Services aim to establish CJADC2 at the most “basic levels” by defining mutual standards for data sharing and service interfacing designed to deliver CJADC2 capabilities to the warfighter quicker and to promote “shared” understanding of concepts and capabilities.
In the CJADC2 concept, each of the military branches would connect sensors, shooters and command nodes in a “mesh network” that would allow commanders more options and the ability to act faster. Each branch must learn to interface with each other and successfully access data, reconnaissance and intelligence collected from across joint networks.
“The core challenges of the future fight are speed and scale. The future fight will be much faster, and the joint force will have more sensors and more shooters. It will be more widely distributed than ever before.” The initiative will test the Army’s Project Convergence impact on the joint forces’ training as well as exercises and demonstrations.
Project Convergence is the Army’s plan to merge its joint force capabilities and keep pace with technological change, testing artificial intelligence capabilities along with its abilities to transmit information from sensors in the air, space and on the ground. to enable the joint force to quickly collect, analyze and transmit data at machine speeds.
The exercise is designed to help make informed battlefield decisions faster. “Imagine allowing operators to choose what data feeds are important to them and for others to be able to subscribe to get the information they need. The power of this architecture is unlocked by services working together to connect networks and share information at machine speed. That’s all-domain superiority. And this event took us one step closer to realizing that future.”
“We will have all sensors, the right shooter, and the right command and control coming together to give us the speed and the depth in the battlefield that we’ve never had before.
Critical to the Army’s contribution to JADC2 will be its new Multi-Domain Task Force because of its ability to provide long-range precision effects, as well as intelligence, information and cyber capabilities.
“We’re going to have the capability for long-range precision fires at ranges that we’ve never even considered before. “And this will give us a cross-domain capability to work with the joint force and coalition partners, and give us capabilities that are really going to make a difference.”
The Army is entering a new era, and after observing Project it’s clear that the Army is indeed reaching a new level of experimentation and testing. The Army is converting ideas, prototypes, and various modes of operating (i.e., new ways of fighting) into new capabilities.
This is a departure from the past, where a lion share of the budget and programming narrowly focused on incremental upgrades to existing platforms, adding armor, speed, reach, and lethality at exorbitant costs, over long periods of time. This approach is dated, and the Army is aggressively pursuing innovation to attain a decisive edge over rising competitors.
There is a distinction between modernization and innovation. The key to innovation is finding cost-wise solutions to operational problems the nation is facing on a fast-paced and rapidly changing battlefield. At best, modernization has been the approach to make incremental changes, but innovation is now the collective aim.
In an unprecedented level of collaboration, Project Convergence has throttled the needle forward and sped the kill chain from minutes to seconds, combining over thirty technologies to alter the speed, complexity, and overall geometry of the battlefield. To be sure, the experimentation was not perfect, but the aggressive use of machine learning and artificial intelligence to sense, detect, and assign shooters to service targets was fast and rather remarkable.
We need our partners to have the ability to collect on information requirements to support the close and deep fight, probe enemy gaps, and, if needed, strike hard and fast, destroying as much enemy force as possible with minimal friendly economy of force, speed and precision. In essence, they need to plug into our battle networks with their sensors and shooters while adhering to interoperability standards and their national caveats.
Our combined headquarters require the ability and capacity to rapidly coalesce an alliance of forces, spanning multiple echelons and across multiple domains, into a highly dense digital environment. Success requires digital alignment across all warfighting functions and a common set of tools in a mission partnered environment.
Improving on the exercise performance will require more people writing and analyzing code and data in real-time, closer to the action — and that’s not just for the experiment. One of the biggest changes the Army envisions for the way it fights is bringing a new type of soldier, trained in software development, data science and AI, to work and rework algorithms on, or very near, the front lines.
The service needs “code writers at the edge” of battle because “the software, the algorithms change…The enemy is going to change things too. Their systems are going to change, so we have to have code-writers forward to be responsive to commanders to say, that algorithm needs to change because it’s not moving the data fast enough.’ And if we own the code, like we own software, we can make those adjustments forward.”
Today’s process for doing processing, exploitation, and dissemination of data, sounds something like, “‘Call back to this guy at another base and have it changed, I need it in 12 hours.”
That’s not suitable for the accelerating pace of warfare. “They can’t wait three hours to get that target into the targeting cycle to get it approved and go through some laborious process. It’s going to have to change instantaneously so we can stay ahead of the decisions adversaries are making.”
The Army is already setting out to train these soldier coders who will practice writing software, doing data science, closer to combat. “We have to get closer to the edge because the speed of finding a target and sending it to something that can process it, the speed of calling a fire mission, a medevac mission, that’s what we’re after.”
During Army high-profile test of emerging technology, service leaders packed explosives into a prototype of the Extended Range Cannon as part of a bold experiment.
The cannon had the ability to fire beyond 70 kilometers, and the XM1113 projectile had been customized with a precision guidance kit, not the next long-range precision guidance kit that will be integrated later.
“It didn’t go off every time. It was kind of disappointing when there was a hole in the ground right next to the target because it didn’t explode.”
“The bullets flying through the air and exploding is interesting, but that’s not what’s compelling about Project Convergence. It’s everything that happens before the lanyard is pulled, the trigger is pulled. We didn’t come out here for a precision fires exercise. What we came here to do is increase the speed of information between sensing the target and passing that information to the effector.”
By creating a complex network of systems, the Army was able to dramatically shorten its kill chain. And the service moved the architecture from PowerPoint to a living and breathing capability in less than eight months.
Science and technology efforts that were just “two months ago an idea in a lab some place in an air-conditioned building” were worked into the exercise.
The exercise exceeded any expectation we could have had. It was an experiment. It was an experiment at scale for a combined arms operations, and the fact that they compressed the timespan was incredible.
“We started with a lot more technology than we demonstrated today. It was a very deliberate process of determining things that would be ready and things that would not be ready.” In some cases, the Army overshot its goal, literally. In several instances, the video of the target after the launching of effects showed the target still standing.
“Aided target recognition, it’s brittle. We need more work, more sets, to continue to train and solidify that and do it on the move with rough terrain and stability systems. The air-to-air coordination and air-to-ground, that worked extremely well. The mapping worked very well. But we all have our eyes wide open. This is a first step. We can now look ourselves in the eye and say we know exactly where we’re starting.”
There were things that didn’t work perfectly. We missed a couple of targets.” But, That really doesn’t matter. All the things we wanted to work in terms of the ability to see, decide and act first will be going to be the key thing to winning on the future battlefield. The key elements of that, worked perfectly today.”
1. Establish appropriate measures to protect and defend data, users, systems, network connections, and missions
2. Expand automated end-to-end network visibility and assured interoperability through a single security architecture framework
3. Enforce network security standards and policies for systems from inception through fielding, including sustainment
4. Drive organizational compliance with single security architecture framework
5. Reduce external attack surface, standardize security controls, and align with Joint Information Environment concepts
6. Enhance shared analytics, real-time metrics, information sharing, and reporting to improve security and situational awareness
7. Improve cross-organizational training exercises and network security testing efforts
8. Provide means to employ assured C2 with increased tempo and lethality
9. Achieve a high state of institutional readiness and flexibility across the force
10. Take advantage of new waveforms and capabilities supporting “On-The-Move” requirements
11. Find solutions to problems of Inventory comprised largely of legacy, end-of-life systems with no path to modernization due to sustainment costs
12. Innovate rapid capability development, planning and programming, policy, and acquisition methodology to obtain required technologies
13. Provide an approved equipment and services list to rapidly fulfill operational requirements
14. Enforce standard configurations to optimize protection and usability to include the Joint, communities
15. Deliver manpower systems, policies, and processes to attract, develop, retain, and support qualified workforce
16. Structure the Communications MOS to operate and maintain new technology while ensuring flexibility to adjust with advancements and innovation
17. Deliver a modern, dynamic training environment resourced, e.g., personnel, equipment, facilities, time, and funding, to support C2 requirements and technology
18. Train workforce to compete and win in an information-contested/denied operating environment
19. Leverage modern, immersive training and simulation technologies meeting classified/unclassified requirements integrated with training and standards
20. Upgrade Brick-and-mortar training facilities require designs to implement modern training techniques to inject resources into a virtual environment
21. Adapt workforce to changing requirements, incorporating emerging technologies to provide integrated solutions across the training and knowledge continuum
22. Provide live and virtual training, hands-on laboratories, and realistic operational exercises
23. Enable a flexible and dynamic process of planning and investment of C2 technologies to meet the demands of the warfighter
24. Ensure a competitive advantage while maximizing investments to enhance current and future operations.
25. Establish enterprise policies, processes, and standards to govern the implementation, operation, and sustainment of the Command and Control network
26. Provide governance, policy, and oversight for data strategy, data architecture, and data management efforts
27. Maximize investments while minimizing the amount of unnecessary redundancy resulting from disparate planning and development efforts
28. Establish accountability for data use, data quality, information exchange, accessibility
29. Oversee strategic planning and governance for all information and information management functions
30. Provide governance, policy, and oversight of data strategy; data architecture; enterprise data management; data sharing; and information, spectrum, and circuit management
31. Maximize investment value, inform decision making, and minimize unnecessary redundancy through a unified system
32. Ensure systems acquisition and development efforts continues to observe policies while expediting delivery of capabilities
33. Ensure compliance to program guidance for interoperable, cost-effective, and secure systems
34. Prioritize a list of investments via a value and risk assessment to maximize capability
35. Develop procedures for detecting, reporting, and responding to security incidents
36. Influence and shape investment opportunities to demonstrate fiscal responsibility and guide innovation throughout Capabilities Based Assessment
37. Improve quality of services, cost transparency and allow for innovation
38. Eliminate labor and costs associated with duplicative networks and systems and reduce spending of separate investment paths
39. Leverage an enterprise approach while advocating for the development of Joint capabilities
40. Implement lifecycle best practices of planning, installing, operating, maintaining, and continuously improving systems
41. Eliminate procurement of disparate, non-interoperable systems, and duplicative equipment while leveraging sister-service acquisitions
42. Stop practice of using organizational funds to implement special projects without aligning solutions to the larger enterprise view
43. Improve enterprise visibility of the full sustainment costs to be captured as part of the Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution process
44. Enforce information technology Investment Strategy aligning policies, projects, acquisitions, and funding
45. Provide modern, cutting-edge technology and valuate means include nonstandard methods
46. Deliver rapid capabilities not normally associated with technology refreshes and maintenance cycles
47. Establish integrated priorities by linking the governance and Investment Strategy processes to improve resourcing process
48. Ensure the information technology Investment Strategy includes the tactical edge
49. Provide metrics and measurements to assess the value of the systems within portfolio
50. Overhaul Procurement Request Review Approval System process to ensure approval process provides compliant solutions aligned to strategic vision and goals