PART III – FUTURE BATTLE COMMAND AND CONTROL SYSTEM
By Mr Richard Sparshatt, Agile Communications, Inc., Col Nick Justice US Army Program Manager, Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below
A concepts paper that defines 6 principles for a Future Battle Command and Control System, and then analyzes how well today’s US Army systems (principally FBCB2) achieve these principles now, and in the future.
The paper/article represents the views and opinions of the authors which are not necessarily the official views of, or are endorsed by, the U.S. Government, Department of Defense or Department of the Army
FUTURE BATTLE COMMAND AND CONTROL SYSTEM
“The joint force of 2020 will use superior information and knowledge to achieve decision superiority, to support advanced command and control capabilities, and to reach the full potential of dominant maneuver, precision engagement, full dimensional protection and focused logistics. The breadth and pace of this evolution demands flexibility and a readiness to innovate.” – Joint Vision 2020
1. Military operations cover a broad spectrum of tasks, from warfighting to peace keeping. Any particular operation may involve different forces undertaking any of these tasks simultaneously, or indeed the same force undertaking missions that evolve from one part of the spectrum of tasks to another. Generically though, commanders at all levels seek to achieve their mission by the application of forces and resources under their command. The size and composition of the force could range from battalion (-) level to a large Task Force, and in modern day operations the force is usually task organized to include elements of all Battlefield Functional Areas (BFAs), the Services, and Allied or Coalition Forces. Today’s military understands that the reach of many modern day military and government capabilities means that whilst the theater of operations may be considered the area of the combat zone, the capabilities that can be employed come from almost anywhere on the globe, and even extend into space. It is the integration of these military capabilities that provides and sustains the fighting power for commanders. The Command and Control System enables the exercise of authority and direction over the joint force to achieve and sustain this integration of effort. It is far more than the communications, networks, computers and applications, but also the commanders and their staff at every level, across all BFAs, across all Services, and extends throughout the theater of operations, to the continental US and any other Regional Command. However, it is the evolution of digital communications, computers, digital sensor and surveillance technologies that provide the opportunities for the military to develop new battle command and control mechanisms, and help realize the quantum leap in operational capability and effectiveness sought in Joint Vision 2020.
2. This paper gives a conceptual view of the Future Battle Command and Control System (FBC2S), and defines principles for what the system aims to achieve, and how. The paper then examines how well today’s US Army C2 systems (chiefly FBCB2) compare against these principles.
“Our thinking about command and control must be conceptually based, rather than focused on technology and materiel.” – Joint Vision 2020
AIM OF THE FUTURE BATTLE COMMAND AND CONTROL SYSTEM
3. The Future Battle Command and Control System enables Battle Command on the Move and Battle Control in Near Real Time by Unobtrusive Monitoring of Situational Awareness (SA) Telemetry Data, that is then combined with C2 information and processed by the Tactical Knowledge Management Engine to infer and publish the right information to all users in the system, dependent on their role within the Task Force and scenario.
COMMAND AND CONTROL SYSTEM
4. The nature of levels of command means that commanders and staff at every level and acr