WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is establishing an office tasked with aligning and accelerating joint all-domain command and control, a multibillion-dollar effort meant to tie together all components of the U.S. military, from sensor to shooter.
The acquisition, integration and interoperability office will first look “at how we’re going to integrate, truly get JADC2 talking across the department,” according to Chris O’Donnell, deputy assistant secretary of defense for platform and weapon portfolio management.
The Army, Navy and Air Force each have their own approaches to the realization of JADC2. The Army has Project Convergence, the Navy has Project Overmatch and the Air Force has the Advanced Battle Management System. Uniting these efforts across land, air, sea, space and cyberspace is an office priority.
While there is already “great work going on,” there “needs to be more jointness, and we’re working toward that,” O’Donnell said Oct. 26 at a symposium hosted by the Association of Old Crows, a nonprofit specializing in electronic warfare and information operations.
O’Donnell’s comments come amid concerns expressed by defense officials, lawmakers and analysts that the military services are not on the same page, or are not sufficiently collaborating. A version of the annual defense bill included an audit of JADC2 progress and prices. Staffers described the measure as informative, not punitive.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown in June met with fellow leaders from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Space Force to assess JADC2 common ground and discuss advancements. The Air Force at the time said the summit underlined how seriously the Defense Department is taking cooperation.
The new office will be housed under the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
The Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office, which reached full operations in June, is also working on JADC2 data integration. It reports directly to the deputy secretary of defense, Kathleen Hicks.
O’Donnell on Wednesday said the military has “done an amazing job” addressing how critical information will be shuttled back-and-forth to all corners of the military, and how that information, once received, will be used to fight more effectively.
“I would never say the services are too siloed in their approach. The services are doing exactly what they need to support service needs,” he said. “They’re all talking to each other.”
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.