JWID demos become jewels

"The C4I technologies
will boost interoperability," said Gen. Henry Shelton, Joint Chiefs chairman.





The 1998 Joint Warrior Interoperability Demonstration begins a new chapter in the short
history of the annual exercise designed to mine Gold Nugget—or
outstanding—information technologies.


JWID ’98, sponsored by U.S. Atlantic Command, runs through July 30. Though this
year’s demonstration is smaller than last year’s monthlong exercise, Defense
Department officials are calling it a groundbreaking event.


This year’s JWID will further refine and assess JWID ’97 demonstrations, as
well as validate the concept of operations for three technologies selected last year for
rapid acquisition.


“Last year we found three Gold Nuggets, and this year we’re buying
them,” said Navy Capt. Dennis Murphy, JWID project manager.


The $10 million for buying the technologies will come from service, Joint Chiefs of
Staff and Defense Information Systems Agency budgets. Defense plans to field the new
technologies in the next six months.


A panel of representatives from the services, DISA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff
selected the three technologies from 28 demos at JWID ’97 and recommended them for
accelerated procurement.


“Inserting the C4I enhancements provided by the JWID ’97 Gold Nugget
demonstrations—COMPASS, Increased Compression Engine and the Radiant Mercury Imagery
Guard—into the hands of the warfighters will pay handsome returns in future joint and
coalition interoperability,” said Gen. Henry Shelton, Joint Chiefs chairman.


RMIG, sponsored by the National Reconnaissance Office in Alexandria, Va., is a
multilevel security system that lets users transfer intelligence, surveillance and
reconnaissance images equipped with National Imagery Transmission Format headers across
classification levels. The images can be sent within commands and between allies and
coalition partners.


The automated process replaces manual tools now used to sort formatted data.


All commander-in-chief offices will ultimately have access to the system. But
RMIG’s operating system must be certified before the offices can use it.


“It’s not going to get fielded for a few months because the Trusted Solaris
Version 2.5.1 that it runs on isn’t certified yet as ‘trusted,’ ”
Murphy said. “That’s a long pole in a tent that we can’t do anything about,
but it’s on track.”


The United Kingdom is in charge of certifying Trusted Solaris 2.5.1, which an
international consortium of countries uses.


When the United Kingdom certifies the OS, DOD will accept its decision and field it,
Murphy said. Each commander-in-chief office will get both hardware and software for RMIG,
he said.


At JWID ’98, a Radiant Mercury Tactical Advanced Computer-4 system will link to
workstations at the commander level via DOD’s Secret IP Router Network and will link
to lower levels via 100Base-T Ethernet to a Coalition Wide Area Network.


The United Kingdom is taking a larger role in this year’s events by holding more
than 40 demos. Australia, Canada, NATO and New Zealand are also participating in JWID this
month.


A coalitionwide vulnerability assessment of network security will be held at the joint
exercise. The Coalition Communications Control Center, housed last year at the Joint
Battle Center in Suffolk, Va., is now at Blandford Camp, England.


At JWID ’97, Delfin Systems Inc. of Reston, Va., provided an Information
Operations Defense and Information Battle Damage Assessment system based on computer
forensic technology, as well as intrusion detection and visualization software.


Delfin expanded its information assurance system this year by giving the coalition
control center the ability to detect, analyze, evaluate, report and defend against
cyberattack.


The second Golden Nugget, the Common Operational Modeling Planning and Simulation
Strategy is middleware that lets stovepiped command, control, communications, computers
and intelligence systems and modeling and simulation systems interoperate. It also lets
legacy systems and Defense Information Infrastructure-compliant C4I systems exchange data.


The middleware consists of government and commercial software for client-server
networks. It runs on a Sun Microsystems Inc. Sparc Ultra Enterprise server running Unix
and on Silicon Graphics Inc. workstations. The Naval Research and Development center in
San Diego is developing a COMPASS application for PCs.


Murphy said that COMPASS will be part of Global Command and Control System Version 3.0,
Phase 2.


“Anybody that’s got GCCS can use COMPASS,” Murphy said.


COMPASS’ whiteboard capability, provided by Sun’s ShowMe 2.0.1, exchanges
pixel-based text, graphics and screen snapshots.


GlobalChat 1.1.0 from Quarterdeck Office Systems Inc. of Santa Monica, Calif., provides
real-time text exchange between participants in a chat session.


“Watching people use COMPASS,” Murphy said, “my personal opinion is that
if they have the whiteboard and voice capability, that’s as good as having video
teleconferencing but without the extra bandwidth requirements.”


Another Gold Nugget bound for deployment is Increased Compression Engine, an imagery
compression, transfer and analysis tool from Titan Corp. of Reston, Va.


The tool performs significantly beyond the commercial Joint Photographic Experts Group
image compression standard, Defense officials said.


The software uses wavelet technology from Aware Inc. of Cambridge, Mass., to compress
imagery. It compresses by a factor of 150-to-1 for 24-bit color images and a factor of
100-to-1 for 8-bit grayscale images.


The tool is scalable, which lets the recipient of the compressed data decompress and
manipulate the images as needed.


ICE got a waiver from Joint Technical Architecture compliance so that it can be fielded
rapidly, Murphy said. 

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