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Underpinning the RMA - Advancements in the Transformation of Information into Knowledge for Command and Control

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Conference paper

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The exercise of Command and Control will be transformed in the future by advances in the ability of the commander to gain and act upon near-perfect situational knowledge which has been distilled from diverse information sources. The art of modern command and control has evolved over centuries of practice, modified as demanded by political and technological changes. With the near asymptotic pace of innovation in the past three decades and the geopolitical instability and realignment brought on by the decline of the former Soviet Union, evolutionary change in command and control is being replaced by major revolutionary advances. This paper outlines some of the elements of this transformation and discusses Department of Defense DoD and other organizations efforts to examine, quantify and implement these advances. This process is not being conducted in a fully comprehensive manner, especially within DoD the Joint Experimentation Process mandated by Title XII of the Defense Authorization Act of 1999 has made only superficial progress in this regard. It is the intent of this paper to discuss several of the most promising initiatives to the end that they can be assimilated by DoD into the comprehensive process realignment that is the Revolution in Military Affairs RMA. The main underlying theme of the RMA is that the Commander can attain near-perfect situational awareness, and will therefor be able to select precise and accurate courses of action to guarantee desired outcomes in any military situation. Near-perfect situational awareness has five distinguishing elements and is facilitated by four key enablers. Although the overall impact of current initiatives on the RMA are unclear, some major elements are becoming increasingly evident as a result of ongoing experimentation, demonstrations, and as fielding is implemented.

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  • Government and Political Science
  • Command, Control and Communications Systems

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