Joint Capability Development
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC INST FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES
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The U.S. Joint Forces Command works the critical command and control seams of joint warfighting where all Services have concerns but none has a compelling reason to do anything about them. Due to a lack of preplanned, mandatory interoperability, there are significant challenges in executing command and control C2 of joint forces. U.S. Joint Forces Command USJFCOM has provided solutions to some of these problems in the past and has recently reorganized its Joint Capability Development Directorate J-8 to focus even more on integration, interoperability, and development of joint C2 capabilities. This article outlines some root causes of the joint interoperability problem, highlights contributions made by USJFCOM to enhance joint interoperability and integration, and describes the organization and function of the reorganized J-8. Historically, the Services-Army, Navy, Air Force, and the Marine Corps-have been responsible for designing, procuring, fielding, and sustaining their own combat gear. This stovepiped process is part of each Services Title 10 responsibility, which works well for Service-specific items. Even in joint command and control, where one would expect problems, this process was sufficient in the era of jointness up to and including Operation Desert Storm, where combat actions were largely deconflicted by space and time, and Service-provided forces did not so much work together as simply stay out of each others way. But beginning with Desert Storm and continuing today, the conduct of warfare has changed dramatically from large force-on force operations between nations to complex, compressed clashes between state and nonstate actors. This shift from third-generation to fourth-generation warfare has driven combat forces from all Services to work more synchronously together, often side by side, to root out elusive opponents in conflicted urban terrain.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics