Command, Control, and Communication
20.1 OBJECTIVES AND INTRODUCTION
1. Know the definitions of command, control, and communications.
2. Understand the relation between communications and effective command and control.
3. Understand the basic command and control structure.
4. Know the functions of an Automated Combat Direction System.
5. Understand the problems created by dual designation and their solution by the gridlock procedure.
6. Know the difference between automatic, semi-automatic, and manual operation of a Combat Direction System.
7. Know the various means of digital information exchange between Combat Direction Systems.
8. Know the different types of displays employed in Combat Direction Systems.
9. Understand the use of true and relative motion displays.
10. Understand the problems inherent in command and control.
Throughout this text, attention has been directed toward principles and technologies associated with the hardware of weapons systems. Underlying these weapons systems and the methods by which they are caused to function, is the fundamental concept that they are simply devices or processes that serve as tools to augment the capabilities of a human being. For example, an electromagnetic sensor may augment the visual and audio sensor of an individual; a weapon enhances the individual's ability to inflict damage; a combat direction system expands the decision making capacity of a person; and so forth. At the functional center, no matter how remote, of every weapon system, combat system, or combat direction system is a human being who is engaged in the employment of that system or grouping of systems.
Data is the raw material from which useful information is made. In isolation, data is meaningless. Information is an ordered or sorted grouping of data that conveys rationality. The purpose of an information system is to process data in aggregation to provide knowledge or intelligence. This information may very well be data for some user on a higher level who may, in turn, process it to produce more comprehensive information and so on, until the final user is served.
A command, control, and communication (C3) system is an information system employed within a military organization. It is a general phrase that incorporates strategic and tactical systems. Consequently, a combat direction system, tactical data system, or warning and control system may each be considered C3 systems. The following definitions of terms are commonly accepted in the military context.
(1) Command--The functional exercise of authority, based upon knowledge, to attain an objective or goal.
(2) Control--The process of verifying and correcting activity such that the objective or goal of command is accomplished.
(3) Communications--The ability and function of providing the necessary liaison to exercise effective command between tactical or strategic units of command.
(4) Strategic--Broadly defined methods of accomplishing a goal.
(5) Tactical--Narrowly defined methods of accomplishing objectives en route to a strategic goal.
There are normally a number of tactics that make up a single strategy.
Therefore, command, control, and communications may be succinctly defined as:
The knowledgeable exercise of authority in accomplishing military objectives and goals.
An important point to realize is that C3 is a human function. The method by which command and control is carried out is the C3 system, which serves to augment the cognitive functions of the individual engaged in command and control. A complex C3 system is an integrated combination of people, procedures, and hardware used to enhance the ability of the individual performing command and control.
The commander may be the President of the United States or he may be the mount captain of a naval gun. The nature of his mission may be strategic or tactical. Consequently, the C3 system employed must necessarily complement the needs of the commander. Just as one person's information may be another's data, the tactical considerations of one person may be the strategy of another. C3 systems will normally reflect the complexity or simplicity required by the circumstances.
Command and control cannot be accomplished without the existence of two-way communications. Commands could not be passed from the commander to subordinates. Control would be impossible unless feedback in some form could take place. Basic to any control system is the incorporation of a reliable communications network. In reality, the more remote the commander is from the scene of action the more dependent he becomes upon rapid, reliable communications.
The majority of long-range communications today are being transmitted electronically via satellite with high-frequency sky-wave propagation as a backup. Automation is achieved at communications centers and substations located throughout the world using machine and computer-controlled processing and re-transmission systems. These stations, ashore and afloat, provide relatively efficient global coverage for strategic and tactical systems. Electronic reproduction, distribution, and display devices are available on ships that have greatly reduced manual message processing. These equipments, such as NAVMACS, automatically monitor the fleet broadcast and record messages addressed to the ship or embarked unit commander in digital format for retrieval on a CRT display or printout on a high-speed printer. Just as combat direction systems display real-time tactical information, management-oriented information is accessible on a near real-time basis as well. In some cases the communications center can route messages directly to small CRT displays variously located about the unit. Manual processing has been reduced to a minimum, freeing human resources to perform more important functions.
With Fleet Satellite Communications (FLTSATCOM), the UHF spectrum has become the primary carrier of global military communications. The existing HF network has assumed a secondary, but important, backup rule.
The increasing need for responsive C3 systems is being driven by the rapidity with which weapons can be deployed. Figure 20-1 reveals that this rate has become nearly exponential since the turn of the century. Figure 20-2 displays the compression of reaction time to counter incoming weapons from the instant of initial detection. Figure 20-2 becomes meaningless, of course, when the detection system fails to detect the inbound weapon. At the unit combat system level, the C3 system has become relatively efficient in dealing with short reaction times. NTDS and other comparable tactical C3 systems have begun to satisfy the requirements of on-scene commanders. As these systems expand in capability, remote commanders will become increasingly involved at the tactical level, especially where the engagement has strategic significance. Current technology has already placed heads of government in direct communication with one another. Proliferation of information systems at this level is resulting in political considerations having immediate impact upon military deployment of forces. In this environment it is conceivable that a fighter pilot en route to a tactical objective may be diverted from his target by a direct order from the commander-in-chief. Melodramatic as this may seem, C3
systems have achieved that degree of efficiency.
20.3 INFORMATION REQUIREMENTS
In today's environment and with all other considerations assumed equal, the commander who has the "best" information (timely and accurate) will prevail in a conflict of military forces. The key phrase in the definition of command and control is "knowledgeable exercise of authority." The commander who commands without the benefit of information pertinent to the goal or objective, increases the probability of failing to control his resources optimally. Where that goal is both tactical and strategic in nature involving both military and political considerations, the on-scene commander may not have the information pertinent to that goal.
As mentioned above, a constantly changing environment is shaping the structure of C3 systems. That structure is incorporating all branches of the armed services and is gradually centralizing command and control at the seat of government.
In effect, technological developments in weaponry have reduced the time within which to receive and analyze information. In a broader spectrum, increasing events (political and military) per unit time have further complicated the decision process. An isolated conflict can rapidly become international in scope.
In this chapter a variety of C3 systems, mostly tactical in function, are discussed. This suggests the fact that C3 systems in today's military were not systematically designed. In many cases, isolated systems were introduced in response to perceived needs or to take advantage of existing technology. The Vietnam War played a significant role in highlighting the need for a more broadly structured, integrated C3 system. Today, C3 systems are being developed to incorporate the following areas in support of commanders engaged in command and control:
(1) Reconnaissance and surveillance
(2) Environmental observation and forecasting
(3) Intelligence analysis
(4) Electronic warfare
(7) Strategic and tactical weapons deployment
(8) Logistics and supply
In describing C3 system structure, the practice in the past has been to present a hierarchial chain of command where information is depicted flowing up and down. Owing to the environment within which the C3 system must perform in this era, the traditional hierarchy is diminishing in actual practice. In its place a network of command and control is evolving. Figure 20-3 illustrates the basic form of this network on a broad scale.
In this case, the National Command Authority (NCA) interacts with two shore-based Fleet Command Centers (FCC) and one Afloat Tactical Flag Command Center (TFCC).
(1) NCA--The President and Secretary of Defense
(2) FCC--CINCLANTFLT, CINCPACFLT, CINCUSNAVEUR
(3) TFCC--Numbered fleet commanders or task force commanders, normally on-scene.
A considerable number of intermediate commanders have not been included. In fact the trend in C3 systems is toward a reduction in the number of subordinate commanders in order to increase the efficiency of the system. Extrapolating the C3 system network further, it is apparent that weapon platform commanders will play a significant role in strategic matters as well as tactical. With command and control considerations ranging from the political realm to specific military employment of force, it is unlikely that a commander will possess all of the skills and information required to singularly engage in C3. The network system in figure 20-3 suggests that an interdisciplinary team concept may be required.
20.4 AUTOMATED COMBAT DIRECTION SYSTEMS
In a complex multi-threat combat environment, automated combat direction systems such as NTDS make it possible for people to deal with the massive number of targets and compressed reaction times of modern warfare. The complex C3 functions required to keep track of hundreds of friendly, neutral, and enemy ships, aircraft, and weapons, while engaging only those permitted by the current rules of engagement, would be impossible by manual methods.
Joint operations between the Navy, Marine Corps, and U. S. Air Force in the Gulf of Tonkin in the late sixties and early seventies underscored the potential for increased effectiveness that existed when automated C3 systems were available to all participants in an objective area employing a means of rapid data exchange.
The Tonkin operation was the first serious attempt at inter-operability that met with some success. However, data exchange had to be accomplished via the Marine Corps Tactical Data System ashore at Da Nang.
In order to overcome and correct the compatibility problems discovered through this early attempt at joint CDS operations, the Tactical Air Control System/Tactical Air Defense System (TACS/TADS) was evaluated in 1977 to test the digital exchange of information between the semiautomated tactical data systems. The TACS/TADS interface provided U. S. joint and unified commanders with longer range radar detection, continuous tracking, identification, and surveillance of aircraft and ships, more time for threat evaluation and weapon assignment, quicker responses to tactical situations, and a capability to avoid mutual interference through real-time exchange of information regarding own-force activities. These and many other advantages accrue when automated tactical systems are integrated through digital links. The systems currently able to transfer information in joint operations are:
(1) The U.S. Army Air Defense Command and Control Systems, designated the AN/TSQ-73.
(2) The U.S. Navy Tactical Data System, or NTDS, which is the central command and control system on U. S. Navy combatants;
(3) The U. S. Navy airborne tactical data systems available in the E-s, P-3, and S-3 aircraft;
(4) The U. S. Air Force Tactical Air Control System Control and Reporting Center (CRC), designated the AN/TSQ-91;
(5) The U.S. Air Force Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) Aircraft (E-3);
(6) The U. S. Marine Corps Air Command and Control System, designated the MACCS;
(7) Various allied ships and aircraft able to operate with U.S./NATO Link standards;
(8) The NATO Air Command and Control System (ACCS) which, when complete, will include the older NADGE (NATO Air Defense Ground Environment), the French STRIDA (Systeme de Traitement et de Representation des Information de Defense Aerienne), The British UKAGE, the German GEADGE, the Spanish Combat Grande, and the NAEWS (NATO Early Warning System) which includes AWACS and Nimrod airborne early warning aircraft.
When the systems are deployed together, their combined radar coverage can exceed an area of over a million square miles. By exchanging data on radar-held targets, each system can have the benefit of radar coverage of the other systems, and the joint tactical commander can more effectively control the overall efforts of the forces avail-able. Thus, when interfaced, the overall surveillance capa-bility of the total complex of systems should exceed the sum total of the individual system capabilities. In addition, joint operations are less sensitive to outages and counter-measures when the systems operate as a team, because alter-nate means will be available to achieve tactical objectives.
To achieve these objectives an automated combat direction system must perform the following functions:
(1) Data collection and storage
(2) Target tracking and prediction
(3) Command and control
20.4.1 Data Collection and Storage
From the point of view of the command and control system, there are really only two categories of information: that obtained from sensors co-located with the system or local tracks; and that obtained from sensors not co-located with the system or remote tracks. The sensors and sources include radar, ESM IFF, sonar, visual observations, and intelligence data. Both the local and the remote information are stored in a track file similar to that described for TWS systems in Chapter 6 and are listed in table 20-1.
These data may be stored by any of the means described in Chapter 4, e.g., magnetic tape, disk, drum, core, or a semiconductor memory.
188.8.131.52 Reference frames. Obviously there must be a single reference frame if several combat direction systems are operating together. These systems will operate in a stabilized cartesian coordinate system with an easily identifiable origin, such as a geographic feature or the intersection of whole-number latitude and longitude lines (i.e., 42oN/75oW), which is referred to as the Data Link Reference Point or DLRP. In the event that any unit does not accurately measure its position relative to DLRP, its track position reports for targets held mutually with other units will not correlate. The result will be two track files and separate track numbers for the same target, resulting in ambiguity and confusion. This type of track ambiguity is called dual designation and is in some ways similar to that described for TWS systems in Chapter 6. Dual designation is detrimental in that it affects the operation of all command and control systems involved in the data exchange. Other causes of dual designation include problems with relative sensor alignment (Chapter 19), platform relative movement, and navigation error.
Table 20-1. Simplified Combat Direction System Track File
Track Number Weapon Order
Position History (X,Y,Z) Course and Speed
Identity Data Source
IFF Response Side Number
Track Category (Surface, Air, Sub) Engagement Priority
Current Mission Controlling Unit (e.e., for CAP)
184.108.40.206 Gridlock. While it is desirable to eliminate these sources of reference frame error, error must eventually appear over time and will grow unless compensation is introduced in a procedure called gridlock. First, a determination is made that gridlock error and dual designations exist, then a target is selected that is held on radar by all participants. A comparison is made manually or as a computer subroutine to determine that the tracks are in fact the same (correlation). One system is selected as a reference, usually the one considered to have the best navigation data. Finally, all other systems cause a bias to be included in their computer's position reports such that their display of the target is superimposed over that of the reference system. This bias is the same for all tracks reported for one specific system, but obviously is different between systems and is zero for the reference because its reports are assumed to have no error. Gridlock is depicted in figure 20-4.
20.4.2 Target Tracking Prediction
Information from local data sources can be entered manually or it can come in the form of digital position reports from a TWS or active tracking radar. Fire control system data (called repeatback data) is usually an automatic digital or analog input that must be converted to digital data compat-ible with the Combat Direction System computer fire control system data includes that from sonar and from gun-system optics. In the case of ground-based systems, fire control data may be classified as remote data such as that obtained from radars associated with a Hawk or Patriot missile fire unit not co-located with the CDS.
The CDS will normally include equipment to convert data to a format usable by its digital computer including Analog to Digital converters, digital formating equipment, and ex-ternal buffers if necessary. The purpose of the buffer is to store data from several low data rate sources such as so-nar or gyro references until the computer needs it. Without the buffer these low-rate sources would slow down the com-puter and make it inefficient. With the buffer the computer can cycle through several input/output channels in order as required without having to wait for data.
The CDS will perform tracking and prediction functions similar to those of a TWS radar but using many other data sources. The purpose of the CDS is to provide data and as-sist in its evaluation rather than to solve the fire control problem. Therefore, the functions it performs will be op-timized for communication with operators. The system will include some type of tracking algorithm, similar to that in Chapter 6, which may or may not include hostile target par-ameters and rules of engagement criteria for target evalu-ation. Outputs for display to humans would include course, speed, CPA, intercept geometry, and evaluated data such as target probability areas or weapon danger areas.
20.4.3 Command and Control
The most important function of the automated combat direc-tion system is in augmenting and assisting the commander in the decision-making process during combat. In performing this function, the system will make various calculations in order to provide graphic and alphanumeric displays that may be clearly interpreted and evaluated by decision makers. In addition, the system may make preprogrammed evaluations and actually automatically assign sensors or weapons as permit-ted by the rules of engagement.
220.127.116.11 Force Orders. In addition to providing the means with which an individual unit commander can employ the wea-ponry and sensors assigned him, the force commander can di-rect conditions of readiness and weapon pairing by secure (i.e., encrypted) intracomputer communications. Commanders at each level are provided confirmation of action taken through graphics and alphanumeric data.
18.104.22.168 Rules of Engagement. Most automated combat direc-tion systems provide some means of automatic threat reac- tion. The degree to which this response can be tailored to the specific tactical situation varies considerably from system to system. Though the degree of sophistication of response logic varies, the actual modes of response can in general be summarized as follows:
(1) Automatic--The combat direction system makes decisions as programmed, up to and including weapons firing.
(2) Semiautomatic--The combat direction systems performs all functions up to weapon firing; however, an op-erator must close a firing key. Countermeasures such as ECM and chaff may still be automatic.
(3) Manual--Each step is performed by an operator in classical sequence; however, track data may still be provid-ed by an automatic tracking system such as a TWS radar.
The more sophisticated systems allow programming of specific weapons and sensor response, using the location of the system or some other designated position as the defended zone. In addition, zones can be established in bearing and range within which specific types of response can be pre-arranged.
20.4.4 Communication Links
Digital communications between computers allows much more rapid exchange of data than would be possible using human language. Indeed, it is the only way that complete infor-mation can be made available to all involved in the deci-sion-making process. In order for all services and agen- cies, including those from allied countries, to mutually support one another, a series of data-link standards have been agreed upon that apply to all systems and are im-plemented regardless of the communications method employed.
A series of standard formatted messages are used to exchange digital data between the computers associated with the systems. These messages contain the various elements of information required for digital exchanges. The messages are interpreted by the computers and converted into display information for use by systems operators.
(1) Tactical Data System Base Information is exchanged to identify the units in the interface.
(2) Track Information is exchanged so that information on all aircraft, surface ships, and subsurface tracks that are within detection range of the systems are available to all participants, though this data may not be displayed if not applicable (i.e., the AN/TSQ-73 would not display sub-surface tracks).
(3) Electronic Warfare Information is exchanged so that jamming sources can be located and identified and other electronic warfare data can be shared.
(4) Command Information is exchanged so that the systems can coordinate their efforts in combat operations and tactical commanders can have detailed information on the forces at their disposal.
(5) Specific Control Information is exchanged on friendly aircraft under the direction of the air-control systems. This information keeps all systems informed on the details of combat missions being flown.
(6) Data Management Information is exchanged to con-trol the large volume of information involved, and to minim-ize mutual interference. For example, aircraft and surface tracks no longer active in the systems complex are deleted, and all systems are notified. Or if conflicts in data oc-cur, information is exchanged between systems so that oper-ators can resolve the conflict situation.
The exchange of this information permits continuous coordination and harmonization between the tactical air con-trol and tactical air defense systems involved. It minim-izes mutual interference and significantly increases the effectiveness of the systems in a joint operations area. These link messages are employed in the various Tactical Digital Links (TADLs) that incorporate and include the vari-ous numbered links used by the Navy.
22.214.171.124 TADL "A" (Link 11)--Link 11 is a two-way, real-time encrypted data transmission over either UHF or HF radio fre-quencies. Essential in its importance is the two-way data exchange. Link 11-equipped aircraft or ships, or ships and aircraft, can relay secure tactical sensor information in addition to weapon deployment and engagement status. Coup-led with a central memory and processing unit, multiple stations can either receive information or actively enter the net and send and receive data. One station will be designated as NCS (Net Control Station) to provide a synch-ronizing sampling of each transmitting unit's data. Trans-missions can be in the UHF range to limit detection to line-of-sight ranges or HF when over-the-horizon ranges are de-sired. Link 16 will provide similar but expanded capabil-ities.
126.96.36.199 TADL "B" --This is a highly directional two-way line-of-sight microwave transmission similar to microwave telephone communications. The units involved must have an-tennas pointed directly at each other, as the transmission employs a very narrow directional beam. Due to antenna aiming requirements, this method is employed by ground-based systems only.
188.8.131.52 TADL "C"--This is a one (Link 4) or two-way (Link 4A) link used to exchange information with and control spec-ially configured fighter aircraft. This enables the console operator at a surface or airborne CDS to direct the aircraft remotely. In addition, data on target location and identity can be transferred from the fighter to the controlling unit who in turn can distribute that information on the other links.
184.108.40.206 Link 14--Link 14 is a one-way data transmission
system providing non-NTDS-equipped surface platforms with
data made available from NTDS platforms. NTDS Link 11-equipped platforms can transmit encrypted data to platforms lacking this capability. This raw data is then transcribed manually and presented to local commanders for possible action. Tactical and strategic conditions presented to non-NTDS platforms, even though done manually, can provide the C3 necessary in a contemporary battle. Information can be received by a standard radio receiver and teletype.
Automated Combat Direction Systems (CDS) have replaced the relatively slow manual target plotting and data processing of World War II and the 1950s with the nearly instantaneous recognition, reaction, and distribution capability of the high-speed digital computer. The CDS operator has symbology available to him in real-time that represents the entire tactical situation, including all surface, subsurface, air, and land assets supporting him, plus the platforms, facil-ities, and weapons of his adversary.
For purposes of this discussion we will divide CDS displays into three functional areas:
(1) Operator display--Those displays provide sensor data (including sonar if applicable and enable the individual to enter, readout, and make use of computer data via graphics and alphanumeric displays.
(2) Command/evaluation displays--These are for the use of the force commander or unit commander and his staff. The displays are larger (called Large Screen Displays) and usu-ally allow only limited raw data input. Their primary pur-pose is evaluation of data and employment of weapons.
(3) Automated status displays--These provide inform-ation of a general nature for large numbers of tracks of the same general category, such as that provided by manual stat-us boards found in conventional CICs.
220.127.116.11 Operator Displays. This type of display is usu-ally standardized for economy and to make training, repair, and supply easier. It is adapted to specific jobs by the CDS computer program. Usually it contains a 30- to 37-cm CRT employing two separate guns and allows the display of raw sensor video as well as symbology, graphics, and al-phanumerics. Communications with the computer are accomp-lished via fixed action buttons, computer-controlled action buttons, an alphanumeric keyboard (like a personal comput-er), and a communications panel. Positions on the main CRT are indicated by moving a marker on the scopeface with a ball-shaped roller, a joystick, or by touching the face of the CRT. Computer-supplied lists of alphanumeric data are provided by a smaller auxiliary CRT placed above or beside the main CRT. Generation of symbology may be done at each display or by a centralized symbol generator.
18.104.22.168 Command/Evaluation Displays. In the evolution from the large-areas status boards and vertical polar co- ordinate plots to the automated display provided by CDS, a 20-fold increase in target-handling capability was realized, but the greatest advantage of the manual displays--that of general availability to decision making made possible by the size of the manual plot was lost. Where the vertical plot provided a large display for use by several persons simul-taneously, the 37-cm plan position indicator (PPI) of the operator display was inaccessible to more than one or two persons and did not provide sufficient detail over a large enough display area for the commander and his staff. Early large screen displays could not provide real-time update of data and therefore were little better than manual methods.
Later displays were built employing large (53-cm dia-meter) CRTs that were essentially enlarged Operator Displays such as the navy's Operations Summary Console (OSC)(figure 20-11).
Shore-based systems such as the Marine Air Command and Control System (MACCS) employed large projection type dis-plays that operated from CDS computer data in real time quite like large-screen commercial television. These dis-plays were used primarily for high-level command and control employing symbology graphics and alphanumerics with no ac-cess to raw sensor data.
With the advent of liquid-crystal light valve technol-ogy in the early 1980s, displays over one square meter in area became available that had the advantage of acceptabil-ity for viewing under ambient light, unlike the CRTs that require a darkened room. These displays provide multi-color computer-controlled displays on a full-color map or chart background.
22.214.171.124 Automated Status Displays. One of the last manual functions in automated CDS is that of tabular data. With modern track loading it is unlikely that men can keep up with available data; therefore, modern CDSs provide for a TV monitor display of status board data much like flight sched-ule displays in modern commercial airports.
20.4.6 Display References
The Operator Display retained some of the same limitations of noncomputerized radar repeaters in that the display pro-vided was not corrected for the course and speed of the platform within which it was installed. This characteristic is not a problem in most situations and is even desirable in some circumstances; however, it has been a significant draw-back to the automation of antisubmarine warfare, ASCM tar-geting, navigation, and other activities requiring true-mo-tion displays or a geographically fixed plot.
Command/Evaluation displays beginning with the Opera-ations Summary Console (OSC) have been designed with the capacity of providing a geographically fixed true-motion display in addition to the conventional relative-motion dis-play provided by radarscopes. While prosecuting sonar con-tacts, it is imperative that a plot of the geographic posi-tion of the attacking ship, assist units, and submarine be maintained in order to evaluate the target submarine's man-euvers and aspect. Without a geographically fixed plot it can be extremely difficult to separate the submarine from underwater geographic features, decoys, and even the wake turbulence of the prosecuting ships. This need has been filled by the dead-reckoning tracer (DRT), and more recently by varieties of the NC-2 plotter, each requiring several men to operate. The DRT and the more advanced NC-2 are limited by the requirement to plot manually all contacts with pencil on paper. This eventually results in a complex mass of lines and requires that target processing and evaluation stop while the paper is changed and the plotting "bug" or "bugs" reset. Under those conditions, 80 percent of the effort was devoted to manual processing and only 20 percent to the actual consideration of tactics.
Using the OSC or some of the other evaluation displays, the operator may select the frame of reference within which information is to be displayed. In a sector-screening situ-ation with the guide as a reference and track history ena-bled on own ship, the operator may observe his ship's posi-tion within its assigned sector for the previous 30 minutes to verify complete coverage. Once sonar contact is gained, he chooses a position near but not directly over the submar-ine and enters a symbol for a geographically fixed point, which is then used as a reference to orient the OSC geo- graphic display. Once this is accomplished, the scope pre-sentation shifts to center on the geographic point. The own-ship symbol can be observed to move across the scope face in the manner of a DRT bug. OSC track history is then enabled for the submarine, and all surface and air assist units. The geographic plot that results is maintained auto-matically as long as the operator desires without the delays and inconvenience inherent in manual plotting.
20.5 INHERENT PROBLEMS
Command, control and communications systems span a continuum from the issuing of simple verbal orders and the direct ob-servation of activity, to remote directives and synthetic representation of resulting activity. Command and control systems are approaching the point where the more complex case may occur within the same span of time as the simplest one. In the following paragraphs some of the more contro-versial problems are addressed.
The digital computer is supremely capable of processing large volumes of data and performing a remarkable degree of evaluation, given a suitable program set. There may be, however, a tendency for users to place inordinate signif-icance upon the results. C3 is characteristically uncertain and unpredictable, involving considerable subjective evalu-ation.
There has been a tendency to employ technology merely be-cause it was available, not because it was needed. Command-ers are often faced with a C3 system unsuited to his or her needs. In most cases the tendency is to adjust to the sys-tem even though it may waste resources and restrict effect-iveness. C3 systems should be designed with sufficient flexibility to accommodate the needs of different human beings and operations. Emphasis in system design should favor the commander rather than the technology employed.
Hardware and supporting equipment and processes are expen-sive. The economics of the military environment will always be a strong factor in deciding which C3 system will be em- ployed.
20.6.4 Decision Making
In the attempt to expand the capabilities of general-purpose computers and make them as flexible in use as possible, un-necessarily detailed information is frequently provided. Too much information can create indecision, just as can too little information. The C3 system must be structured and operated to reduce variables and define alternatives for commanders, while concurrently avoiding an information glut at the decision-making level.
Where high-level commanders possess the capability to engage in evaluation at the on-scene commander level, erosion of authority of the on-scene commander will take place. If a number of commanders in the C3 system are capable of inter- acting, confusion may occur. The senior commander with the most pertinent information should take precedence. Multip-licity of evaluation can provide consistently better results than the evaluation of a single commander. Those in command at all echelons must know what their seniors are thinking, when to act, when to question, and when to give orders. Command and control of the near future will require a ra-tional discipline on the part of informed commanders who
work together as a team to accomplish objectives and goals. On-scene commanders must be constantly sensitive to orders from higher authority while maintaining the mental freedom of action necessary when it is required that they act, but being careful not to include action contrary to the national interest. This concept of mental discipline is perhaps the most critical--and controversial--area in this new age of command and control.
Beyond the level of direct command and control, communica-tions plays the key role in maintaining the integrity of the C3 system. Reliability through system design (redundancy, ruggedization, miniaturization, etc.) is essential to ensur- ing survivability, particularly in a time of escalating con-flict. An ironic aspect of communications survivability at the highest C3 levels also exists. An opposing government's control over its own military forces is also normally dic-tated by its having intact communications. Destruction of its communications system would preclude stopping a conflict once its forces were committed. This consideration can im-pact significantly upon the tactical employment of own forces.
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