General Highlights Joint Staff C4 Priorities

May 18, 2010

The AFCEA SOLUTIONS conference at George Mason University's C4I Center, "Critical Issues in C4I," kicked off this morning with a keynote address by Lt. Gen. Dennis Via, USA, director of C4 systems, the Joint Staff. The general discussed his mission responsibilities, which he described as leading the joint community and helping to pull together and organize initiatives to share information. As part of this responsibility, he sees the J6 bringing together the services, government organizations, industry and academia. "We don't tend to slow down to talk about the challenges that we have," the general said. Gen. Via outlined the J6 strategic plan, which consists of four goals: winning today's fight, building a shared environment, shaping the future force, and changing C4 culture. Regarding the current fight, he explained that the J6  is involved in supporting operations in Southwest Asia, GIG 2.0 implementation, and providing improved coalition information sharing. Under building a shared environment, the command is focusing on issues such as spectrum management and providing warfighters with additional C4ISR capabilities. When it comes to changing the current C4 culture, the general notes that the military must think differently about C4. Additionally, operational procedures must change because network enabled forces are now also network dependent. "When the network's down, we cannot function," he said. Gen. Via shared that his concerns include supporting current operations and the ongoing drawdown of forces from Iraq. This is a big responsibility, he said, explaining that it is important to select which equipment will be sent from Iraq to Afghanistan and resolving any issues to get that material into the theater. The general closed his speech by noting that the mission of the J6 is to support deployed warfighters. "At the end of the day, it's about the warfighter," he stated.

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