Showing posts with label Battlespace Superiority. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Battlespace Superiority. Show all posts

February 4, 2020

Pay Attention To Space Force

We're not paying close enough attention to the new U.S. Space Force.

It was signed into law by President Trump on December 20.

Space Force is the U.S. military's 6th service branch (separate from the Air Force).

While it is currently the smallest branch with 16,000 personnel and just a $40 million budget, I would look to this branch to move over time to one of the largest (if not the largest) branch of the military.

Let's face it, Earth is small potatoes in the realm of the Universe.

We will be expanding into outer space and colonizing it--we have to!

In addition, the weapons in space will be high-tech and costly relative to their earthly counterparts, and  our dominance in space will not come cheap either in terms of aerospace and engineering talent or in terms of the systems and weapons that will assure our superiority.

In January, the new Star Trek aired on CBS, and as is long said on that preminiscent science fiction show, "Space is the final frontier" and the U.S. Space Force will become front and center in our defense.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

March 17, 2008

Military Robots and Enterprise Architecture

One reason that I love the military is that they truly think out of the box and are not only cutting-edge, but they continuously innovate. They drive change that ripples throughout all areas of the economy, and they use the best from the private sector and make it even cooler.

If you’re into robotics, you’ve most certainly heard of the Roomba from iRobot that vacuums floors on auto-pilot.

Now the military is taking that idea and through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) developing a robot that will aid battlefield communications.

MIT Technology Review, 11 March 2008, reports that “iRobot is developing communications robots for the military.”

“Expendable robots that can be tossed into a building or over a wall…will be used to set up communications networks to assist soldiers in urban battlefields,” where communication are often by impeded by obstacles and structures that “reflect, refract, diffract, and absorb radio signals leading to signal loss and attenuation.”

These robot are call Local Area Network or LAN-droids, and they will have autonomous positioning systems so that the bots will be mobile and be able to adapt to get the best signal. The bots “will use 801.11g Wi-Fi standards to form mobile ad hoc networks that can repair and reroute themselves if, for example, the enemy destroys a robot.”

The robots, each costing less than $100, will “weigh less than a kilogram and [be]…about 10 centimeters long,” so soldiers can carry multiple bots and be able to throw them into position.

The robots are planned to be able to travel at “half a meter a second and be capable of functioning for up to 10 hours.”

The LANdroids prototype is expected by the end of the year.

What a terrific target architecture! Focused on mission requirements with a vision for improved results of operation, DARPA is aligning technology solutions to the soldier’s needs for better, more reliable communication in the battlefield.

Further, the LANdroid is a solution that is grounded in market reality. Using the Roomba vacuum robot as a model for mobile bot technology, DARPA is taking it to the next level. They are applying the technology to their mission space and upping the ante on the adversary.

In a sense that is what EA is all about, staying one or more steps ahead of the competition whether in terms of business process efficiency, quality products and services, and technology enablement. EA engineers the organization to succeed.

Today it’s the LANDdroid, tomorrow the Battlefield KillerBot.


February 17, 2008

DoD Enterprise Architecture

In a world where information superiority can mean battlefield victory, enterprise architecture is critical to military transformation and execution.

Military Information Technology, 11 February 2008, reports “Enterprise Architecture: Key to Netcentricity.”

Why is EA important in general:

“An actionable EA provides organizational leaders information sufficient to make enterprise plans, investment resource and management decisions, and to optimize key operational and support processes.”

Why is EA important to The Department of Defense?

The warfighter relies on information superiority to sense a threat, decide on a course of action, and execute faster than the enemy. This is not much different than survival in America’s Wild West years ago, by those who had the fastest [gun] draw.

Today, “The OODA [observe, orient, decide, act] loop is a 'sense and respond' cycle driven by actionable data and information for superior information management, battlespace awareness, and operational decision-making...when organizational components use rich and timely information, dramatically improved battlespace operations effectiveness can be realized…the single unifying approach that delivers the needed information and insight is enterprise architecture."

What is netcentricity?

Netcentricity or “network-centric operations (NCO) enables military forces to anticipate and adapt rapidly to changes in the environment such as enemy warfare tactics. NCO touches all aspects of department operations and, by integrating organizational networks and information, enables enhanced warfare operations effectiveness. NCO is enabled through dramatic changes in mindsets, processes, IT and access to information and networks.”

“An actionable EA is critical to the DoD realizing netcentric capabilities.”

Unfortunately DoD is struggling to implement actionable EA. The General Accountability Office (GAO)…in 2006 found that the EA programs of the departments of the Air Force, Navy, and Army were among the four most immature EA programs within the government.

What does DoD need to advance their EA?

GAO found that “strong executive leadership could resolve all the challenges organizations experienced in developing and using actionable EA capabilities.”

Transformational leaders in DoD will provide the “vision, integrity, communication, inspiration, and empowerment.” And they “empower organizational members with human, material, and financial resources to accomplish the vision.”

EA cannot be achieved without management commitment and adequate resources!

What about the DoD leaders who say that EA cannot be implemented “because the organization is too complex”?

This thinking is sort of ironic, because EA is what captures information, analyzes and catalogues it, and serves it up to the end-users to enable better decision-making. EA is what simplifies information and makes it transparent enabling strategic transformation and the realization of netcentric capabilities.

EA is exactly what DoD needs for evaluating itself, planning its future state, and transitioning itself to achieve its goals of battlespace superiority through information superiority.

"Implementing an actionable EA capability can take up to five years and requires...[DoD leaders need to] focus on long-term performance improvements," through enterprise architecture implementation.