Data sharing on the battlefield

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Anthony Lisuzzo, Awareness Ace

Anthony Lisuzzo is the director of the Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate of the Research Development and Engineering Center at the Army's Communications'Electronics Command in Fort Monmouth, N.J. He is responsible for providing signals intelligence to ground troops and engaging in electronic warfare.

Sharing military information in Iraq contributed greatly to our success there, Lisuzzo said. The Army is improving its abilities to develop a coherent, real-time picture of all the forces on a battlefield even further.

Lisuzzo's directorate also develops systems to conduct electronic warfare.

Before taking his current job, Lisuzzo, who has worked for the Army since 1979, served as the associate technical director at the research center. He was responsible for the CECOM programs that developed advanced technology for the Future Combat Systems.

He has also worked as the deputy director of the Commander-in-Chief Interoperability Program Office and as the director of the Survivability/Camouflage/Concealment and Deception Division, both at CECOM.

Lisuzzo has a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Pratt Institute of New York and a master's in technology management from New Jersey Institute of Technology.

GCN staff writer Dawn S. Onley interviewed Lisuzzo by telephone.

GCN: What is the mission of the Army's Communications'Electronics Command's Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate?

LISUZZO: Our mission is to give warfighters information about the friendly and enemy forces on a battlefield and help improve targeting accuracy. Additionally, we provide electronic combat technologies to ensure information dominance.

The directorate provides these capabilities with efforts in five technology areas: individual intelligence or information operations, intelligence surveillance, reconnaissance fusion, radar and electronic combat.

GCN: How big is your directorate in manpower and divisions?

LISUZZO: I2WD currently has 353 employees, of whom 242 are engineers and scientists. The directorate is divided into four line divisions, and an operations division, special project offices for UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) payloads and combat identification as well as liaison officers deployed with several of our major partners and customers.

GCN: How do you define intelligence and information warfare?

LISUZZO: Intelligence is the gathering and cross-cueing of information for presentation to the right people in the right place at the right time so the commander can see first, execute first and finish decisively.

In the area of information warfare, our main concern is spectrum ownership. We want to use the spectrum at the time we want to use it. We'll let the bad guys use it so long as we learn some information from them. When the bad guys rely too heavily on spectrum usage we want to be able to take it away from them.

GCN: What other major IT programs are run out of your directorate, and how would you rank them in importance?

LISUZZO: A significant amount of manpower is devoted to supporting project managers within Program Executive Office, Intelligence and Electronic Warfare Sensors. The Office of the Secretary of Defense has designated CECOM to lead the development of the Single Integrated Ground Picture.

SIGP is a national outgrowth from the existing fusion work ongoing in CECOM and recently demonstrated at the Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance On-the Move experiment conducted at Fort Dix, N.J.

GCN: What is SIGP, and how does it fit in with other systems designed to develop interoperable pictures of the battlefield?

LISUZZO: SIGP is not a development of a new system. It is a joint integration effort that enables the collection, correlation and visualization of force-level data that depicts current location, battlefield geometrics, resources and status of friendly and other ground battlefield forces and systems.

The SIGP is the ground picture component of the Defense Department's FIOP [family of interoperable operational pictures], an effort established by the undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics.

We are working to ensure that all battle management command and control systems be interoperable by 2008. To do this, OSD created the FIOP. The Single Integrated Ground Picture is the component looking at the joint tactical ground situation. The SIGP effort is broken into two distinct parallel phases.

Phase 1 will concentrate efforts to improve legacy systems' interoperability based on an OSD recommended list of 11 to 16 systems or programs and initiatives.

Simultaneously, Phase 2 will address the Objective Force future systems, the Army's long-term plan for modernizing its forces, such as the Future Combat Systems.

GCN: What kind of picture will SIGP create?

LISUZZO: The SIGP uses correlated, near-real-time and real-time data, scalable and filterable, to support situational awareness, battle management and ground target engagements. Data is provided to commanders via situational maps and a series of overlays, resource tables, charts, reports and the commander's intent.

SIGP is tailored in content and area of coverage, relevant to a given battle commander, to improve the commander's situational understanding. The SIGP program will also begin to investigate advanced human-system interface technologies aimed toward providing the warfighters the right information without information overload.

GCN: As the director of the Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate, what is your role with the SIGP and FIOP programs ?

LISUZZO: We [CECOM] were designated the lead for the tactical ground component picture of the FIOP by the Office of the Secretary of Defense late in fiscal 2002. CECOM is working with our sister organizations to ensure that the other components of the FIOP are integrated. My role is to make certain that OSD's vision of SIGP meets the overall FIOP objectives and to ensure the overall objectives of the secretary of Defense are achieved.

GCN: What software and hardware do you use in SIGP?

LISUZZO: The SIGP is still in its infancy, and we have not yet selected any software or hardware products.

We are investigating Web service technologies and architectures being developed by the commercial sector as well as government and academia. Current Network Centric Enterprise Services Web technologies based on Extensible Markup Language, Simple Object Access Protocol and Web Services Description Language show a lot of promise in achieving the SIGP and FIOP objectives.

This approach will facilitate the rapid unobtrusive integration of both legacy and future systems.

GCN: How well did Defense agencies share information during Operation Iraqi Freedom?

LISUZZO: It's my observation that intelligence dissemination is vastly improved. Systems such as INTELINK are making a considerable amount of highly perishable information available throughout the community in a very timely manner.

More information was shared on a more timely basis due in large part to the advanced and secure automated intelligence networks in place today that were not in place during previous conflicts.

Real-time tactical intelligence and operational data were available to a greater number of personnel further down the organizational ladder in less time than was previously possible, due to the vastly improved automated network grid that now exists between the services and the intelligence community.

GCN: What did the military learn in Iraq about sharing intelligence information?

LISUZZO: The jury is still out on the success or failure of intelligence dissemination during the Iraqi conflict. But it is quite evident that the wide breadth of data available to all players in the Defense and intelligence communities'literally at the fingertips of intelligence specialists at all Defense installations worldwide'contributed immeasurably to our situational awareness.

Any drawbacks to our intelligence apparatus may arise more as a challenge to information overload than as a paucity of good information on which to apply our decision-making.

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