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Degraded Operational Environment: Integration of Social Network Infrastructure Concept in a Traditional Military C2 System

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Conference paper

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This study arose from the importance of having soldiers reliably connected to one another and to their chains of command, or networked, despite the possibility of disruptions andor degraded system performance. The objective was to identify possible new communications and information capabilities that ensure sufficient connectivity and performance to be able to successfully share information. Satellite communications and GPS today are force multipliers, providing forces with extensive connectivity and enabling control over battlefields. These communications and information capabilities can reduce uncertainty and suppress threats, but they must be implemented in ways that prevent adversaries from finding ways to deny, disrupt, and degrade them. Lessons from recent asymmetric confrontations e.g., NATO operations in Syria, Egypt, and Libya include the following the deployment of standard military communication systems may not be sufficient to ensure adequate connectivity and information-related capabilities, the adversary can destroy networks without disrupting his own vital networks or exercising global control over public networks, and populations can respond to simple inputs using social networks. The solution posed by adversaries with these capabilities is to extend and integrate traditional C2 systems with a social network infrastructure concept, a C2 system applet applied to COTS devices, and a supporting concept like crowdsourcing in a protected environment. The resulting C2 system will be better able to operate successfully in a degraded operational environment where a simple SMS can make the difference. This paper demonstrates the value of this new approach with a simulation.

Subject Categories:

  • Computer Systems
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Radio Communications
  • Command, Control and Communications Systems

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