Accession Number:

ADA463336

Title:

Network-Centric Operations: Challenges and Pitfalls

Descriptive Note:

Research paper

Corporate Author:

AIR WAR COLL MAXWELL AFB AL CENTER FOR STRATEGY AND TECHNOLOGY

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2005-11-01

Pagination or Media Count:

31.0

Abstract:

Network-centric operations NCO concepts and capabilities are central to Department of Defense DOD transformation efforts and are predicted by advocates to have wide-ranging impacts on the conduct of warfare and military forces. NCO concepts cover the entire military response to the Information Age, including ways of thinking, human and organizational behavior, and the networks the military uses across the tactical, operational, and strategic levels of warfare. In a broad sense, NCO is about harnessing networks and networked forces to create military advantages and capabilities. This paper first highlights the centrality of NCO to DoD transformation efforts by using examples from Joint Visions 2010 and 2020, the Office of the Secretary of Defenses Office of Force Transformation OFT, and Service transformation documents to demonstrate the importance of NCO to DoD. Next, it examines NCO concepts to identify core characteristics and underlying capabilities levied on the supporting network. These sources of NCO thought come primarily from DoD authors however, many other countries and alliances, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and NATO, are also interested in NCO-like concepts. The paper then analyzes several capabilities required of networks to determine some of the attendant requirements and challenges. This analysis includes potential impacts should networks fail to achieve the required performance or collapse under attack. These challenges are illustrated using examples from the authors experience on the CENTCOMJ6 staff during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom OEF and OIF. Finally, the analysis provides some recommendations to mitigate associated vulnerabilities introduced by relying upon networks and the promises of NCO.

Subject Categories:

  • Administration and Management
  • Computer Systems
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Radio Communications

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE