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Command and Control in Korea: Are We Prepared to Operate in a Communications Degraded Environment?


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Our communications systems and the way we train are based off of open, flat, and desert type operations. Contrary to our customs, Korea's restrictive environment presents complex operational challenges. The typography of this environment is very different compared to where U.S. forces have operated over the last decade. This contrasting environment limits the capabilities and types of communication systems available to use throughout the peninsula for command and control. The focus to solve this issue has been on satellite communications. However, military forces cannot rely solely on this type of technology. With the current capability that our enemy possesses to jam or interrupt frequencies of old satellites and generate levels of saturation, there is not enough bandwidth for forces; and while commanders continue to stress a need for more data. Another issue is the joint acquisitions process which is extremely flawed. This process is too protracted to keep up with the pace and production of technology today. The last factor that has complicated all these areas is the arrival of cyber. Cyber has added complexity to the existing C2 issues greatly. If the U.S. military intends to improve its C2 capability and capacity these issues need to be resolved. The U.S. military needs to find a way to correct these issues because the implications that follow can affect joint interoperability and joint operations if we have to operate in the Korean environment.



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