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Force XXI and Sea Dragon - Issues for the Operational Commander.

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Final rept.,

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The United States Army and United States Marine Corps are both in the process of developing two futuristic command systems. Force XXI is the system that the U. S. Army is developing to fight and win the wars of the next century. The U. S. Marine Corps is developing the vision called Sea Dragon to be the basis of their futuristic warfighting command system. This piece will address the two command systems in the context of command and control and how it influences the commanders selection of tactical employment and unit organization to accomplish the mission. There are similarities and differences between Force XXI and Sea Dragon. Both exploit the Information Ages technologies to accomplish the mission. Both predict smaller force structures due to the enhanced technology. There are processes and organizations that will monitor the technical interoperability challenges of the two systems. The main differences are within the type of command and tactics that each will employ. With training and exchange of liaison officers, these differences could become a force multiplier for the operational commander. Two implicit assumptions are made in the development of these systems. First, that the U.S. military will maintain dominant technological superiority over its adversaries. The second assumption is that the U.S. will dominate the electro-magnetic spectrum. By negating these two assumptions, the premise that smaller forces using new technology to achieve the same or greater results as past large conventional forces is not longer valid. The operational commander must be aware of the risk entailed by smaller, reorganized force structures based on the assumption of technological superiority. If he does not agree with that assumption, he must weigh in with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and two Service Chiefs for resolution.

Subject Categories:

  • Administration and Management
  • Command, Control and Communications Systems
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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