Navy, Marines pursue strategies to fuse intell capabilities
Concurrent reviews targeted acquisition and development of C2 technologies
- By Amber Corrin
- May 26, 2011
To maintain the military’s defensive edge in a rapidly evolving, multifront combat environment, the Defense Department is moving forward with efforts to sharpen the technological sword, including with new Navy and Marine Corps initiatives targeting IT.
One of the top priorities: assuring intelligence and command and control in the nonkinetic environment. Two recent, concurrent Navy and Marine Corps reviews are producing new strategies to pursue that goal.
“The world is changing dramatically; IT is driving that change, leading to an explosion in volume. As a result, command and control networks are increasingly vulnerable,” said Terry Simpson, principal deputy for intelligence with the Navy's Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence. He spoke May 25 at the AFCEA C4I conference in Fairfax, Va.
While adversaries have specific missions with directly allocated resources and high-tech, mission-focused tools, the U.S. military is deployed globally with many missions, struggling under fiscal constraints and burdened with complex layers of systems, Simpson said.
To help target command and control IT, the Navy and Marine Corps each launched comprehensive reviews of their acquisition, development and delivery of intelligence capabilities over the past two years.
A maritime enterprise acquisition review for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, conducted in 2010 with a recently released report, yielded 53 findings in six key areas. Among the conclusions were that the Marine Corps needs to implement collaborative and iterative approaches to fielding, budgeting and processing for ISR, Simpson said.
The Marine Corps ISR Enterprise Review, which the Marine Corps intelligence director signed off on in April 2010, studied intelligence support, operational planning and decision-making processes. The study resulted in a road map for enhancing intelligence capabilities, including outlining a portfolio approach to managing programs and guidelines for promoting rapid delivery of high-tech intelligence capabilities and integrating ISR development into the operational environment, Simpson said.
“It sounds simple, but it’s profound in that it ties the development cycle to operational needs,” he added.
Simpson also discussed the C2 Rapid Prototyping Continuum, a science and technology initiative to integrate command and control into the operational picture, support time-sensitive decision making, and support rapid and continuous delivery of capabilities through direct fleet engagement.
“We’re focused on being extremely aligned with operational needs and timelines,” Simpson said.
Amber Corrin is a staff writer covering military networks for Defense Systems.