Achieving Mission Partner Environment Poses Complex Challenges

December 10, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman
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Two types of MPE affect Joint Information Environment development.

Establishing a clear and effective mission partner environment (MPE) will require careful planning to avoid the development of new silos amid the Joint Information Environment (JIE). Ultimately, a Defense Department planning group may hold the key to success.

Speaking during the Tuesday panel at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2014 in Honolulu, being held December 9-11, Stuart Whitehead, deputy director command and control integration, J-6, The Joint Staff, described two levels of MPE. The first is enduring MPE, and Whitehead said he wants JIE services available to those in that environment. The second level is episodic, or expeditionary, and it is a framework based on the mission, partners and level of security.

One challenge in this expeditionary second level would be how information would be transferred from a partner leaving an area of operation to another entering it. Whitehead declared that the department cannot develop a U.S. solution and then try to sell it to others. Instead, it must work collaboratively with known allies. The Defense Department soon will stand up an MPE executive steering group, he added.

Whitehead warned against transitional activities creating new silos. For example, as everything becomes XML, the department could see the development of new silos if it is not careful.

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