COCOMS Leverage Joint Test Project To Improve Common Tactical Picture
By Dialogo June 01, 2011
Combatant commands are leveraging new data-management methods developed during a recent Pentagon test project to improve commanders’ common tactical picture and save millions of dollars, according to defense officials.
The 32-month Joint Data Integration (JDI) project, which wrapped up last month, addressed the quality of the common tactical picture used by the joint task force commander to support operational-level force employment decisions.
The project aimed to develop and test joint data-management tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP) for use in standardizing the common tactical picture. The product of the effort was published and distributed April 28 as both a Joint Data Management Handbook and in two quick reference guides, Pentagon spokeswoman Cheryl Irwin said.
“This TTP improves the JTF commanders’ ability to make informed and timely decisions,” Irwin said. “The CTP data management TTP contains standardized procedures for the Global Command and Control System operators, track data managers and system administrators to improve the quality of the CTP.”
“These procedures address system configuration, track data management and CTP development and sharing,” she added.
U.S. Pacific Command, U.S. Southern Command and U.S. European Command are using the new tactics, techniques and procedures.
PACOM has used the TTP in exercises such as Terminal Fury 2009 and Valiant Shield 2010 and the command’s Navy and Air Force functional components are also using the new them. A return-on-investment study found that PACOM would save nearly $2 million annually by using the CTP Data Management TTP — savings that are anticipated “well past fiscal year 2015,” Irwin said.
EUCOM used a recently published version of the project’s TTP in its Austere Challenge 2011, which ran from April 26 to May 4. The exercises included Defense Department civilians, contractors, representatives from all the service components and U.S. Joint Forces Command, as well as personnel from France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy and Poland, a EUCOM spokeswoman said.
Austere Challenge is an exercise “designed to enhance the ability of the European Command headquarters staff and subordinate commands to respond to a major crisis within the European Command theater of operations,” the EUCOM spokeswoman said.
“Our exercise is designed to build and maintain partnerships, enhancing security and regional stability,” she added.
SOUTHCOM also used the project’s TTP during its Panamax 2010 exercise, which tests the security of the Panama Canal. That event took place Aug. 16-27, 2010, and included 2,000 civilian and military participants from 18 nations in simulated training scenarios near Panama and the United States.
“SOUTHCOM used the JDI TTP during PANAMAX 2010 exercises and was pleased with the improved common tactical picture that resulted but have not indicated how they will begin using the TTP,” Irwin said.
PANAMAX 2011 is slated to begin this August, a spokesman for PACOM said. The command declined to discuss how the joint test project’s TTP would be used.
Both U.S. African Command and JFCOM have expressed interest in using the TTP in the future, the Pentagon spokeswoman said. AFRICOM was briefed on the TTP and has “expressed interest in follow-up training” but has not indicated when they might start using them, she said. JFCOM “is interested in using the TTP and may start using it in the near future,” Irwin said.
It is nice to see something that I had a hand in developing is supported and put to good use. It is too bad that there wasn't any opportunity for the JDI group to continue the support of the Warfighter. I would hope in the future I could be a part of the continued support.