Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has signed the department’s first comprehensive strategy for joint command and control of all domains (JADC2), DoD’s effort to digitally interconnect its weapons systems and sensors.
Defense officials told Pentagon reporters that Austin signed the document on May 13th. The strategy is classified, but the department is working on an unclassified summary for public consumption that is “almost finished,” said Lt. Gen. Dennis Crall of the Joint Director of Command, Control, Communications and Computers. J-6).
While the basic framework for JADC2 is not new, Crall said the secretary’s primer on a formal strategy document would add clearer governance and direction to the experimental work already being done by the military. , including the Army Convergence Project, Advanced Air Force Battle Management. Navy System and Project Overmatch.
“[Until now,] It could convince individuals to adhere to a framework and a structure, but whether there was slow compliance or not, there were no teeth in the system to make that change: we didn’t have any northern stars, ”he said. “What it does is allow me to adopt the JADC2 strategy and a specific line of effort and place it directly on top of this experiment and examine it, and see which parts comply today and which parts they are not. And the pieces that aren’t, what do we want to make of them? Do we break them down into smaller experiments because they may still be pointing at something, or do I recapitalize that money and put it elsewhere? ”
The JADC2 concept aims not only to interconnect all weapons systems of the military, but also to incorporate advanced technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence and predictive analytics. Of the three military departments, the Air Force is perhaps the furthest in its experimentation.
Last month, officials said they were ready to move the project from a purely theoretical phase to one in which it will now buy hardware and software to deploy aboard real-world weapons systems, starting with new “pods” “data to be installed in the KC-46 Refueling Tank service.
Crall said the next unclassified version of the strategy would be “substantive” and would give the public and industry a clear view of the department’s initial priorities.
“We need to set some things right in the department and the first is the definition of a federated data fabric,” he said. “We’ve had several data summits and we’ll have another one in about a week, where we’ll bring the community together to define what it’s like. It’s a balance of tolerance: if you define it too open, you don’t have any standards. If you define it too narrow, “It’s too prescriptive. There’s something in the middle that fits, and that’s what we’re looking for.”
Crall said other priorities would be to devise an identity management solution for JADC2 and institutionalize agile software development.
“[We need] professionally developed software, agile, in containers and upgradeable, versus locked software, almost impossible to change and that cannot be adapted again in those areas of the struggle that we hope they are, ”he said.
A DoD cloud computing platform (with capabilities that can be extended to the tactical edge) will also be critical to the success of JADC2, whether the enterprise cloud is JEDI or a different eventual product, Crall said. . But he said the department has access to enough commercial cloud capabilities through other contracts for its current JADC2 needs.
“I think the real question would be how long can you do that and when will you run out of resources?” He said. “Not all clouds have the characteristics we would need to survive on this tactical edge. So where we are sitting today, I can get the job done. But the delivery of JADC2 depends on a robust cloud and designed specifically for the environment where we have to operate ”.