tried to do a CWAN on their own, and it
was not successful because it used U.S. and U.K. computers on their own networks with a
CWAN in between with firewalls,” Murphy said. “It didn’t work because
multilevel and multinational security tools don’t exist yet.”


Pacific Command wanted to use CWAN during Rim of the Pacific ’98, an international
maritime exercise off the coast of Hawaii this month, Murphy said.


Participants included Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, Korea and the United States But
because some countries don’t want to share sensitive data with other countries, the
network will not appear at RIMPAC ’98.


At JWID ’98, officials will use the Radiant Mercury Tactical Advanced Computer-4
system to move data from SIPRNet to CWAN (see story above).


This year’s JWID will continue to evaluate the Joint Deployable Intelligence
Support System, an enhanced JDISS workstation with intelligence collaboration and analysis
applications, including multilevel security and trusted Web technologies for data sharing
between networks.


The Joint Attack Command and Control System demo will be a part of JWID again this
year. At JWID ’97, the system used Java software to link joint-service fire control
systems on land to shipboard combat information centers.


The National Imagery and Mapping Agency last year successfully demonstrated a Web-based
imagery and geospatial system through which warfighters can get data from coalition and
U.S.-only databases.


After last year’s JWID, the agency left the IGS system aboard the USS Stennis and
at the Joint Battle Center in Suffolk, Va.


At JWID ’98, NIMA will continue to exploit the Stennis battlegroup’s and
JTASC’s IGS capabilities over the CWAN to give electronic access to geospatial
information.


As a result of the successful demonstration of the Situation Awareness Beacon with
Reply (SABER) at JWID last year, SABER is now set for acquisition. SABER locates friendly
forces using the Global Positioning System and ultra-high frequency links.


In the final JWID ’97 report on SABER, the JWID Joint Program Office recommended
SABER undergo more evaluation.


JWID ’98 will also include an Integrated Situational Awareness demonstration that
enhances the Global Command and Control System Common Operational Picture.


The demo will support both the CWAN and SIPRNet, improve communications software and
display integration of ground tracks, sensors, sensor performance assessment tools and
meteorological data. The demo uses clients running Microsoft Windows NT and Windows 95 to
view the tracks.


JWID ’97 also included a demo called Submarine Joint Coalition Combat Operations,
which demonstrated the benefit of having submarine support on the same WAN as the Maritime
Component Commander. Submarines provided real-time imagery and sensor-to-shooter support
during the demonstration.


For JWID ’98, that technology will expand to a battlegroup setting to include an
aircraft carrier, two submarines and at least two surface ships as an initial fielding of
the Maritime Area Network. MAN will be incorporated into the service’s Information
Technology for the 21st Century (IT-21) initiative.


The Navy in the past year has identified better, cheaper components for MAN so
submarines’ modems, for instance, can shift between 512-Kbps line-of-sight UHF and
2.4-Kbps one-way satellite communications downlinks, Murphy said. MAN runs over the
SIPRNet, not the CWAN.


Each year a different service takes the lead at JWID, Murphy said.


The Navy was the lead service for JWID 1997-1998; the U.S. Atlantic Command served as
host commander-in-chief. The Air Force will take the lead with U.S. Space Command as the
host CINC for next year’s JWID, he said.


The Air Force is seeking proposals from vendors to demonstrate new and evolving
commercial technologies, Murphy said. JWID ’99 will focus on enhancing warfighting
capabilities through better integration of space-based assets and space-derived data, he
said.  

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