The easiest way to view the Pentagon’s vision of Joint All-Domain Command and Control is to see it as the “internet of war,” similar to the “internet of things” available to every smartphone user, a said Northrop Grumman’s chief technology officer on Tuesday.
During American Enterprise Institute eventScott Stapp said the intelligence services and community within the Department of Defense lack the ability to communicate through their own “cylinders of excellence”.
A shorthand description of JADC2 is getting “the right data for the right shooter”, he added, and also “who actually makes the decision to shoot that gun”.
Marine Maj. Gen. James Adams, deputy director of requirements and capabilities for the Joint Staff, said: “We don’t have doctrine that [would cover us] globally against an adversary; The approach now goes through regional combatant commanders.
JADC2 is trying to bridge this gap at different levels, the panelists said.
Moreover, the need for this level of command and control shows that it “is more than hardware. It’s people; it’s technology [leveraging from defense industry and the commercial sector]; it’s a process and a policy,” Adams said.
On the technology side, to meet the JADC2 targets for 2027, Stapp said thinking needs to shift from a platform-centric to a data-centric approach. It also acknowledges that there will be no major new programs by 2027. That means “tape and bandage” to make progress.
“We have 80% of the platforms we’re going to be fighting with in 10 years” already in inventory, said Lockheed Martin chief technology officer Steve Walker. But there is still room to look for ways to integrate smaller systems, such as unmanned systems, in order to move forward to truly work together and cover all areas in the future. “JADC2 will allow us to better understand the data,” he said.
Adams suggested that a starting point might be to have someone from the defense industry, an acquisition specialist, and a military person in the same room early on to see how connected they can become. as they seek to “get something militarily useful” to fighters as ASAP.
Responding to a subsequent question, Walker said “we need an acquisition path” for the defense industry and smaller tech companies to realize the profits needed to stay in business. The question they are asking is “how is it going to be” inside the Pentagon and how is it going to sit with congressional appropriations committees.
It also means understanding the limitations of technology now. Stapp used the example of artificial intelligence applied to a specific topic, such as winning at strategy but not being able to use that same knowledge to win at checkers or chess.
The industry “can kind of see how it fits in,” Walker said, because it works across departments. This gives the defense industry a broader picture of what is available, in addition to what these systems, software and platforms can do.
“Services [and the defense intelligence community] don’t really understand all the tools the other services have” for the fighter, Stapp added.
While the policy “is just paper” and can be changed relatively easily, Adams said, “there is a manpower issue” to make JADC2 work that would require changing the laws.
He said that looking at its contracted workforce, they are being recruited “to fulfill a specific role” and that the Department of Defense must obtain approval from Capitol Hill for this approach of filling its uniform ranks with soldiers. men and women who have “a real special experience”. as in cyber, electronic warfare and artificial intelligence.
These recruits would enter service as O-3s, similar to doctors and lawyers.
Adams said “we’re a long way from” removing humans from the decision-making loop. “The human role in war is immutable,” he added. Adams said he didn’t foresee a time when artificial intelligence and machine learning would replace commanders in the field. These advancements in JADC2 will allow commanders in the field to make decisions faster and exercise “command control down to the Lance Corporal”. [and] up to the commanding general,” he said.