Title: The Joint Broadcast Service Supporting Bosnia: Value to the Warrior and Lessons Learned

Subject: A case study on the use of the Joint Broadcast System in Bosnia.

Author(s): Mark C. Biwer; Joseph H. Reynolds (Faculty Advisor)


Abstract: The DOD is developing the Global Broadcast Service (GBS) to answer the warfighter’s critical communications needs. It features high bandwidth, one-way broadcast of multimedia products to forward-deployed forces. As part of the proof-of-concept the DOD deployed the Joint Broadcast Service (JBS) to the EUCOM theater of operations to provide limited operational support to the UN peacekeeping effort in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The author developed criteria for evaluating the value of this operational support and used these criteria to determine the value of the video, data file, and streaming data products as of November 1996.

The initial effort was to provide Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle video to forward deployed commanders. The high impact nature of this capability was confirmed on at least two occasions demonstrating the potential for a very high value. However, the success of the peacekeeping mission provided few opportunities for this high value to be realized.

In contrast, due to the rapid deployment of JBS to support efforts in Bosnia, the concepts, software and tools necessary to effect the "Smart Push" and "Warrior Pull" themes of JBS/GBS for data files lagged far behind the video. As a consequence, the software and tools necessary to implement the information management concept of operations were not available in November 1996. This resulted in generally low usage, impact and value to the user. The one exception was the distribution of large format imagery files to Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

From the factors contributing to the assessed value, the most critical lessons learned become apparent. These lessons are the need for software and tools to implement the theater CINC’s information management concept and the need to integrate JBS sites with Local Area Networks, Defense Information Systems Network and allied systems. Additional lessons learned include the need for improved implementation, operations and maintenance strategies, and recommendations for future products to broadcast via JBS/GBS.

Last updated 1997 Nov 14