In preparing to fight together simultaneously across multiple domains, the U.S. Air Force, Army, and most recently the Navy Chief of Operations have started discussions on creating a unified, integrated Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) network. This new system will be critical to the U.S. military, allies, and partners in rapidly synchronizing the fight of tomorrow across all domains. Successfully preparing for these future battles requires investing in the test and training technology to develop, evaluate and train to these emerging tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs).
Recently at MILCOM 2019, Air Force officials pointed to JADC2’s need to include a network that would link all U.S. military sensors to all shooters in near real-time, according to Breaking Defense. The Air Force, according to one official, is actively working with the joint force to identify emerging and future technologies to build “a digital foundation from which we can all share, connect, and learn.”
Disparate C2 systems from Army, Air Force, and Navy creates a lag time, making it difficult to gather and analyze data, provide intel to the warfighter, and enable the real-time decision-making process needed to fight and win wars on the ground, air, sea, space, and especially in the cyber domain.
While each of the services has their own multi-domain C2 systems, for the future JADC2 to be effective, there needs to be a “purple service” C2 that is fully integrated and united to increase lethality. Yet it can’t stop there. The services need to also invest in the training connectivity for a highly-realistic way to connect, test, and train these operators in the training environment best suited for their platform — at the classification level they need to train. This ideal training scenario for a C2 operator will differ from a 5th-gen pilot, but they share the need for a common training connection.
Collins Aerospace has tackled interoperability and security across disparate systems and currently is developing the Navy’s Tactical Combat Training System Increment II (TCTS Inc. II), a system that provides airborne, ground, and ship-based encrypted training capabilities with multilevel security that integrates with existing combat systems. As such, we have recommendations for pursuing JADC2 training:
Securely Connected Training Realism Enables Operators to “Train as They Fight”
First and foremost, it is crucial to provide a secure, highly realistic training connection that allows operators to “train as they fight” in an environment that also protects the specifics of their TTPs. This will include multiple levels of security, interoperability between 4th and 5th generation players, accurate threat replication, and a low latency environment, which will represent the highly congested and contested environments for future battles. The specific environment may be a live aircraft on a training range or a high-fidelity simulator or even a mixed reality environment to prepare the connected soldier, but they will each train more effectively if they can connect their individual training environments.
As we all know, the battlespace is rapidly evolving to incorporate new and emerging technologies. From artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented and virtual reality and much more, each new technology will impact how we fight today and into the future. To help the warfighter keep up, at the core there needs to be a training architecture able to connect to both current training resources (such as major training ranges, live emitters, high-fidelity simulators, etc.) and also open to connections such as HLA, TENA and DIS, to make room for the “still to be developed” training scenarios across domains.
Scalability and Agility to Prepare for Future Battle
The evolution of the battlespace and wars of the future are not going to slow down. The services need to be flexible, agile, and scalable in their approach to C2 and training. This preparation goes beyond wargaming. It requires scalable training scenarios that stretch the operator’s and warfighter’s cognitive workload with more and more assets (both live and constructive) to control, assign, and present offensive and defensive effects from all domains with the ultimate goal of seamless command and control across the services because they have tested their tactics and trained to them.
With the training connections that are open and secure enough to rapidly evolve with the future of warfare, warfighters will have the “digital foundation” to prepare for whatever the all-domain battle will hold.
Want to stay updated on the latest trends and insights about military training? Follow us on Twitter.