Joint Chiefs will focus on data-sharing initiative

Joint Chiefs will focus on data-sharing initiative

SAN DIEGO-The Joint Chiefs of Staff is spearheading work on a strategy for how the military branches share information, secure command and control assets, and fight future wars.

"If our military is to defeat our adversaries, we must improve how we share information," Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, head of the Joint Chiefs, said. "Information sharing allows transparency in both planning and execution. History is pretty clear. The one who can do that the fastest, usually wins."

The operational Joint Capstone Document will come from the perspective of the warfighter and will exploit what Myers called 'our nation's asymmetrical advantages." The Joint Chiefs is working with the individual services, think tanks, universities and technology vendors to create the document, Myers said.

"We are putting a lot of energy behind better solutions," he said. "Transformation must be more than a bumper sticker. Transformation isn't just about words; it's about results."

Myers gave the keynote address yesterday at the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association's West 2003 conference in San Diego. He spoke via telecast from the Pentagon.

Transforming how the military fights depends on three items, Myers said: letting warfighters use existing technologies in innovative ways, encouraging risk taking and improving data sharing.

As an example of innovation, he explained that commanders used P-3 unmanned aircraft to locate enemy positions in the rugged terrain of Afghanistan. That was not what the planes were designed to do, Myers said, but the Defense Department must stretch the boundaries of technology, finding out what works by taking chances.

"Transformation is a process that takes place between the ears of the warfighter," Myers said. "It is improving the warfighter's breadth and depth of knowledge."

War has often been a catalyst in improving the way the military fights, Myers said.

In World War II, military communications specialists created the radar. And just last month while visiting troops in Afghanistan, Myers said he saw how soldiers were using the Common Operating Picture mapping system to get a wide view of the battlefield'an improvement over the paper maps that were heavily used just over a year ago.


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