LandWarNet Show Daily--Thursday

August 21, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

LandWarNet closed with a keynote address by Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the Army's vice chief of staff. Outlining his views on command and control, the general noted that the Army is in a critical time of transformation and conflict. He added that the service has undergone rapid change during the last eight years.

The general noted that a critical lesson learned from the past several years is that vital technological and operational changes are made on the ground by soldiers at the tip of the spear. More data is now available to warfigthers than ever before, but it must be made available to a variety of personnel across all echelons, he said.

If the sharing of battlefield information had not been managed properly, it would have crippled the Army's operational efforts, Gen. Chiarelli shared. However, he credits the success of systems such as FBCB2 and the Command Post of the Future (CPOF) for providing soldiers with increased situational awareness. The tactical ground reporting system (TIGR), is making its way to troops in the field. It is a virtual notebook designed to provide soldiers and commanders with data and information to make more efficient decisions.

But despite these developments, there have been challenges. The general noted that communications personnel resisted the development and deployment of command and control systems such as FBCB2, CPOF and TIGR. He added that the Army also takes a "cookie cutter" approach to computer security and warned that it is individual soldiers who suffer from bad decisions and lack of foresight about the implications of some policies.

L-3 Awarded T-1A Jayhawk Logistics Support Contract

August 21, 2009
By Katie Packard

L-3 Communications' Systems Field Support division was awarded a 60-day base contract with eight option years from the U.S. Air Force to serve as prime contractor on the T-1A Contractor Logistics Support program. The total value of the contract with all options is $680 million.

LandWarNet Show Daily--Wednesday

August 19, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

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.