Executive Summary

ES.1 WHAT ARE NETWORK-CENTRIC NAVAL FORCES?

ES.1.1 Network-Centric Operations Defined

This report responds to a request from the Chief of Naval Operations to help the Navy “[realize] … the full potential of network-centric warfare….”1 The committee received many briefings on the subject, none of which defined “network-centric warfare” in the same way. Thus, the committee deemed it important to establish a common basis of understanding regarding what is meant by the “network centric” concept and its characteristics within the Department of the Navy and from there into the joint arena. Further, it concluded that once adopted as an organizing principle the concept must apply to all military force operations, in peace as well as in war. The committee therefore defined network-centric operations (NCO) as military operations that exploit state-of-the-art information and networking technology to integrate widely dispersed human decision makers, situational and targeting sensors, and forces and weapons into a highly adaptive, comprehensive system to achieve unprecedented mission effectiveness.

ES.1.2 The Promise and Significance of Network-Centric Operations

In network-centric operations naval force assets are linked together to carry out a mission in ways that were not previously possible, through the application of modern means of acquiring, processing, disseminating, and using information

1  

See Appendix A.



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Network-Centric Naval Forces: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities Executive Summary ES.1 WHAT ARE NETWORK-CENTRIC NAVAL FORCES? ES.1.1 Network-Centric Operations Defined This report responds to a request from the Chief of Naval Operations to help the Navy “[realize] … the full potential of network-centric warfare….”1 The committee received many briefings on the subject, none of which defined “network-centric warfare” in the same way. Thus, the committee deemed it important to establish a common basis of understanding regarding what is meant by the “network centric” concept and its characteristics within the Department of the Navy and from there into the joint arena. Further, it concluded that once adopted as an organizing principle the concept must apply to all military force operations, in peace as well as in war. The committee therefore defined network-centric operations (NCO) as military operations that exploit state-of-the-art information and networking technology to integrate widely dispersed human decision makers, situational and targeting sensors, and forces and weapons into a highly adaptive, comprehensive system to achieve unprecedented mission effectiveness. ES.1.2 The Promise and Significance of Network-Centric Operations In network-centric operations naval force assets are linked together to carry out a mission in ways that were not previously possible, through the application of modern means of acquiring, processing, disseminating, and using information 1   See Appendix A.

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Network-Centric Naval Forces: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities and information networks. The gathering, exploitation, and transmission of information about the enemy and the environment have always been of critical importance in guiding military operations. The means for doing so have become so powerful in recent times that they have overtaken the capabilities of individual platforms and weapons as primary drivers of global naval force capability. Network-centric operations thus represent a new force design and operational paradigm for the naval forces. In network-centric operations, naval force and other Service elements, organized as a single, joint, networked system, will be able to achieve mission objectives far more rapidly, decisively, and with greater economy of force than was possible earlier. However, the entire, joint system will be more intricate than any the naval forces and joint forces have ever dealt with in the past. For the Navy and the Marine Corps, the transition to NCO will require that many of the traditional approaches to development and operations be transformed into new methods and concepts of operation. ES.1.3 Attributes of Naval Forces in Network-Centric Operations The key attribute of NCO is the unprecedented ability to support well-informed and rapid decision making by naval force commanders at all levels, within a system of flexible and adaptable command relationships. The information network and infrastructure in which the naval force elements will be embedded will enable dynamic adjustment and adaptation to battlespace situations and needs as they emerge. Multiple platforms separated by great distances will be able to work as closed-loop systems with the same speed and assurance that have characterized single platform-weapon combinations. Within the physical limits of time required for movement and weapon range and speed, the force commanders operating in the network-centric mode will be able to concentrate widely dispersed forces’ fire and maneuvers at decisive locations and times. The forces will be able to achieve the precision needed to identify and engage opposing forces and specific targets with minimal casualties and the least civilian damage. And they will be able to do so at a pace that overwhelms the opposition’s ability to prevent the actions or to respond in time to avoid defeat. To develop these attributes of NCO, information and networking technology will have to be applied to achieve the following, to the greatest extent possible: Knowledge of where all U.S., allied, neutral, and opposition installations, forces, and platforms are, in terms of common space and time coordinates, in time to use the knowledge to desired military effect; Sharing of processed information throughout the force as and when needed by the decision makers at various command levels; Coordination of all (possibly widely dispersed) assets—sensors, weapons, platforms, Marine units—to operate as a common whole; and

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Network-Centric Naval Forces: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities Assurance that the information that is gathered and distributed is timely, accurate, and not subject to disruption, corruption, or exploitation by the opposition. ES.1.4 The Inevitability of Network-Centric Operations The committee believes that development of the naval forces in the direction of network-centric operations is inevitable, because of both the push of developing threats worldwide and the pull of opportunities that the information and networking technology offers. All of the following are becoming available to potential opponents of U.S. naval forces: stealth in antiship missiles; quieter submarines; long-range air defenses with counterstealth characteristics; battlefield ballistic missiles that may have chemical, biological, and eventually nuclear warheads; hiding of organized criminal, terrorist, and irregular forces in civilian populations and difficult terrain; cell phone and satellite communication and navigation; and cyber-warfare capability. A concatenation of such threats can be met only by sharing, among all friendly force elements, information gathered by widely dispersed assets and fused to make a coherent operational and tactical picture for the force’s decision makers, so as to enable an effective response or preemptive action, all in less time than it takes the threat to strike. Information and networking technology makes such sharing possible. In addition, current and, it is expected, future U.S. superiority in exploiting the technology presents the opportunity to build naval forces that will be able to undertake the decisive operations basic to success in missions as far into the future as can be foreseen. ES.2 TRANSITION TO NETWORK-CENTRIC NAVAL FORCES To achieve naval forces able to perform as described will require leadership from the top levels of the Navy Department; new concepts of operation; a common information infrastructure with assured reliability and integrity of the information that passes through it; and an integrated approach to shaping the Navy and the naval forces. ES.2.1 Leadership The Department of the Navy’s top leadership must convey understanding, acceptance, and their continuing support of the concept of network-centric operations throughout the naval forces, including their anticipation of and support for the NCO-induced changes in command relationships that will inevitably come about as the command and information structure of the naval forces evolves.

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Network-Centric Naval Forces: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities Recommendation 1: The Secretary of the Navy, the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), and the Commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC) should agree on the basic concepts essential to transforming today’s naval forces to network-centric forces, including: Integrating all the naval force elements involved in a mission into an adaptive, comprehensive, information-driven NCO system; Adopting the spiral development process that is described in this report2 as the primary development and procurement mechanism for creating such NCO systems; Constructing a common command and information infrastructure (the Naval Command and Information Infrastructure; NCII3) as the framework that enables the creation and effective utilization of effective NCO systems; and Making the attending adjustments and enhancements in organization and management.4 They should promulgate those concepts throughout the naval forces as top-level policy. ES.2.2 Concepts of Operation Operations in which all force elements are closely coupled and function as a single system within a common command and information network will differ in speed and character of execution from those familiar in the past. New kinds of operations will be possible, as illustrated by the recent development of the cooperative engagement capability for fleet air defense. The flow of information from many sources to multiple command levels will tend to flatten the combat command hierarchy within agreed mission plans and rules of engagement. All future military operations, in peace and in war, will be joint, and will occur most often in coalitions. Even when the Navy and Marine Corps are the only military forces at a point of action, the information network and the sensors that the forces rely on will be interconnected with information assets from other Services and National5 agencies. Command and information links with coalition partners will also have to be assured. The CNO and the CMC have assigned to the Navy Warfare Development Command (NWDC) and the Marine Corps Combat Development Command (MCCDC), respectively, the responsibility for developing new concepts of operation in the joint and combined environment. Each of these organizations is 2   See Chapters 1 and 2. 3   See Chapters 1, 4, and 6. 4   See Chapters 1 and 7. 5   The term “National” refers to those systems, resources, and assets controlled by the U.S. government, but not limited to the Department of Defense.

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Network-Centric Naval Forces: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities devising concepts for its parent Service. However, the naval forces as a whole cannot function in the NCO mode unless they share common concepts of operation involving both Services. Recommendation 2: The CNO and the CMC should assign NWDC and MCCDC the responsibility to work together to devise joint concepts and doctrine for network-centric operations of the naval forces as a whole. Joint and coalition aspects of such operations should be incorporated in the concepts developed. ES.2.3 Common Command and Information Infrastructure Network-centric operations require an infrastructure that supports not only the manipulation and transport of information but also the actual functions of command, to hold the elements of the network together and guide their operation in concert as an integrated system according to the NCO concept. That infrastructure, the NCII, will include the communications trunk lines, the terminals, the central processing facilities, the common support applications, connectivity to tactical networks, and the Department of Defense (DOD)-wide and commercial standards, rules, and procedures that will enable the flow of raw and processed information and commands at all levels of command among units that are involved in an action. The NCII will be connected to, and will essentially have to become a part of, the joint National and coalition information infrastructures to the extent that all will function as a single infrastructure to ensure consistency and interoperability among all the parts. Recommendation 3: The Secretary of the Navy, the CNO, and the CMC should arrange for assembly, augmentation, and interweaving of all related ongoing efforts6 to begin creating the NCII as a common command and information infrastructure to provide the global framework for networked naval force operations. Recommendation 4: The Secretary of the Navy, the CNO, and the CMC should develop a comprehensive and balanced transition plan to aid realization of the functional capabilities necessary for the NCII (as described in the detailed recommendations in the body of this report7). 6   As discussed at length in Chapters 4 and 6, these efforts include the Navy’s IT-21 strategy, the Global Command and Control System–Maritime, common-user long-haul communications, tactical networks, common support application software, and sensor and intelligence feeds, including as necessary other joint and National assets. 7   See Chapter 6.

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Network-Centric Naval Forces: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities ES.2.4 Information Assurance Many threats8 will arise from the very structure of the NCII, and also from the need to rely heavily on civilian systems for the transport of data and processed information, the need to share information and techniques with coalition partners, and the potential for damaging actions by malicious insiders who may also be enemy agents. There is currently no single individual within the Department of the Navy who has the responsibility and authority to ensure the integrity of the NCII and the information that flows through it, and the timeliness and continuity of the information flow. Recommendation 5: The Secretary of the Navy, the CNO, and the CMC should assign responsibility for information assurance at a high enough level within the Navy and the Marine Corps, and with sufficient emphasis, to ensure that adequate and integrated attention is paid to all aspects of information assurance in the design and operation of the NCII. Recommendation 6: The CNO and the CMC should take steps to ensure that fleet and Marine training encompasses situations with impaired information and NCII functionality, and that fallback positions and capabilities are prepared to meet such eventualities. ES.2.5 Integrated Approach to Shaping the Navy and the Naval Forces Network-centric operations will span all Navy and Marine Corps activities. Since the force components, the people in the force, and the information network in which they are embedded will be treated as a complete system, the new approach to shaping the Navy and the naval forces will entail performance and economic trade-offs among all the parts of the system—weapons, platforms, people, command, control, and information assets—not simply within the parts as has been customary heretofore. And there will have to be corresponding organizational and business practice adjustments in the Navy and the naval forces to suit the new conditions. The committee examined alternative approaches to achieving these changes but concluded that the best Department of the Navy strategy to meet these needs would be to build on existing organizations with some changes in emphasis. The following needs were identified, and recommended approaches to meeting these needs are given. It is, of course, recognized that internal and external considerations that were not known to the committee may lead the Navy Department to reach other solutions to the problems posed. 8   Described in detail in Chapter 5.

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Network-Centric Naval Forces: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities In the current fleet/Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV)/ Systems Command (SYSCOM) organizational relationships, there is no mechanism for integrating cross-platform/cross-mission needs of the battle force in operations information—including terrestrial and space assets; command, control, communications, computing, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR); and the NCII. The lack of a functional type commander9 resource for C4I who can interact with the platform type commanders exacerbates this cross-platform integration problem. Recommendation 7: The Secretary of the Navy and the CNO should create a new functional type commander, the Commander for Operations Information and Space Command, to be the single point of information support to all the fleets. Responsibilities for the new functional type commander and related other changes in Navy organizational responsibilities are described in the detailed recommendations in the body of this report.10 A mechanism is needed to integrate various competing and complementary requirements presented by the fleets to ensure rapid improvement of at-sea operational capabilities in the NCO mode through the spiral development process. Recommendation 8: The CNO should establish a requirements board11 under the chairmanship of the Vice Chief of Naval Operations to deal with operations information and to integrate requirements presented by the fleets as the NCII is assembled and other NCO plans and acquisitions take shape. An authority is needed to make funding, scheduling, and program adjustments, trade-offs, and decisions in relevant areas, based on review, oversight, and prioritization of the acquisition, installation, and program execution aspects of NCO systems treated in an integrated fashion. Recommendation 9: The Secretary of the Navy, the CNO, and the CMC should establish a board of directors12 under the chairmanship of the Undersecretary of the Navy to provide coordinated guidance and ensure the integration and interoperability of all the Navy and Marine Corps NCO acquisition and program execution activities. Decision support and program execution mechanisms are needed to improve and enhance implementation of the decisions made by the above authority. 9   The flag officer who has responsibility for all ships of a certain type in the fleet. 10   See Chapters 1 and 7. 11   See Chapters 1 and 7. 12   See Chapters 1 and 7.

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Network-Centric Naval Forces: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities Recommendation 10: The CNO should strengthen mission analysis and component trade-off evaluations by (1) providing staff and resources for the integrated warfare architecture (IWAR) process to enable continuous assessments from requirements generation through programming, budgeting, and execution; (2) developing output-oriented measures of effectiveness and measures of performance for network-centric operations; and (3) developing a comprehensive set of design reference missions across all mission areas. Resource planning should support the spiral development process. The Secretary of the Navy and the CNO should appoint a designated SYSCOM Commander to be a deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development, and Acquisition) (ASN (RDA)) for Navy NCO integration. The Secretary of the Navy should adjust the responsibilities of the Chief Information Officer, the Chief Engineer, and the N6, with due account for authorities and responsibilities established in law, to enable the implementation and operation of the NCII, including interaction and collaboration with the other Services, the joint community, and defense agencies.13 There is a need to ensure that all missions are given balanced emphasis in the naval force planning and acquisition processes. In particular, the committee found that the power projection mission is not as well represented in the planning process as other naval force missions. Special attention is needed to the planning and design of end-to-end (surveillance and targeting through effectiveness assessment) fleet-based land-attack (strike and fire support) subsystems for network-centric operations.14 Recommendation 11: The Office of the ASN (RDA), in conjunction with other interested Navy and Marine Corps elements, should review the Navy’s overall planning and acquisition processes and if necessary and as appropriate adjust the program executive office structure to orient it toward the integrated design and acquisition of systems suited to network-centric operations. The CNO should review and if necessary and as appropriate adjust the N8 structure and assignments within his staff to ensure balanced attention to all missions, including the mission of power projection from the sea. Without effective, appropriately educated and trained people the NCO concept cannot be made to work. To be fully effective in implementation over 13   See Chapters 1, 4, and 7. 14   See Chapters 1, 3, and 7. There were some differing views within the committee regarding the following recommendations, as indicated in related discussion in these chapters.

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Network-Centric Naval Forces: A Transition Strategy for Enhancing Operational Capabilities the long term, NCO concepts must pervade the Navy and Marine Corps training and education system. This approach includes identifying the qualifications for billets critical to network-centric operations (including both domain and infrastructure experts); identifying training and education needs for those billets; developing career paths for both military personnel and civil service employees to retain and reward those with information technology expertise; and orienting the education of naval officers toward NCO concepts from the beginning of their schooling.15 Recommendation 12: The CNO and the CMC should review NCO education and training at all levels across the Navy and the Marine Corps, and institute changes as necessary and appropriate to achieve the objectives outlined above. Research and development is needed to meet the challenges of creating an advanced NCII, including providing for information assurance, and to meet the new challenges of network-centric operations, including especially support of the power projection mission in NCO. Recommendation 13: The Office of the ASN (RDA), in conjunction with other interested Navy and Marine Corps elements, should join with the other components of DOD to sponsor a vigorous, continuing research and development program aimed at the objectives noted above. The above recommendations, and related ones, are expanded and discussed more fully in the overview that follows this summary. Many additional recommendations for actions to reorient the naval forces toward NCO, involving many areas of naval force endeavor, emerged from this study. All the recommendations, including those above and many others, are developed in detail and presented in the main body of the report. 15   See Chapters 1 and 7.

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