• A Marine uses a radio during a field exercise at Camp Hansen in Okinawa, Japan, in 2017. A resilient network is a key component for the Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) concept. The Pentagon is developing a strategy to enable JADC2. Credit: Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Carl King
     A Marine uses a radio during a field exercise at Camp Hansen in Okinawa, Japan, in 2017. A resilient network is a key component for the Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) concept. The Pentagon is developing a strategy to enable JADC2. Credit: Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Carl King

Combatant Commanders to Review JADC2 Strategy Soon

December 2, 2020
By George I. Seffers
E-mail About the Author

AI, machine learning and automation are needed to make the vision a reality.


Pentagon officials are developing a strategy related to the joint all-domain command and control (JADC2) concept that should be delivered soon to the combatant commands, according to Lt. Gen. Dennis Crall, USMC, the Joint Staff's chief information officer and director of command, control, communications and computers, also known as the J-6.

Gen. Crall made the comments during the AFCEA TechNet Cyber conference, a virtual event held December 1-3.

The JADC2 concept will gather all sensor information and connect all warfighters. A threat could be sensed by an Air Force unmanned aerial vehicle but the best weapon against it could be a Navy missile fired from offshore, according to a Defense Department article. Also, a call for fire from an infantry battalion could be answered by tube artillery, rocket artillery, naval gunfire, close-air support from any service or something else.

The vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has directed the Joint Staff J-6 to provide a strategy, which outlines the concepts surrounding JADC2, and that strategy is set to be delivered to the combatant commands for their feedback. “We're doing that through a cross-functional team that is made up of service experts and others. We’re soon to bring that to the combatant commands for greater exposure and refinement,” Gen. Crall stated. “The front half of that document, the lines of effort, will be fairly static to make sure we're not whipsawed by every good idea that comes to bear, but the objectives and tasks will be published electronically to allow a little bit of freedom and maneuver as we learn through this implementation process.”

The Joint Requirements Oversight Council, commonly known as the JROC, also is involved as “one of the forcing mechanisms” to ensure requirement decisions “actually have teeth,” he noted. The vice chief of staff has has been pretty clear about those that requirements decisions should come with implementation actions to ensure processes and systems developed or purchased adhere to the requirements.

A comprehensive strategy so far has been challenging, the general indicated, describing it as a “very novel way to take the authorities and the resources and processes that we have in the building and tie them up to get after a problem set that has eluded us, unfortunately, for quite some time.”

Gen. Crall added that, “This isn't the first effort we've ever had in trying to work some of these, but we've been a little bit too focused on very narrow mission threads or pilots without stepping back to make sure we have a strategy that moves us through properly.”

Making the JADC2 concept a reality will require artificial intelligence, including machine learning. “It is supposed to have an analytic capability to take this structured and unstructured data, make sense of it, put it together, capture it and then produce some level of output and understanding of what it means,” the general explained. “There's also another requirement for JADC2 and that's the predictive capability. With all that information can you anticipate either the full next move or the partial next move? That's going to require, I think, pretty clearly a lot of machine learning. Artificial intelligence is going to require a cloud- based system to move data both from its collection point to its processing point and then out to the tactical edge and maybe back.”

Automation and autonomy capabilities also will be a must. “It's going to require a fair amount of autonomy and automation to move at the speed that we require for the current war fight,” he said. 

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