AUGUSTA, Ga. — The burgeoning nature of Joint All-Domain Command and Control, the Pentagon’s overhaul of military communications, means coordination across the armed services and broader governance are still a work in progress, a top U.S. Army IT official said.
“I think we’re all on a bit of a journey,” Lt. Gen. John Morrison, deputy chief of staff, G-6, said Aug. 17 at the AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference. “There is work to be done on making sure that we synchronize all the service efforts. But I know that senior leaders in the Department of Defense and senior leaders in the Army are working it very hard.”
JADC2 calls for a wholly connected military, with links across land, air, sea, space and cyber enabling speedy and accurate responses to threats. The concept is a significant departure from past and present, where disparate technologies and networks operated by different services impede the flow of information.
The Army, Air Force and Navy have their own contributions to JADC2 realization: Project Convergence, the Advanced Battle Management System and Project Overmatch, respectively. An overarching strategy and implementation plan exist, as does a cross-functional team meant to harmonize investments.
The different approaches, though, have led lawmakers, analysts and military officials to publicly worry about coordination — whether the services, in attempting to create seamless connectivity, are actually reaching beyond their own siloes.
Wanda Jones-Heath, the principal cyber adviser for the Air Force and Space Force, has said she believes JADC2 efforts are disjointed.
“I’ve looked at all of the documentation associated with all three,” she said at a July event hosted by the Potomac Officers Club. “We are not aligned with what we need to be to be interoperable.”
Morrison on Wednesday said he was not familiar with Jones-Heath’s comments while emphasizing JADC2′s emerging fashion and the ongoing joint experimentation meant to lock in the correct approach.
“The good news that I would tell you is that, through venues like Project Convergence, especially using Project Convergence 22 as an example, you have the services talking to each other, working together to get after this notion of not interoperability, but integration of effects,” Morrison said.
Project Convergence 22, often referred to as PC 22, takes place later this year and will involve the Army and the other services and will be the first to actively involve international partners. The U.K. and Australia will participate in the massive experiment, while Canada and others observe.
Specific attention will be paid to the Indo-Pacific and European theaters. Russian and Chinese threats informed the exercises, Defense News reported.
The Army earlier this year verified the services and international forces participating in PC 22 could exchange information and connect over long distances, from Maryland to Texas to the U.K. and on further. The critical milestone came during a communications exercise known as COMMEX 1B.
More than 50 technologies were tested during the three-week event.
Colin Demarest is a reporter at C4ISRNET, where he covers military networks, cyber and IT. Colin previously covered the Department of Energy and its National Nuclear Security Administration — namely Cold War cleanup and nuclear weapons development — for a daily newspaper in South Carolina. Colin is also an award-winning photographer.