Tactical Service Orientated Architecture

Marines ready open architecture command and control platform

The Marines are readying the initial phase of the Tactical Service Orientated Architecture for sharing mission-critical information on demand.  TSOA is a collection of software that will provide a common, open architecture for command and control applications across the Marine Air-Ground Task Force, creating a balanced task force under a single commander.   

TSOA aims to consolidate data and eliminate reliance on multiple incompatible independent systems, allowing Marines to subscribe to collective data, provided as a service via TSOA. The system will also save the Marine Corps money by replacing aging and obsolete software.

With TSOA, “a Marine on patrol can subscribe to critical information, pertinent to his location and have that information exchanged seamlessly across the enterprise to a future handheld device,” TSOA project officer Maj. Austin Bonner said.

TSOA will be installed in combat operation centers and network with other centers to provided better information for Marine Corp missions.  There will also be an app store called the Marine Corps Software Resource Center that will deliver tactical applications more rapidly than the current acquisition methods. 

“The app store will enable us to deploy software faster to the field,” TSOA lead engineer Vivian Pecus said. “In the past we have had fast, agile software development efforts, but we were unable to deploy it as quickly as we will be able to via the MCSRC.”

Tested in October 2015 at Agile Bloodhound – an annual integration and demonstration event – Marine Corps Systems Command used the TSOA’s Mobile Patrol Planning and Assessment Tool, which allows visual planning of patrol routes on desktops to be imported to hand-held devices.  Along the planned patrol route, Marines can inform the app of any changes or concerns, which will be transmitted to the command as an update. TSOA can then share real-time, high-priority data with other patrols in the same location.   

TSOA is a response to the 2004 Department of Defense Directive for Data Sharing in a Net-Centric DOD, which instructed the services to adopt and implement a service-oriented architecture. 

Following ground and command element deployments, the Marines envision similar support to air and logistics combat elements.       

About the Author

Mark Pomerleau is a former editorial fellow with GCN and Defense Systems.

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