By July 2012, NATO officials expect to have established three new agencies as part of a major reform effort that will reduce the number of agencies from the current 14. NATO now is in the process of implementing agency reform, as well as overhauling its command structure.
Members of the U.S. military community are ensuring that some good comes out of the catastrophic earthquake that hit Haiti in January 2010 by creating a response package that will improve rescue efforts during similar future events. Rather than assembling capabilities that troops can take with them when leaving for humanitarian assistance missions, the new offering will be predeployed and ready for action sooner. In the end, aid should be available more quickly, and U.S. partners should be better equipped to take care of themselves or lend a hand.
Joint and coalition relationships that begin long before forces meet on the field have become a cornerstone of defense policies and officials in the military’s cybersecurity training arena are working to make sure the same holds true in the newest battlespace domain as well. Troops from the various armed forces branches already are attending education courses together, no matter which service sponsors the class, and in some cases coalition partners also are participating.
The combatant command that propelled U.S. military transformation now is in the midst of a revolutionary transition of its own. U.S. Joint Forces Command, scheduled to be disestablished by the end of August, is making this journey led by its commander, Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, USA. Gen. Odierno is applying the tactical expertise he gained while leading U.S. troops in Iraq from combat to sustainment operations to the portentous task of evolving his command into a completely new organization. Guided by the plans he and his staff developed, the general now is executing the implementation stage to make the transition as smooth as possible.
The new leader of U.S. Defense Department joint experimentation is setting the priorities for upcoming joint and coalition operational concepts based on requirements that warfighters in Afghanistan and Iraq have identified. Although U.S. Joint Forces Command is slated to be disestablished, today’s J-9 is looking 10 to 15 years out, not only designing gee-whiz technology but also creating doctrine for fighting in future conflicts. One crucial concern is addressing problems the military will face if conflict arises in an area with limited access that is in close proximity to the war zone.
CWID 2010 has continued its tradition of showcasing innovative technologies in an active, joint scenario. Participants now "play and learn" in a realistic environment modeled after the combat theater of Afghanistan. While some believe CWID has outlived its usefulness, others advocate its importance to joint operations in the international arena. What's your opinion?
The U.S. Joint Forces Command has released a new Joint Operating Environment to address changes in trends and situations that will influence joint forces in their missions of domestic and world security. This release includes several topic areas such as the global economic situation not covered in the 2008 version. It also expands on areas that authors felt needed more attention such as cyberthreats.
Some U.S. troops are finding their home bases a little more diverse than in the past. Various posts around the country are transforming from geographically close but military-branch separate bases into single, larger, joint-service locations. This arrangement reflects the morphing of military missions to joint operations. It also saves the U.S. Defense Department needed funds while continuing to provide the same services to warfighters and their families.
A joint capability technology demonstration project currently underway is literally clothing U.S. soldiers and Marines in computers and placing them in virtual scenarios. The program is upping the investment in modeling and simulation developments—traditionally focused on land and air vehicles—to better reflect current operational needs. It aims not only at augmenting traditional training methods but also at determining the most effective ways to reach and teach the newest generation of warfighters.
A simulation exercise is providing U.S. military personnel with vital operational skills before they deploy to East Africa. Designed to provide headquarters staff with the knowledge and experience they will need to operate in a politically complex theater, the event models real situations such as disasters and humanitarian crises.
At the military command level, bringing order to chaos during national emergencies is about more than technology. For the command in charge of homeland defense and support to civil authorities, it’s about the information: how to gather it, how to share it and how to integrate it. As a result, the command has redefined the term “joint operations” by using innovative ways to coordinate personnel and information input from all of the military services—including the Coast Guard and National Guard Bureau—and as many as 150 mission partners.
A U.S. Joint Forces Command integration and interoperability team is working to ensure that ground troops who need joint fires support in combat know how to obtain it and use it. The organization recently has expanded its work to offer its expertise to more units at more locations. Warfighters benefit from specialized and customized training that allows them to operate with other services in theater. The effort incorporates experience from the battlefield using lessons learned to save lives by reducing friendly fire casualties and similar catastrophes.
The U.S. and Japanese militaries are reaffirming their commitment to collaboration with the construction of a Japanese air defense command on a U.S. Air Force base in the Asian country. The move further enhances the bilateral relationship the two nations share and will increase command and control through persistent personal interaction.
While most military planning focuses on how to win wars, a concept developed by forward-thinkers in the joint world is honing methods to prevent them. Dubbed cooperative security, the plan aims at helping countries with struggling governments and economies so they do not fall victim to internal conflict or become tempted to open their doors to terrorists. Its creators willingly acknowledge that not only would it be impossible for the armed forces to bring about the desired stability on its own, it would be foolish for them to even try to go it alone.
U.S. defense planners are redesigning military doctrine and capabilities to adapt to the new realities of insurgent and asymmetrical warfare. To build an effective force in this era, the military may have to empower the 21st century warrior with new capabilities previously limited to higher-level commanders.
The orderly structure of established nations' mighty militaries differs intensely from the structure of terrorist force organizations. In terrorist cells, distinctions between warfighters who trigger improvised explosive devices and those who detonate car bombs are miniscule. Battle cells may comprise as few as two or three people or as many as several dozen. Information sharing takes place incessantly, using everything from the Web to cell phones. As a force, terrorist groups are inherently flexible.
The U.S. military is expanding its options for creating secure wireless networks in urban and remote areas. The capability will increase the speed at which networks can be created in an emergency while reducing the amount of materiel troops need to haul into an area.
The U.S. military is developing a suite of software applications that will allow secure communications between different national computer networks. This capability is essential to both coalition operations and disaster relief missions.
The pace of fielding technology is increasing so quickly that testing, training and maintenance personnel
Multi-National Force-Iraq, plagued by problems with incompatible data sources