DOD rushes global system into action in Iraq

DOD rushes global system into action in Iraq

Military officials have been using the latest versions of the Global Command and Control System-Joint to aid soldiers fighting in Iraq. The new versions, which feature six upgrades since last summer, were rushed to delivery to help the war effort, officials said.

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 (COP) application, an integrated collection of battlefield images from several 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 correlates data from unmanned aerial vehicles, 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.

'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 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 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 use the I3 data to determine where to direct 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.

Many applications feed COP, including joint mapping; tracking of supplies, personnel and ammunition; and communications with external systems and sensors.

In March, DOD added a synchronization application to COP to reduce duplicate information and improve its effectiveness, Pontius said.

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