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Chapter 11


Joint Vision 2010 is the conceptual template for how America’s armed forces will leverage technological opportunities to achieve new levels of effectiveness in joint warfighting. The follow–on document to Joint Vision 2010, Concept for Future Operations (CFJO), expands the Vision’s new operational concepts to provide a more detailed foundation. The CFJO represents an important step toward the objective of achieving the right capabilities to meet the challenges the U.S. military will face in the 21st century. The U.S. military must revise organizational approaches and develop and assess innovative concepts for conducting operations that exploit information superiority and new technologies. Such innovation is central to the Department’s pursuit of Joint Vision 2010 and the broader Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA).

The Department’s efforts to develop operational concepts fall into two broad categories. The first involves Service efforts to harness emerging operational concepts to exploit information superiority, conduct distributed and coordinated battlefield operations, and redefine how U.S. forces will conduct successful operations across the conflict spectrum. The Service visions, described in the previous chapter, continue to be the wellspring for innovative Service operational concepts.

The second category involves Department–wide efforts to develop new joint concepts for conducting key operational tasks like precision strike and suppression of enemy air defenses. Successfully executing such tasks requires a joint approach that links surveillance and reconnaissance, intelligence assessment, command and control, mission preparation, and mission execution at all levels. This chapter summarizes the threat and mission each Service confronts, provides examples of innovative Service operational concepts, planning, and programming, and describes new joint battlefield operational concepts that the Department is examining.


Threat and Mission

The Navy has identified five fundamental and enduring naval roles: sea control and maritime supremacy, sea–based power projection to the land, strategic deterrence, strategic sealift, and forward naval presence. Fulfilling these roles in the future in the face of adversaries employing such asymmetric means as mines, diesel submarines, chemical/biological weapons, information warfare, and ballistic and cruise missiles will require the Navy to conduct both offensive and defensive operations rapidly and effectively.

Operational Concept

Naval forces in the future will continue to conduct many of the same missions as today, but in a more stressful environment. Consistent with Joint Vision 2010, the Navy’s vision of Forward . . . From the Sea foresees a powerful, fast striking, geographically dispersed force that exploits information superiority to rapidly overwhelm its adversaries. The Navy describes this approach as network–centric warfare. The core concept for network–centric warfare is a fundamental shift from platforms to networks as the new locus of power. In the past, the yardsticks for the comparison of Naval forces were the numbers and capabilities of various platforms—ships, submarines, and aircraft. The focus of platform–centric warfare was force mass: the massing of platforms generated combat power, and victory would be determined by relative attrition. The focus of network–centric warfare is information content and velocity: combat power is generated by increasing the timeliness of critical information available to combatants, thereby limiting the enemy’s opportunity to gain the initiative, and allowing U.S. forces to make rapid, appropriate decisions with high confidence. The combat effectiveness of a given surface, subsurface, or air platform will no longer be largely determined by the range and capability of its organic sensors. Instead, information made available from national and theater sensor systems will provide targets to the platforms and weapons best equipped to do the job. Decisive results will be achieved through the use of high–capacity networks of sensors, shooters, and commanders to achieve an integrated effort.

Using a network–centric approach, maritime forces will provide greatly enhanced precision land attack and air and missile defense capabilities to theater commanders in chief (CINCs) and joint task force commanders. The result will be a sea–based capability to conduct precision engagements from the shoreline to 1,600 miles inland and to provide an effective area defense for maritime and land–based forces in theater.

To avoid overwhelming commanders with vast quantities of information available in the common operational data base, the Navy envisions a graphics–rich environment, assisting combat leaders in visualizing their battlespace. The information that commanders need must be displayed in easily recognizable formats, and recognition skills must be honed by training with various display formats on organic support systems. The Command 21 command and control concept that supports network–centric warfare employs a new decision–centered design process based on changing information access, processing or presentation, revising command center staffing or procedures, and introducing new forms of decision maker training.

Planning and Programming

The ongoing series of Fleet Battle Experiments (FBEs) is designed to test the emerging Navy tactical and doctrinal concepts carried out within the network–centric warfare approach. Ring of Fire is one such concept that has been examined in several experiments. The Ring of Fire concept integrates intelligence information to provide a common picture of the battlefield and monitor the status and capabilities of potential shooters, enabling the task force commander to rapidly assign the most capable weapons system from a pool of forces to engage appropriate enemy targets in a series of precision attack missions.

During FBE–Alpha, four different computers and three separate organizations working on–board ships were linked together to form the experimental network. FBE–Bravo consolidated the functionality achieved in FBE–Alpha into a single Windows NT based personal computer and worked to insure interoperability with Army artillery systems. FBE–Charlie further examined the underlying operational concepts and confirmed the need to focus efforts on developing a near real time, four–dimensional (latitude, longitude, altitude, and time) deconfliction tool.

FBE–Delta took the Ring of Fire concept into the joint and combined realm. The Seventh Fleet outfitted forward–deployed ships carrying vertical launchers with the new Land Attack Warfare System (LAWS). The ships were linked with U.S. ground and air forces on the Korean Peninsula through LAWS and shipboard communications systems. FBE–Delta explored two new areas: counter special operations forces and counter–fire operations. Counter special operations forces experimentation linked naval forces and Army helicopters to effectively attack an enemy attempting a waterborne assault. In counter–fire, LAWS cued the Army artillery and Special Forces to engage targets after the ship’s Aegis radar identified the area from which the enemy was firing.

FBE–Echo, planned for spring 1999, will continue work on developing a near real–time four dimensional deconfliction tool, attempt to employ remote sensors to support the Marine Corps, and experiment with new approaches to supporting operations being conducted in an urban environment. Naval forces will also carry out fire support strike missions and provide theater ballistic missile defense protection. Solving the deconfliction challenge will be a major step forward for joint forces since it will allow removal of the fire support coordination measures and air space restrictions currently used in order to prevent fratricide, thus greatly enhancing joint flexibility. FBE–Echo will attempt to rapidly pass necessary information to geographically dispersed units in order to integrate and deconflict all fires (air, surface, subsurface, and ground). Experimentation with remote sensor targeting will take data developed by aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and national sensors as an input into the Joint Strike Center on–board the USS Coronado to obtain target coordinates. Electronic strike folders will then be constructed using this targeting data and distributed to forces supporting the strike efforts.

The Navy will evaluate the results from the Fleet Battle Experiment series for implications for its network–centric warfare approach.


Threat and Mission

The world’s littoral regions are experiencing considerable turmoil. In many areas, this turmoil has produced civil strife, mass migration of refugees, famine, and even genocide. These unsettling trends and the threat of regional aggression are likely to continue well into the 21st century. As the U.S. military responds to these threats, future adversaries may well attempt to counter the littoral power projection capability of U.S. forces through the employment of access denial weapons such as mines, coastal defense missile systems, and man–portable air defense systems. This threat picture calls for forward presence and crisis response forces with credible and sustainable forcible entry capability—expeditionary forces that can dominate any adversary in the littorals.

Operational Concept

Ship–to–Objective Maneuver (STOM) is one of the supporting concepts designed to facilitate implementation of the Marine Corps capstone operational concept, Operational Maneuver from the Sea. STOM calls for a departure from traditional amphibious operations in which the landing force experiences an operational pause while it establishes and consolidates a beachhead ashore. It describes a capability for amphibious operations conducted by sea–based forces striking from over the horizon directly against deep objectives located well inland.

Under Ship–to–Objective Maneuver, expeditionary landing force units will navigate independently across the ocean’s surface to penetrate the enemy’s shoreline at points of their choosing. Freed from the constraints of establishing a large beachhead, the landing force commander will be able to focus on rapidly and decisively engaging the enemy. Linked to the naval network–centric capabilities and enablers described in the previous section, tactical commanders will be able to exploit enemy weaknesses and maintain the momentum of the attack from the ship to the objective.

Ship–to–Objective Maneuver provides the opportunity to achieve both tactical and operational surprise. National and theater level intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets will allow identification of enemy forces in the battlespace. Operations will begin from over the horizon at sea and project power deep inland, progressing with speed and flexibility of maneuver to deny the enemy warning and reaction time. By forcing the enemy to defend a vast area against seaborne mobility and deep power projection, naval forces will render most of the opposing force irrelevant. If an enemy chooses to withhold a strong mobile reserve, it will be attacked with long–range fires. Thinly spread defenses will be conducted to allow friendly forces greater freedom of maneuver at sea and ashore. Pre–assault operations will confuse and deceive the enemy, locate and attack its forces, and further limit his ability to react. Naval forces will use superior battlespace awareness, inherent mobility, and the ability to control the electromagnetic spectrum to successfully counter enemy reactions.

Emerging technologies, such as the Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle, MV–22 aircraft, global positioning system, and developing command and control systems are critical enablers of STOM. STOM will rely upon modern surveillance and reconnaissance to discern gaps and weaknesses in enemy defenses both at sea and ashore. Mines and obstacles will be located and their positions will be provided to maneuver forces. Intelligence sources will identify enemy coastal batteries, strong points, heavy reserve concentrations, and other elements of the enemy defense system. Through intelligence assessment, tactical commanders will determine the locations of exploitable gaps in enemy defenses.

STOM will use decentralized command and coordination to supplant traditional command and control in future amphibious operations. Responsibility for direction of maneuver units transiting from the line of departure at sea will rest with the commanders of landing force tactical units, rather than with a centralized command and control organization. Advanced navigation capabilities, linked with future shared awareness systems, will provide unit commanders at every level with the information they require to perform this function.

Mission preparation in STOM will likewise represent a departure from traditional amphibious operations. Rather than rely on detailed preparations based on the determination of an amphibious objective area long before the operation, naval forces will instead adjust their plans up to the last possible moment to take advantage of the most up–to–date intelligence. This will obviate the requirement for traditional advance force operations, which involve lengthy physical preparation of the battlespace. At the same time, it will create a requirement for immediately available response capabilities from the start to finish of combat operations. For example, landing forces will require an in–stride mine/obstacle breaching capability.

STOM mission execution employs maneuver–style operations characterized by high tempo offensive combat, focusing on enemy centers of gravity and critical vulnerabilities. These operations will rapidly break down the adversary’s capability to effectively defend or react.

Planning and Programming

The capabilities envisioned in STOM will be developed through an evolutionary process of innovation. The Marine Corps Combat Development System includes a set of integrated processes to identify requirements, develop solutions, and establishes life–cycle maintenance of capabilities. STOM has been the subject of a wargame conducted by the Marine Corps Combat Development Command and an exercise conducted by III Marine Expeditionary Force. The Extending the Littoral Battlespace Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration is exploring command, control, and communications systems requirements for employment in STOM operations. An Operational Maneuver from the Sea Working Group is developing the framework for potential force structure changes. These initiatives are charting a course for implementing the Ship–to–Objective Maneuver concept, thereby providing a baseline for the creation of a new amphibious assault capability for the 21st century.


Threat and Mission

Future adversaries will have access to a range of technologies that will provide improved reconnaissance and surveillance systems, advanced man–portable weapons systems, weapons of mass destruction, and other asymmetric capabilities. Such adversaries may attempt to seize the initiative early in a conflict or crisis, in order to thwart a U.S. response by threatening a disproportionately high cost for U.S. intervention. These significant and vexing challenges will demand innovative and decisive joint capabilities. To preclude an enemy from dominating a crisis in its early stages, the nation requires a rapid, decisive contingency response capability. The Army refers to this capability as Strategic Preclusion. By providing future joint forces with the capacity to respond rapidly and to decisively terminate crises early—before they can escalate to major theater war—or to place the adversary at an early, continuing and decisive disadvantage, Strategic Preclusion capabilities transform U.S. power projection capability in a manner that enhances regional stability and deters crises.

Operational Concept

The Army vision of the capabilities needed to achieve Strategic Preclusion involves an operational concept called Advanced Full Dimensional Operations (AFDO). This operational concept exploits information superiority to establish superior capability in the critical place and time to achieve mastery at the decisive point of conflict. A joint expeditionary force executing AFDO will exploit the synergistic effects of joint capabilities tailored from modular, adaptive early entry ground forces operating in conjunction with air, sea, space, and special operations forces. It will be capable of immediately exploiting the complementary effects of synchronized interdiction and exploitative maneuver, in conjunction with air–sea dominance, to dominate the enemy from the outset. At a minimum, these capabilities will enable such a joint force to secure the initiative for follow–on operations. Ideally, these capabilities will place an opponent at such a disadvantage that continued belligerence becomes futile.

Advanced Full Dimensional Operations require critical landpower contributions: the sustained exploitation of battlefield effects, the ability to overwhelmingly suppress and destroy an enemy, and the ability—through close, personal, and often brutal combat—to force the enemy to capitulate. These landpower functions are essential today and will remain so in the future. The capability for sustained lethality, as well as the capability to control terrain and population, is the cornerstone of deterrence and the guarantors of victory.

The Army plans to acquire a near–term AFDO capacity through development of a more responsive Army XXI and is working towards full implementation of AFDO capabilities with the realization of Army After Next capabilities. Within near–term technological and fiscal constraints, the Army is developing the Strike Force, a new, highly deployable, lethal, agile, and survivable middleweight force that will materially enhance Army early entry and operational maneuver capabilities. Reflective of Army After Next operational concepts emerging from studies and wargames, the Strike Force concept will provide critical enabling capabilities for dominant maneuver, precision engagement, information dominance, and full spectrum utility. Strike Forces will be optimized for high tempo, lethal combined arms, and interdependent joint operations. Coupled with other early entry forces and air and naval interdiction, Strike Forces will be called upon to execute decisive actions during the initial phases of an operation to wrest the initiative from an opponent and will conduct sustained maneuver operations to exploit the effects of interdiction.

Planning and Programming

As a major Army transformation initiative, Strike Force developmental efforts are focused on establishing a Strike Force headquarters in late FY 2000. The Strike Force headquarters will be a standing, rapidly deployable command post, with links to joint, theater, and national command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems, as well as organic information operations capabilities. The headquarters will be flexible and able to rapidly assimilate Army and other joint forces into a tailored, brigade–sized force package for specific entry operations. Experimentation is underway on selected Strike Force operational elements, leveraging current battle lab and other analytical work. In FY 2000, the Army will explore the Strike Force concept with emphasis on the operation of its headquarters element in conjunction with the Joint Contingency Force Advanced Warfighting Experiment (JCF AWE). Plans for the JCF AWE envision participation by all Services and United States Atlantic Command (USACOM) against an opposition force with world–class capabilities. Additional constructive and virtual experimentation will be carried out to explore the human, training, and leader development dimensions needed to optimize Strike Force capabilities. These efforts are consistent with Army modernization goals, including digitizing the force and focusing development on leap–ahead Army After Next technologies.

In FY 1999, the Army will continue its investigation of future warfare through Army After Next wargames and analyses while developing and fielding essential Army forces and capabilities in the early years of the 21st century. Major events include the Force Projection Game (February 1999), the annual Spring Wargame (April 1999), and the Army Imperatives Seminars (summer 1999). Complementary efforts within Army battle labs (with 30 percent of resources dedicated to Army After Next) and the science and technology community will directly support the Army RMA effort.


Threat and Mission

Confronted with increasing demands for global presence to help shape the international security environment, U.S. defense planners and commanders must find innovative new ways to manage operating tempo demands on U.S. military personnel and limited forces. To meet the challenges of a demanding world, the U.S. military must be flexible enough to regularly deploy and sustain military power in critical regions, while at the same time providing more stability and predictability regarding overseas deployments for servicemen and women. The Air Force approach to continue to meet these challenges is the innovative concept of expeditionary aerospace power.

Operational Concept

The Expeditionary Aerospace Force represents a new way for the Air Force to organize and train its forces to meet 21st century challenges. To implement this approach, the Air Force is creating Aerospace Expeditionary Forces (AEFs) comprised of force modules tailored to meet the specific operational requirements of joint force commanders across a wide range of situations. Key to the AEF concept is the ability to routinely deploy and, if needed, employ aerospace power precisely and decisively—producing desired effects across the theater. Tailored AEF elements focus on providing a CINC with composite packages that can carry out a variety of operations while sustaining peacetime presence by rapidly provide additional capabilities when crises arise.

Meeting tomorrow’s challenges presents a two–fold problem: first, how to best organize, train, and equip U.S. forces to conduct expeditionary operations to meet the operational needs of theater CINCs; and second, how to sustain a volunteer force with total force management policies and practices that provide for acceptable home station and deployed operating tempo demands.

The AEF concept is designed to integrate the full range of Air Force active and reserve component forces to provide needed capabilities for shaping and crisis response in a manner that reduces and makes more predictable the overseas commitment of uniformed members. It provides forces trained and ready to fight in combination—not forces put together in an ad hoc fashion. The concept employs the total Air Force, utilizing Air Force Guard and Reserve forces more fully, to provide predictability and stability for airmen, airwomen, and their families. The approach will help create an expeditionary culture that enables the Air Force to evolve into a light, lean, and lethal combat force that dominates future battlefields.

The Air Force is taking steps to operationally link geographically separated units from around the world into ten AEFs. Each AEF will include the full range of aerospace capabilities—elements of which will be tailored, integrated, and trained to meet known and likely overseas contingencies. Others will be placed on call to respond to unpredicted crises for the 90 day period when AEF elements are deployed or on call.

The current operational concept calls for two AEFs to be on call at any one time, ready to meet existing commitments (such as Bosnia and Southwest Asia today) and to provide rapid response to contingencies. The remaining eight AEFs will train and be ready to respond to the spectrum of crises as tasked in current war plans. Every three months, two new AEFs will be placed on call. This concept provides the type of total force management policy airmen and women need to provide predictability and stability in their daily lives. This concept leverages the enormous capability of Guard and Reserve forces by allowing them to preplan commitments well in advance. Support to AEFs will be provided by carefully managing high demand, low density assets such as the U–2, Airborne Warning and Control System, Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, Rivet Joint, and certain ground command and control elements.

The volatile nature of today’s and tomorrow’s world will require the Air Force to sustain an expeditionary posture for the foreseeable future. From a support standpoint, the Air Force cannot continue to set up and sustain expeditionary units at overseas bases from the resources and people needed at home bases. The Air Force plans to add over 5,000 additional manning positions at home bases supporting AEFs to reduce the strain of deployments on those remaining behind, including families, who continue to need full support.

A major aspect of effectively executing the AEF concept is the need to reduce the size of the forward logistics and operational footprint, while successfully connecting U.S. forces to requisite information and support capabilities in rear operating areas. New and emerging support concepts, such as information reachback and just in time logistics support to data bases and expertise in the rear, are key to tapping this potential. Centers that are geographically separated by significant distances, but electronically connected in a support relationship, constitute reachback operations. Tomorrow’s Air Force requires crisis action planning tools that integrate combat and support operations, logistics, force protection, and other functions in a collaborative process supported by shared databases. From an operational and planning perspective, reachback allows the Air Force globally to move information rather than people—a key to effective expeditionary air operations.

The AEF concept is predicated on a comprehensive, coherent, and integrated command and control system that pulls together organizations, processes, and technical means. The Air Force opened its first Rear Operations Support Center (ROSC) at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, which performs many functions presently performed at forward–deployed air operations centers. At a ROSC, functional support personnel can rapidly react to changing situations by directing requisite actions that need to be accomplished. Initiatives like this can cut the size of current Air Force Air Operations Centers forward by 90 percent.

Planning and Programming

The various aspects of the AEF concept are being tested during Air Force warfighting experiments. Expeditionary Force Experiment 98 (EFX ’98) focused on moving more information and fewer people to the forward battlespace. Compared to the 1991 Persian Gulf War, when some 1,500 Air Force members required 10–15 days to deploy to the region to establish an in–theater Air Operations Center, EFX ’98 demonstrated the ability to move a fully–capable, simulated Air Operations Center, staffed by approximately 200 people, forward in a single day with only one C–17 flight. The Expeditionary Force Experiment investigated new, emerging communications and space systems and explored multiple use of shared databases associated with the AEF concept. Directly tied to ongoing Air Force Battle Lab initiatives, these experiments are a way to quickly incorporate smart ideas to make Aerospace Expeditionary Forces truly light, lean, and lethal.


End–to–End Battlefield Operational Concepts

A battlefield operational concept links together a series of functions that must be accomplished in order to carry out a critical operational task, such as applying U.S. force to key pressure points to deny enemy objectives. Developing new battlefield operational concepts requires end–to–end analysis to integrate surveillance and reconnaissance activities, intelligence assessment, command and control measures, and the mission preparation and execution activities of force elements to accomplish a critical operational task.

Many initiatives under way to develop new operational concepts focus on dramatic improvements in information access and distribution that rapidly accelerate effective combat decision making. For instance, Army digitization efforts strive to achieve greater distribution of time–critical information and flatten command and control structures. The Navy–led Link 16 Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) has demonstrated the proof of concept to exchange real–time information between the previously disparate Link 16 and Variable Message Format tactical data link systems (the two major systems used within DoD). The Link 16 ACTD will provide U.S. warfighters with a much greater degree of situational awareness on the battlefield of the future. The Marine Corps Common Tactical Picture of the Battlefield experiment, conducted in September 1998, pushed information forward and down to the squad level, allowing sharing of intelligence and close coordination of activities in the battlespace. During Phase I of Urban Warrior in September 1998, the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory pushed a Common Tactical Picture from Charleston, South Carolina, to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, combining ground maneuver, tactical aircraft, and naval surface data into an integrated, near real–time, air, ground/logistics command and control system. The Air Force EFX ’98 experiment explored the possibility of drastically reducing forward–deployed command, planning, and support elements, while improving access to critical support functions by real–time networking with a rear area support center, providing indications and warning, and enroute command and control from mission start to completion.

These examples illustrate efforts to improve geographically–dispersed, coordinated battlefield activity. The Department’s overarching responsibility and challenge is to link individual Service capabilities into powerful, integrated joint warfighting capabilities. Following is an overview of two promising efforts to develop new battlefield operating concepts: the Joint Continuous Strike Environment (JCSE) ACTD and the Office of the Secretary of Defense–led study on Joint Suppression of Enemy Defenses.

Joint Continuous Strike Environment


Potential adversaries impressed by precision strike capabilities showcased in Operation Desert Fox may try to offset such U.S. advantages by proliferating, hiding, dispersing, and increasing the mobility of their key capabilities, particularly for high–value assets such as critical command and control elements and mobile missile launchers.

The future force capabilities envisioned in Joint Vision 2010 will overcome these countermeasures through revolutionary improvements in timely intelligence collection and assessment and in advanced command and control. While major advances in surveillance technology and weaponry have been fielded, the command and control structure has until very recently relied upon 1970s information technology. Development, integration, and transition of command and control technologies to support precision strike have not kept pace with evolving battlefield requirements. Consequently, the considerable time that often elapses between mission tasking and target destruction for emergent, time–critical surface targets such as mobile missile launcher can all too easily allow these targets to escape. Using today’s outdated systems and operational concepts, information is frequently delayed as it crosses organizational and system boundaries and often must be rekeyed or disseminated by hard copy. Effectively engaging emergent time–critical targets requires a seamless flow of information across Service, organization, and system boundaries in order to engage the targets within their short windows of vulnerability (one to two hours or less).

Future coalition commanders will require increased awareness of total force coalition strike assets, as well as the key targets they seek to destroy. The Joint Continuous Strike Environment ACTD addresses today’s shortfalls in this area. Future warfare requires linkages to achieve effective joint fires for service component, joint, and coalition forces. The JCSE ACTD is designed to improve the U.S. ability to project power and achieve tasked objectives.


By allowing the commander to quickly apply appropriate force to attack critical targets, the Joint Continuous Strike Environment will allow the joint force commander to place emergent time–critical targets at risk without disrupting other aspects of his campaign plan. When emergent targets are discovered by intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance efforts, JCSE automatically compares the priority of striking this emergent target with pre–established criteria for the relative priority of all target classes. The JCSE approach rapidly supplies weapons status information and recommends the best available weapon combination to be used in attacking target sets to the joint force commander. Finally, the JCSE system also helps to rapidly deconflict airspace to ensure timely attack and minimize hazards to friendly forces and systems. The key JCSE functions including the following:

· Automated Target Prioritization. There are no currently available automated means for matching a commander’s guidance and objectives to emergent targets. JCSE takes guidance from the Joint Integrated Priority Target list and continuously matches it with emergent targets discovered by intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance efforts. JCSE provides a rank–ordered list of time–critical targets. The result is enhanced target awareness for the commander, his staff, and his forces that reflect strategic planning objectives and combat situation variables.

· Continuous Weapon Availability Monitoring. JCSE automates weapon selection by continuously monitoring the status of available weapons and assessing their key characteristics (e.g., range, reaction time to target, warhead type, and probable kill estimates.) JCSE accelerates the reporting of these factors to make the commander and staff continuously aware of available weapons from all Services and their critical capabilities.

· Optimized Weapon Target Pairing. JCSE combines the output of the automated target prioritization and continuous weapon availability monitoring functions to provide continuous opportunity–based pairing of weapons to targets. JCSE performs this function by estimating the effectiveness of weapons sets against target sets in a range of circumstances. Based on current intelligence, JCSE then recommends a prioritized set of weapons–to–targets suggestions, with rationale for each.

· Near Real–time Airspace Deconfliction. Today, possible conflicts between aircraft, missiles, and munitions flying through the same airspace are resolved by constraining operations throughout the theater by altitude and volume. These zones are established using very conservative criteria since timely, accurate information concerning operational aircraft and missiles aloft is not always widely available. Current airspace deconfliction for complex joint operations can take 6 to 12 hours. JCSE greatly reduces the time necessary for deconfliction by identifying potential conflicts, providing deconfliction options, and coordinating deconfliction. The JCSE user is automatically informed of the need to deconflict airspace and presented with options to accomplish it rapidly. Options generated include accelerating or delaying launch, using a different platform or missile, or diverting manned aircraft or UAVs. The end result is the capability to strike emergent targets immediately, with much less danger to friendly forces.


The United States European Command is the JCSE operational manager. The Army, Navy, Air Force, and Assistant Secretary of Defense (Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence) are participating in this ACTD. During the course of the ACTD, JCSE functionality will be demonstrated in a series of joint and combined exercises employing deep strike assets from all Services and selected allied assets.

Joint Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses


Since World War I, the United States has lost more aircraft to enemy ground–based weapons than to enemy aircraft. For this reason, one of the first objectives for the United States in a conflict is the suppression of ground–based enemy air defenses. Joint suppression of enemy air defenses (JSEAD) is the employment of joint forces to neutralize, destroy, or temporarily degrade enemy surface–based air defenses.

Current and emerging surface–to–air missile (SAM) systems and modern anti–aircraft artillery guns employ redundant and diverse target acquisition schemes combined with a wide variety of cueing and engagement techniques. Networks of air defense systems (Integrated Air Defense Systems, or IADS) continue to make significant improvements in capability, taking advantage of digital integration and increasingly available, capable, and SAMs. Such networks of modern air defense systems are increasingly lethal, able to engage aircraft at greater ranges, and less susceptible to countermeasures. The U.S. military must take steps to improve JSEAD capabilities against enemy air defense capabilities that may put U.S. aircraft at unacceptable risk in the future.


JSEAD is a critical component of the Department’s attempt to ensure air superiority in the 21st century. It is a total force joint operations concept that synchronizes disparate force elements in an integrated, collaborative effort to suppress enemy IADS. The Office of the Secretary of Defense led a JSEAD concept development study, a collaborative effort carried out by an Integrated Process Team that included personnel from the Joint Staff, the Services, unified commands, defense agencies, federally funded research and development centers, laboratories, university applied research centers, and industry sources. The study surveyed diverse SEAD efforts and quickly concluded that there was no common modeling and simulation base which to draw upon. A common simulation model was created and was used to evaluate current and future IADS threats and U.S. force capabilities.

The JSEAD study examined capabilities of U.S. forces in 2010 and concluded that, without significant augmentation of current and planned SEAD capabilities, U.S. air forces would gradually lose the dominant control of airspace they currently enjoy. By 2010, attrition of U.S. platforms could increase substantially.

The study identified new approaches to improve U.S. JSEAD performance. It considered the entire architecture necessary for the JSEAD mission, including new battlefield operational concepts, advanced technologies, and new systems. It tackled the JSEAD mission from an end–to–end perspective, including intelligence surveillance and assessment, planning, command direction battle management, mission preparation, and execution.

Critical to improved effectiveness is an interconnected network linking intelligence units, command and control elements, combat and support forces, and weapons systems. The foundation of this architecture is a C4ISR network that provides commanders at all levels with a timely picture and enables continuous collaborative planning and assessment. A robust C4ISR backbone permits current sensor and weapon systems to perform tasks better and also to perform some nontraditional tasks. The study identified three especially promising approaches to augmenting JSEAD capabilities: employment of decoys and UAVs in lethal and nonlethal roles; use of unattended ground devices in the battlespace; and most important, the use of a dynamic controller to manage lethal and nonlethal attacks in real time.

Decoys and UAVs were found to be highly advantageous in a wide variety of roles and battle sequences. Lethal UAVs, nonlethal UAVs, and jamming decoys enhanced mission performance of manned vehicles and weapons, consistently increased friendly situational awareness, confused enemy defensive efforts, and shortened suppression times.

Remote unattended ground sensors were also helpful in conducting JSEAD operations. Ground sensors equipped with Global Positioning System operate from a precisely known location and provide highly reliable data on targets in their vicinity. Ground sensors reduce the risk to more costly airborne sensing platforms and can free them entirely for lower risk or higher priority tasks.

The complex interactions between manned aircraft, decoys, and UAVs operating in constricted airspace and in a highly structured sequence against critical air defense nodes greatly increased the burden on command and control capabilities. The solution was a JSEAD dynamic controller to maintain a single, integrated command and control/electronic warfare order of battle picture; coordinate and deconflict lethal and nonlethal JSEAD attacks; and retask U.S. and coalition air assets as necessary.


The JSEAD study produced a number of tangible benefits and has been the catalyst for a variety of successful complementary efforts. The analysis and data have been used to assess new technologies and systems within DoD (e.g., a new miniature air launched decoy) and in industry assessment and planning. Perhaps most important, the study identified a number of promising concepts, systems, and technologies for further assessment through joint experimentation. The first JSEAD experiment focusing on timely command and control activities was conducted by USACOM in conjunction with Air Force’s Expeditionary Force Experiment in September 1998. Planned follow–on work will provide the Department with an increasingly refined basis for making informed technical and operational decisions regarding future capabilities and concepts this critical mission area.


The Department remains committed to developing and then incorporating new operational concepts in the U.S. armed forces. U.S. military capabilities must be transformed to meet the challenges of the 21st century through the development and incorporation of new operational concepts in joint warfighting capabilities. Significant investment is being applied to this transformation. Competition and innovation are key factors to finding and exploring new concepts. Service traditions and experience give them unique insights about how best to proceed with transformation. Joint oversight and focus provided by USACOM, the Joint Staff, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense staff will ensure that the Department leverages and coordinates Service RMA activities into integrated capabilities for tomorrow’s joint battlefield.

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