Armor & Mobility

SEP-OCT 2016

Military magazines in the United States and Canada, covering Armor and Mobility, focuses on tactical vehicles, C4ISR, Special Operations Forces, latest soldier equipment, shelters, and key DoD programs

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COMMAND POSTS OF THE FUTURE By COL Mike Ernst, TRADOC Capability Manager, Mission Command/Command Posts In the highly competitive and dynamic operational environments of the future, U.S. Army command posts must facilitate the exercise of mission command amongst widely dispersed and decentralized forces. Leaders will integrate and synchronize their units' capabilities with those of joint, inter- organizational, and multinational partners from command posts that enable expeditionary maneuver. Future command posts must be agile and scalable and enable uninterrupted mission command functionality from home station, enroute, and deployed nodes by leveraging the concept of reach. These concepts are captured in the Mission Command Center of Excellence's Command Post 2025 Concept of Operations, 1 September 2015, and the Concept for the Army Command Post of 2040: Agile and Expeditionary scheduled for publication later this year. The Command Post 2040 Concept documents and Command Post Strategy directly support the Department of the Army-level Mission Command Network Refinement effort through Focused Endstate 5, Agile and Expeditionary Command Posts. Phased Development The improvement and evolution of command posts can be understood through the lenses of near, mid, and far stages of evolution. Near term improvements are those that the Army will procure and field between now and approximately 2025. Examples of such improvements include improved computer server infrastructure, secure wireless capability, intelligent power microgrid, improved tactical satellite communications, leading-edge web-based applications. Significant work is also ongoing to determine formation appropriate platforms to host on-the-move mission command capability for armored, infantry, and Stryker formations that enable commanders and staff to utilize beyond line of sight networked information systems. Mid-term improvements can generally be categorized as those capabilities for which the Army has a demonstrated requirement, but either the concept or development needs more analysis before the Army makes a procurement decision. These capabilities will generally be available between 2025 and 2035 and include such improvements as a new command post support vehicle that consolidates radios and networking equipment, unified voice management systems, next generation displays, and web based applications to replace current Army Battle Command Systems. Deployable command posts will be connected to home station mission command centers which will enable commanders to tailor their forces and reach forward and backward to maximize capability while minimizing risk. The future beyond 2035 is less well known, and under significant study by orga- nizations across the Army. As part of the effort to achieve this vision for command posts, Brigade Modernization Command (BMC) and the Mission Command Center of Excellence co-hosted a command post summit at Fort Bliss, Texas from 14 to 17 June 2016. The forum brought together members from across the Army includ- ing those from Centers of Excellence in Training and Doctrine Command, Army Capability Integration Center, Brigade Mod- ernization Command, Program Managers, Communications-Electronic Research, Development and Engineering Center, and Department of the Army Staff to develop, discuss, and refine an Army command post strategy and map out the way ahead. The strategy seeks to pro- vide a way forward taking into account aspects of doctrine, orga- nization, training, material, lead- ership and education, personnel, facilities, and policy (DOTMLPF-P) as applicable to future command posts. Lessons Learned Going Forward Several key ideas either emerged or were reinforced at the summit including a central theme that the command post is a socio-technical system, the purpose of which is the meaningful exchange of knowledge driven by the unit's battle rhythm. The command post functions and human interaction requirements drive physical command post capabilities, common operating environment capabilities, and network capabilities. In order to maximize these capabilities, the Army must adopt a "weapon system approach" to manage capabilities where all aspects of DOTMLPF-P are integrated and synchronized to maximize human, procedural, and technical aspects of command post operations. As part of the summit, leaders discussed experimentation and prototyping opportunities nested with the strategy for potential assessment during Network Integration Exercises (NIE) and Army Warfighting Assessments (AWA) held at Fort Bliss, Texas and hosted by BMC. The working groups within developed near- term (FY 18-22), mid-term (FY 23-33) and far-term (FY 34+) nominations of a total of more than 20 different concepts for assessment in NIEs/AWAs. The summit group will refine the command post strategy and way ahead, and come back together in the fall of 2016 to develop the proposed implementation plan for the Command Post Strategy. Future tactical communications infrastructure will enable commanders to execute mission command through agile, scalable, and tailorable command posts leveraging the DoD/Army information network (MC CoE) www.tacticaldefensemedia.com September/October 2016 | Armor & Mobility | 17 TRADOC FOCUS

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