Joint C4I Interoperability: A Long History, A Tenuous Future
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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The Department of Defense has been confronted with interoperability problems for more than 30 years, and achieving effective Command, Control, Communications, Computer, and Intelligence C4I interoperability continues to be a difficult matter for DoD to resolve. Through the years DoD has issued increasingly assertive interoperability policy guidance, strengthened procedures associated with reviewing system requirements and making acquisition decisions, and attempted to field systems that will help ensure C4I interoperability. However, these initiatives have failed to ensure the operational commander is provided C4I systems that are interoperable. The haphazard fielding of service-unique C4I systems must stop. Technology is available to ensure the operational commander receives interoperable C4I systems for use on the battlefield. The solution to the C4I systems quandary is interoperability assurance. A critical element of interoperability assurance is a clear prescription of a common suite of capabilities that must be inherent in all C4I systems that desire to interoperate. At each level of interoperability, DoD must identify a common suite of capabilities across procedure, applications, infrastructure, and data that must be incorporated operated by system developers in order to have a common-ground basis for Joint interoperability assurance. Common standards must also be adhered to for each capability.
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