When it comes to the Army’s contribution to a new joint architecture for battlefield command and control, the service said it will collaborate with industry in the very early stages.

James McPherson, undersecretary of the Army, said during an AFCEA-hosted webcast July 14 that the service will ask industry for its input into potential solutions for Joint All-Domain Command and Control prior to writing and publishing official requirements.

JADC2 is a new concept that seeks to connect sensors across the joint force to shooters making systems interoperable to share data, which officials believe will provide overmatch against sophisticated adversaries in a contested fight. The Joint Staff has created a cross-functional team to guide the military’s efforts.

“We’re looking to really partner with industry in a different way rather than just passing a document over the transom saying: ‘Here’s a requirement. Industry, can you meet this?' We want to take the transom down and have a conversation with industry and say: ‘Here are some of the characteristics we’re thinking about — what are your thoughts?' ” McPherson said.

“ ‘Here’s the characteristics that we’re looking for with regard to JADC2. Industry, how can you meet some of those characteristics? What other great ideas do you have, industry, to meet those characteristics? How do we turn those into requirements?' Then we turn that into a procurement document,” he added.

McPherson said earlier that morning that the top echelons of Army leadership met to hammer out some of those characteristics. He also said the Army is brainstorming how to include coalition partners in this new architecture.

“One of the pieces that the chief brought up is, you know, we’re going to have to add a letter in front of JADC2, and that’s combined. We need to start doing that,” McPherson said. “We need to start sharing, especially with our Five Eye[s] allies, but others as well … what our concept of this battlefield of 2040 is going to look like and how we can partner with them in going forward with our data management and all things data in that future battlefield.”

Mark Pomerleau is a reporter for C4ISRNET, covering information warfare and cyberspace.

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