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Apr 05. GCN reports that the military of the future will have networks that are built jointly from the start, instead of relying on software built later to update and integrate legacy systems, said the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The distinction can save lives on the battlefield by allowing the services, interagency organizations and coalition partners to communicate effectively, said Air Force Gen. Richard Myers during a keynote address at the Joint Forces Command Symposium 2005 held here.

JFCOM and the National Defense Industrial Association sponsored the symposium entitled: “Joint Command and Control from a Warfighter’s Perspective”

“We could have saved lives if we had better command and control,” Myers told an audience consisting of military, academia and industry representatives. He was referring to operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. “Our acquisition systems
were not up to the task.”

For example, he said it currently takes a minimum of four to five people on average to make major milestone decisions on Defense programs.

“In my view, that’s a problem,” he added.

Myers also said that the many joint task forces that have been assembled since Sept. 11, 2001 have had their successes, but they’ve also been problematic. He said the task forces have run mostly ad hoc and were quickly set up to deal with various components of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

Joint Forces Command is spearheading a Standing Joint Force Headquarters, which includes a team of IT specialists embedded in the various combatant commands.

In 2002, JFCOM moved the SJFHQ from the conceptual stage to the experimental design stage. Today, JFCOM is working to move at least one of the specialists into each geographic combatant command.

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