The Department of Defense is working to achieve improvements in networking, connectivity, and cross-domain warfare goals.
Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks recently signed the Joint All Domain Command and Control (JAD2C) Implementation Plan. It’s a roadmap with five “lines of effort” intended to organize the military’s JAD2C plan.
JAD2C efforts “will enable the Joint Force to use increasing volumes of data, employ automation and AI, rely upon a secure and resilient infrastructure, and act inside an adversary's decision cycle,” the plan says. The JAD2C plan will focus on improving the military’s ability to detect and track enemy activity, absorb and deliver data and information, and execute actions.
It’s a vital task but is difficult to achieve, as it requires sensors to be linked with data processing and human decision-makers in a timely manner. Improving efforts between the joint force means that all branches of the military will be able to work together seamlessly.
Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Dennis Crall is the director of Command, Control, Communications and Computers/Cyber and Chief Information Officer of the Joint Staff. Crall described JADC2 as operating within the conceptual framework of retired Air Force Col. John Boyd’s famous OODA loop.
The OODA loop includes observation, orientation, decision, and action. It refers to the process of making crucial decisions during military operations.
“The power of information has never been stronger, the machine-human interface, the need has never been greater, and JADC2 is attempting to leverage that so that we can deliver the best decision to the warfighter in the fastest time,” Crall said, according to a Department of Defense transcript.
The three guiding concepts are woven into the Implementation Plan align closely with Boyd’s OODA loop concept. The JAD2C Implementation Plan identifies three guiding command and control functions as “sense,” “make sense,” and “act.”
The five “lines of effort” outlined in the plan are: establish the JADC2 data enterprise, establish the JADC2 human enterprise, establish the JADC2 technical enterprise, integrate nuclear command and control and communications with JADC2, and modernize mission partner information sharing.
Each of the United States’ military services has given their efforts at JAD2C a different name, but they share the same fundamental mission. The Army calls it the Integrated Battle Command System, the Navy refers to it as Project Overmatch, and the Air Force project is called the Advanced Battle Management System. The goal is to improve the speed of connectivity across the joint force.
“This isn't a single service, it's not just one program office, it's the entire DoD,” Crall said.
Kris Osborn is the Defense Editor for the National Interest. Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a Highly Qualified Expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army—Acquisition, Logistics & Technology. Osborn has also worked as an anchor and on-air military specialist at national TV networks. He has appeared as a guest military expert on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. He also has a Master’s Degree in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.