Wednesday's events at LandWarNet began with a talk by Gen. James N. Mattis, USMC, NATO supreme commander transformation, and commander U.S. Joint Forces Command. The general opened by saying he is passionate about command and control (C2), but added that C2 is an important capability that extends beyond technology. "No matter how brave your soldiers are, they're going to catch RPG's in the chest if you don't get C2 correctly," he cautioned.
The general noted that C2 is commonly seen as a technology subject, but there is a critical human aspect to it. He said his goal is to refine and define C2 problems and to solve them because C2 is the glue that holds military, intelligence and civilian government agencies together. It is essential that command and control is done right, he said.
Citing the approach taken at Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, VA, the general sees C2 as a leader-centric practice. He emphasized that C2 implies trust. This trust is especially true on the battlefield where commanders must rely on their subordinates. Gen. Mattis notes that decentralized command speeds action by allowing field officers to exercise their initiative. But he adds that training and education is key to achieving this goal.