Can fighter jets, drones, Navy ships, and ground-based weapons systems all receive and collaborate using threat information and sensor-derived targeting in a matter of seconds? The answer is yes. The Department of Defense is now developing this kind of technology.
Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks has announced a new Joint All Domain Command and Control (JAD2C0 Implementation Plan. This text specifies a series of steps necessary to bring joint, multi-domain warfare attack and connectivity to fruition.
Individual military service elements to this joint effort are as vital as a combined effort.
Marine Lt. Gen. Dennis Crall is the director of Command, Control, Communications And Computers/Cyber and Chief Information Officer of the Joint Staff.
“We live the consequences of not getting everyone on the same page,” Crall said, according to a Department of Defense transcript. “That's what status quo is. So I think, you know, the risk is continuing the current trajectory apart from JADC2. That would be a risk.”
The Implementation Plan specifically calls for the individual service efforts to integrate and complement one another. Each individual military service draws upon years of developmental effort. The Army, Navy, and Air Force have pursued joint multi-domain connectivity for several years. This plan will now bring them together.
“Department development and implementation processes must be unified to deliver more effective cross-domain capability options,” the plan states.
The goal is to deliver information dominance at high speed through networking, high-speed data processing, and artificial intelligence-enabled computing.
“If the clock wasn't on us, this might be a different pursuit, meaning you could take your time, you could make a lot of mistakes, you'll eventually get to the answer,” Crall said. “And if it didn't matter when you got to the answer, then I guess that process would be good enough. But an answer good enough or a perfect answer delivered too late isn't good enough, and that's really our dilemma.”
The Department of Defense doesn’t just want increased speed for decisions in warfare. It also wants the new JAD2C program to develop at a fast pace.
“JADC2 provides an approach for developing the warfighting capability to sense, make sense, and act at all levels and phases of war, across all domains, and with partners, to deliver information advantage at the speed of relevance,” the plan says.
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.