News From Washington

Global C2 System in Place

The Defense Information Systems Agency and the Joint Staff have shut down the worldwide military command and control system (WWMCCS) top-secret support system and have declared the global command and control system (GCCS)-T the joint command and control (C2) system of record for top-secret operations. This act, which took place in June, completed the full replacement of the WWMCCS by the GCCS.

The GCCS is an element of Joint Vision 2010 and its capabilities offer significant improvements over those of the WWMCCS in both secret and highly secure C2 applications. The GCCS replaces the WWMCCS network of mainframe computers, which has been in use since the 1970s, with a client server computer system built on modern information technology that allows greater software flexibility and reliability. Based on a common operating environment, it also allows greater interoperability with other computer systems. Using the system, commanders can establish their own Internet home pages at the secret level and communicate securely via e-mail with their counterparts located throughout the world. The GCCS offers military personnel the kind of plug and play available with Windows™-type operating systems on PCs.

The GCCS provides surveillance and reconnaissance information and access to global intelligence sources as well as data on the precise locations of friendly forces. Crisis, tactical, execution and collaborative planning, and intelligence analysis and support are also provided. In addition, the system has the flexibility to be used in a range of operations, from actual combat to humanitarian assistance. As part of the shift, the joint operational planning and executions system has been transferred to the GCCS.

Air Force to Conduct C2 Study for Poland

Under the auspices of the office of the Secretary of Defense, the Air Force Electronic Systems Command is scheduled to conduct a study of Poland’s C2 capabilities. The in-depth study will assess Poland’s C2 capabilities for interoperability with US and North Atlantic Treaty Organization C2 systems and identify critical modernization issues.

A prime objective of the study (which was scheduled to begin in June) is a comprehensive assessment of the communications infrastructure and computer information systems that support Poland’s C2 system. The entire Polish C2 spectrum will be covered and a planned approach to C2 modernization and architectural growth through system upgrades will be documented.

The three phases that comprise the study include system requirements definition, architectural development and implementation/recommendation. In addition, three critical factors will be noted: Poland’s ability to pay for new technology, its ability to absorb new technology into its existing systems and its capacity to maintain and upgrade newly acquired technologies. The study, to be funded by the Department of Defense (DoD) under the 1997 Warsaw Initiative, is expected to cost $600 K and be an important element in assessing Poland’s ability to participate with US forces in multinational operations.

Boeing Awarded $216 M B-1B Defensive System Upgrade

The Air Force has awarded a $216 M contract to Boeing for the upgrade of the defensive system on the B-1B Lancer bomber. Terms of the contract call for engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) of a new defensive system for the B-1B to ensure the survivability of the aircraft and its crews in combat well into the next century.

The new systems are expected to be less expensive to manufacture and maintain than the current systems, and also are expected to improve the B-1B’s situational awareness, expendable countermeasures and on-/offboard jamming capabilities. The B-1B defensive system upgrade program is an element of the Air Force’s overall B-1B conventional mission upgrade program (CMUP). Work covered under this contract is sometimes referred to as CMUP Block F.

The contract also calls for the integration of the integrated defensive electronic countermeasures system (IDECM) and installation of an ALR 56M radar warning receiver. The EMD phase is scheduled for completion in 2002 at the conclusion of flight testing at Edwards Air Force Base. Production and installation of the improvements on the 95-aircraft B-1B fleet are scheduled to begin in 2003. Major subcontractors to Boeing for the Block F work include Sanders, a Lockheed Martin company, which is scheduled to act as the IDECM and ALR-56M system integrator, and the Collins Communications and Avionics Division of Rockwell.

DoD’s Electronic Combat Consolidation Plan Likely to Reduce Test Capabilities

In its report, “Consolidation Master Plan Does Not Appear to be Cost Effective,” the General Accounting Office (GAO) predicts that the implementation of the DoD’s plan to consolidate the open-air ranges, hardware-in-the-loop facilities and installed test system facilities used in electronic combat testing will reduce the effectiveness of their testing capabilities. The plan provides for the relocation of three of the seven facilities managed by the Air Force and does not propose any interservice or intraservice consolidations of Army or Navy facilities. The three facilities to be relocated include the Air Force Electronic Warfare Evaluation Simulator in Fort Worth, TX; the Real-time Electronic Digitally Controlled Analyzer Processor (REDCAP) in Buffalo, NY; and the Electro-magnetic Test Environment (EMTE) at Elgin Air Force Base, FL. The report notes that the planned relocation of the EMTE facility at Eglin Air Force Base will eliminate the DoD’s capability to test electronic combat systems in conditions that are typical of many potential threat locations. This relocation will leave only two open-air ranges with similar environmental characteristics.

Due to the proposed relocation of the REDCAP Buffalo facility, the existing hardware simulation capability will have to be replaced with digital computer models, which will reduce the Air Force’s ability to simulate realistic aircraft strike scenarios with high confidence and fidelity. The GAO points out that the master plan does not include any cost analysis and did not identify any savings expected from the consolidations. In fact, other data indicate that the consolidations may increase the DoD’s electronic combat test costs. In addition, the master plan does not contain any analysis or recommendations regarding consolidations of installed system test facility workloads across the services while the Navy and Air Force are spending $512 M for the construction of an additional anechoic chamber for a controlled electromagnetic environment and other upgrades at Patuxent River, MD and Edwards Air Force Base, CA.

The GAO believes that the implementation of the master plan will not lead to the most cost-effective DoD-wide facilities and points to the DoD’s inability to overcome service parochialism as the principal cause of the plan’s deficiencies. Earlier joint service studies that identified more cost-effective solutions based on interservice actions have not been implemented.

According to the GAO, the DoD’s electronic combat consolidation master plan did not take into consideration the loss of electronic combat effectiveness or provide cost or savings data. For these reasons, the GAO recommends that any implemented plan include accurate data on the actual cost of operating the services’ test and evaluation facilities, and on the needs of and costs to test facility customers. The GAO also recommends that a proposed plan should provide assurance that geographical and topographical diversity will be maintained in the facility base, that the proposed consolidations will be cost effective to the DoD as a whole and that there are measures in place to ensure that the implementation of cost-effective decisions cannot be constrained or avoided.