Joint Systems Integration Command swings into operation

Joint Systems Integration Command swings into operation

NORFOLK, Va.'The Joint Forces Command has created a new command and control facility for civilian as well as military agencies and NATO countries that the command's chief promises will be 'a vibrant intellectual engine.'

The new Joint Systems Integration Center in Suffolk, Va., will incorporate a Joint National Training Capability and begin initial operations next month, said Adm. Edmund Giambastiani, speaking today at the Commonwealth of Virginia IT Symposium. The Navy began construction on the 86,000-square-foot center in March.

"We're going to demonstrate next-generation multiagency and multinational collaboration and joint, interoperable command and control across the full spectrum," Giambastiani said. "Today's C2 facilities have no civilian analog. I don't find anybody who understands the large-scale vertical and horizontal integration necessary for synchronized operations."

The joint military teams of the future will be trained to use the same terminals, or "kill boxes," he said "They don't care where capabilities come from, only that they work. We are aggressively including industry in military force transformation but in a nonproprietary way. Some companies don't like that. If they aren't delivering coherently integrated solutions today, they're creating the joint problems of tomorrow."

Giambastiani's command has 3,500 workers, 60 percent of them civilian and contractors, and a $575 million annual budget, about $200 million of which goes for research and experimentation. It seeks classified as well as unclassified collaboration technology innovations.

He described the kind of integrated system the command wants to develop. The prototype system has an air traffic picture such as the Federal Aviation Administration has, plus a vessel-tracking system such as the Coast Guard uses, plus the ability to plot locations down to the individual building on a 3-D display. The Northern Command tested a prototype, called Echo, for a simulated joint disaster response in Richmond, Va., he said.

In his other role as supreme allied commander for NATO transformation, Giambastiani is working with a staff of 650 in Norfolk to set up joint warfare training exercises with the 26 NATO member nations. "It requires a new mindset," he said. "We have a unique opportunity today to develop powerful capabilities for asymmetric warfare, and they have applications far beyond military operations."

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