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The article presents considerations that must be understood and acted upon early in the planning of the JIE, MPE, and FMN in order to properly prepare for the "next fight." Interoperability spans beyond the network focus of the JIE and must take into account the operational mission needs for data sharing and interoperability presented by the J2 and J3, as well as those of the tactical J6. The IT/NSS infrastructure is a critical part of the foundation for information sharing, as is the transport methods, and considerations for the C5ISR data that will be riding in and across the enterprise at the strategic, operational, and tactical echelons of command. In essence, mission based interoperability (MBI) begins at the service level (USN, USAF, USMC, USA, NGA, NGO) and their service specific mission data sharing requirements, then matures to the joint level and cross service/agency data sharing requirements, and ultimately taking into account the Coalition level data sharing requirements, all focused upon the end state of successful mission execution and shared understanding of that data. Our Department of Defense has had a dynamic shift in how we fight and now operate as a Coalition in a globally contested battlespace. The network is a core component (or weapon system) in which our global forces interact and exchange mission critical information, thus interoperability is a key factor for planning and must take into account the operational requirements of the J2, J3, J6, and J7 as a whole. The efforts of the JIE, MPE, and FMN, if they coordinate and standardize operating procedures that span the needs of the global mission, will become the fighting foundation of the future.

By Todd Rissinger