Joint Maritime Command Information System (JMCIS)
Joint Maritime Command Information System (JMCIS) Ashore, formerly the Operations Support System
(OSS), is being developed and implemented using an Evolutionary Acquisition (EA) approach to facilitate
fielding state-of-the-art command center support capabilities that keep pace with changing threats and evolving
requirements. JMCIS Ashore provides a single integrated Command, Control, Communications, Computers and
Intelligence (C4I) system that receives, processes, displays, maintains and assesses the unit characteristics,
employment scheduling, materiel condition, combat readiness, warfighting capabilities, positional information and
disposition of own and Allied forces, and allows decision makers to optimize the allocation of resources. JMCIS
Ashore provides current geolocational information on hostile and neutral land, sea and air forces integrated with
intelligence and environmental information, and near real time weapons targeting data to submarines as part of
the Shore Targeting Terminal (STT) replacement effort. JMCIS Ashore supports real time tasking of Maritime
Patrol Aircraft (MPA) assets in conjunction with the Force High Level Terminal (FHLT) replacement effort,
force scheduling requirements of the Navy (from CNO to the squadron level), and Navy Status of Forces
(NSOF) responsibilities as part of the Navy Worldwide Military Command and Control System (WWMCCS)
Software Standardization (NWSS) replacement effort.
Intelligence support functions have been incorporated into the Joint Maritime Command
Information System (JMCIS), the Navy's primary C2 system afloat. This includes those
functions previously found in the Naval Intelligence Processing System (NIPS), and the JDISS
functions now being fielded. For example, on an aircraft carrier the JDISS functions will be
available on the SCI-level Navy Tactical Command System-Afloat workstation on a LAN
linking the Carrier Intelligence Center (CVIC), the Ship Signal Exploitation Space (SSES), and
the Supplementary Plot (SUPPLOT). The SUPPLOT is the SCI area to the Flag Command
However, fleet units will still rely on support from centers ashore, especially the
maritime JICs (Atlantic and Pacific), for processing high volume data from non-organic
sensors, and for the picture of the battle space beyond the range of the afloat force's organic
sensors. Shipboard JDISS, connected to the ship's SHF communications system, is extremely
bandwidth limited and consequently slow. NISTs are increasingly deploying to JTFs embarked
aboard command ships at sea and are bringing their own portable JDISS. Planning must also
include reserved bandwidth, stabilized antennas, and a 360-degree field of view (FOV) of the
COMSATs, because of a rolling sea state and heading changes of the ship.
Intelligence related JMICS Segments include:
- IAM Image Acquisition Module
- ICS Imagery Communication Services
- IMGR Image Manager
- IPS Imagery Print Services
- IPTS Eisenhower SCI Hosts
- IVWR Image Viewer
- JDISS provides intel analysts that are in-theater the capability to pull data from
numerous databases available on DSNET-1 (GENSER) and DSNET-3 (SCI),
communicate through chatter, email, and to fuse all this data together using graphics and
word processing applications. Data pulled from databases can be text, binary, imagery,
- NIEWS NTCS-A Imagery Exploitation WorkStation
- NIPS NTCS-A Intelligence Processing Service CDBS (Central Data Base Server) - network repository for the JMCIS comprehensive intelligence data base and record message traffic. Information can be accessed directly by other segments or by an operator query from a workstation using NIPS Applications.
- NIPSSA NIPS System Administrator Applications
- OSS (Operation Support System) segment is a resource management and tactical
communications data system. Its purpose is to provide automated support to the Chief
of Naval Operations (CNO) and the Joint and Fleet Commanders-in-Chief(CINCs).
The OSS is used to monitor the disposition and activities of Red and high interest
forces, to optimize the allocation/employment of assigned forces and to report
information to higher autority.
- RECON [Reconstruction] provides limited reconstruction/playback capability based on stored OTH-G messages.
The Joint Maritime Command Information System (JMCIS) implements a hardware and
software architecture consistent with the Common Operating Environment (COE)
specifications defined by the Global Command and Control System (GCCS). The hardware
configuration for JMCIS systems aree a Navy standard desktop tactical-support
computer, i.e., a Sun 4 series or a Hewlett Packard 700 series computer, each with one or
more 19-inch color graphics monitors with 1280 x 1024-pixel resolution, a keyboard, and a
pointing device (such as a mouse or trackball) with two or three buttons. JMCIS configurations
may also include large-screen displays and laptop or personal computers with smaller
monitors. The primary software configuration for JMCIS is the same as that defined in the user interface specifications for GCCS, i.e., a POSIX-compliant operating system such as UNIX, X
Window as the windowing system, and Motif as the graphical user interface.
- JMCIS 1.1.5 - The oldest version of UNIX based JMCIS hardware suites. All ships that have JMCIS
hardware have at least this version installed. No further 1.1.5 systems will be installed.
- JMCIS 2.2 - A new UNIX hardware suite which replaces the JMCIS 1.1.5 suites. There are two
ways, depending on ship class, that the JMCIS 2.2 hardware suite is installed in the fleet. For CV/CVN
and LHA/LHD classes, a distinct SCI system is installed.
For the following ship class's, this is accomplished by JMCIS Plug N Play Field Change 001:
DD-963, FFG-7, AO-177, AOE-1, AOE-6, LSD-35, LSD-41, and LPD-4.
All other classes receive the 2.2 hardware suite by accomplishment of applicable SHIPALT or
SHIPALT's or Field Changes that are being developed.
- JMCIS 98 - A PC based hardware suite for JMCIS. PC based suites will incrementally bring UNIX
based functions into the PC environment. These suites vary in size from 2-5 (for a unit level ship) to 25
PC's (LHA/LHD or CV/CVN). A JMCIS 2.2 suite must be installed for this JMCIS PC system to
function properly. For CV/CVN and LHA/LHD class, a distinct SCI NT system is installed.
The latest fleet version, applicable to the hardware suite, is always installed in conjunction with the
To properly understand what JMCIS is, it is important to consider the viewpoint of the end
user (sailor/soldier), the military program manager, and the system developer. To the end user,
JMCIS represents a Command Information System which is distributed across a Local Area
Network (LAN) of workstations. An operator is able to access all required functionality from
any workstation, regardless of where the workstation is located and regardless of where the
actual processing takes place on the LAN. Functionality which exists in the system but which is
not useful for the operator's tasks is hidden so as to not overwhelm and confuse the operator
with extraneous features. An operator with a different set of tasks, however, may see a
different set of functionality but both operators will perceive that the system looks and operates
in the same way. Moreover, both operators will perceive that JMCIS is the same Command
Information System in use by military personnel in sister services with completely different
mission objectives. This is increasingly important in the Joint community where joint exercises
are performed to reassign command responsibilities, such as Joint Forces Air Command
(JFAC), from one service to another.
From the perspective of a military program manager, JMCIS presents the opportunity for an
umbrella program which encompasses several aspects of the program manager's problem
domain. The ability to reduce the number of separate programs without a corresponding loss in
functionality is key to performing with reduced development, training, and maintenance
For example, in the late 1980s, SPAWAR PD-60 Navy-Afloat program
management supported the JOTS program for battlegroup track database management, NIPS
(Naval Intelligence Processing System) for database management, TIMS (Tactical Information
Management System) for automatic display of status information, FIST/FULCRUM for
imagery acquisition, and a host of other related programs just to support the battlegroup
commanders. Ashore program managers had similar programs to support Navy intelligence
centers. JMCIS now provides Navy program management with an umbrella program which
combines the requirements into a single consolidated, coordinated system. The associated cost
savings are substantial.
SPAWAR PD-60 developed the JMCIS concept
and system over a period of several years. It grew out of several C3I
prototyping efforts, beginning in about 1986, that led to the development of
the Joint Operational Tactical System (JOTS) Command and Control System.
JOTS-derivative systems have since been installed onboard over 200 US Navy
ships, at several US Navy ashore intelligence centers, onboard US Coast Guard
vessels, onboard allied ships, and at various allied sites. These systems
clearly demonstrated their value as key C2 systems for the United States and
Allies during the recent Persian Gulf War.
- JMCIS 1.1(version) - Oldest version installed on ships which have not had JMCIS 2.2 hardware
- JMCIS 2.2.1 - Installed on ships with JMCIS 2.2 hardware suite prior to JMCIS 2.2.2 fleet release in
DEC 97. Supports JMCIS 2.2/98 or IT-21 classified LAN hardware suites.
- JMCIS 2.2.2 - Latest JMCIS fleet release program. Has been installed on all ships with JMCIS 2.2
hardware since DEC 97. Will be installed until GCCS-M 3.1 is released for installation. Supports
JMCIS 2.2/98 hardware suites.
As JOTS matured further and as other C3I systems were developed and deployed,
it became apparent that there was much duplication of software and
functionality across systems, and that this duplication led to increased
development, maintenance, and training costs. Interoperability was practically
nonexistent across systems even when systems followed the same set of
standards. Perhaps the most serious impact, however, was that operators were
often given conflicting information from multiple systems even when the systems
were presented with identical data.
Based upon this observation and experience, PD-60 directed that the afloat
software be abstracted into a common "core" set of software that could be used
throughout the PD-60 afloat community as a basis for all of their systems. This
effort led to a set of common software called GOTS (Government Off-The-Shelf)
version 1.1. PD-60 next directed that this approach be extended to include not
only the afloat community, but the ashore community as well so that both
communities would share the same common set of software to reduce development
costs and ensure interoperability. This effort resulted in a collection of
software commonly referred to as the Unified Build (UB) version 2.0 and also
referred to as GOTS 2.0. This software is now deployed both afloat, in a system
called NTCS-A (Navy Tactical Command System - Afloat), and ashore, in a system
referred to as OSS (Operations Support System) or NCCS-A (Navy Command and
Control System - Ashore). The strength of these two systems is that they are
built on top of a common set of functions so that advancements and improvements
in one area are immediately translatable to advancements and improvements in
the other area. The Unified Build software is presently the basis for numerous
other efforts including systems for the Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, and
increasingly, for the Joint community.
JMCIS represents the next logical step in this evolution. As will be elaborated
on in a later section, the term JMCIS really refers to two things:
Thus, JMCIS refers both to a collection of software and to an actual fielded
system. When it is necessary to avoid confusion and to be precise, the phrase
JMCIS Superset Software is used to refer to the collection of software
- a "superset" collection of software modules which can be customized and
configured to build a Command Information System,
- the PD-60 fielded Command Information System.
With the JMCIS approach, not only is the same software used by participating
communities as building blocks, but the same system (JMCIS) is deployed to
participating communities. The advantages are obvious:
JMCIS as a fieldable system and as the embodiment of an architectural concept
offers the opportunity to leverage a mature, proven, field tested software base
for a wide variety of applications for the US Navy and the Joint community. As
budgets shrink and as budgetary priorities shift, the ability to continue to
respond rapidly with systems that satisfy the information needs of United
States and Allied Armed Forces is crucial. JMCIS is a significant advancement
in fulfilling this ongoing need.
- Life cycle cost is reduced by development and maintenance of a single
- Participating communities are interoperable because they use exactly the same
- Operator training is simplified by conformance to identical standards
- Testing and certification is simplified
- Advancements for one application area are immediately transferable to another
- Development is opened up to a much wider community by allowing developers to
add value to an existing open system
- Duplication of software is greatly reduced in all areas and is eliminated in
key core areas (tactical display, correlation, and communications).
Sources and Resources
- PMW-157 Naval Command and Control Systems
- Operations Support System Homepage
- JMCIS Homepage
- PMW 157 Program Manager's Page
- JMCIS Documentation Page
- JOINT MARITIME COMMAND INFORMATION SYSTEM (JMCIS) SUPPLEMENT TO VERSION 1.0 OF THE
USER INTERFACE SPECIFICATIONS FOR THE GLOBAL COMMAND AND CONTROL SYSTEM (GCCS)
- JMCIS Catalog of Segments
Created by John Pike
Maintained by Steven Aftergood
Updated Monday, September 28, 1998 1:52:38 PM