The Pentagon has a new strategy for JADC2, but most of us won’t be able to see it for a while


Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin signed the department’s first-ever Global Strategy for Joint Command and Control of All Fields (JADC2), the DoD’s massive effort to digitally interconnect its weapon systems and sensors.

Defense officials told Pentagon reporters that Austin signed the document on May 13. The strategy itself is classified, but the department is working on an unclassified summary for public consumption that is “nearing completion,” said Lt. Gen. Dennis Crall, the Joint Chief of Staff for the command, the control, communications and IT (J-6).

While the basic framework for JADC2 is not new, Crall said the secretary’s imprimatur on a formal strategy document would add clearer governance and direction to the experimentation work already being done by the military services, including in the Army Convergence Project, the Air Force’s advanced combat management. System and the Navy’s Overmatch Project.

“[Until now,] I could persuade individuals to join a framework and a structure, but if there was slow compliance or no compliance, there really weren’t any teeth in the system to make that change – we didn’t. ‘planes no Northern Star,’ he said. “What this allows me to take the JADC2 strategy and a specific line of effort and place it directly above that experimentation and check it out, and see which parts are compliant today and which are not.” not. And the parts that are not, what do we want to do with them? Do we break them up into smaller experiences because they can still point to something, or do I recapitalize that money and put it somewhere else? “

The JADC2 concept aims not only to interconnect all military weapon systems, but to integrate advanced technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence and predictive analytics. Of the three military departments, the Air Force is perhaps the most advanced in its experimentation.

Officials last month said they were ready to take the project from a purely theoretical phase to one in which it will now purchase hardware and software to be deployed aboard actual weapon systems, starting by new data “pods” to be installed on the service. KC-46 refueling tanker truck.

Crall said the next unclassified version of the strategy would be “substantial” and give the public and industry a clear vision of the department’s initial priorities.

“We need to sort out some things in the department, and the first is the definition of a federated data fabric,” he said. “We’ve had several data summits, and we’re going to have another one in about a week, where we’re bringing the community together to define what this looks like. It’s a balance of tolerances: if you put it too open, you don’t have a standard. If you define it too narrow, it’s too prescriptive. There is something in the middle that fits, and that’s what we’re looking for.

Crall said other priorities would be designing an identity management solution for JADC2 and institutionalizing agile software development.

“[We need] professionally developed software that is agile, containerized and scalable, versus locked down software that is almost impossible to modify and cannot be re-adapted into the areas of wrestling that we expect to be, ”he said. -he declares.

A DoD-scale cloud computing platform – one with capabilities that can be scaled to the tactical edge – will also be critical to the success of JADC2, whether that enterprise cloud is JEDI or some other eventual product, said Crall. But he said the department has access to enough business cloud capacity through other contracts for its current JADC2 needs.

“I think the real question would be how long can you do this and when are you running out of resources? ” he said. “Not all clouds have the characteristics we would need to survive with this tactical advantage. So where we are sitting today, I can get the job done. But the delivery of JADC2 depends on a robust cloud and specially designed for the environment in which we must operate.


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