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ASAS in Operation:

Joint Warfighter Interoperability Demonstration

by Master Sergeant Michael F. Fallon

The Joint Warfighter Interoperability Demonstration (JWID) allows the Services to create a worldwide, technologically state-of-the-art architecture and displays selected critical automated capabilities and interoperability to support the commander of the joint task force (JTF, CJTF). The host for the 1995 demonstration was the Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) Battle Lab under the Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity (MCTSSA). JWID 1995 ran from 18 to 29 September 1995 at Camp Pendleton, California. The All-Source Analysis System (ASAS) played an integral part in the demonstration.

Demonstration Objective

During the JWID, the Army was in a support role to the JTF Marine Commander. The Army's mission was to provide the CJTF with detailed all-source intelligence, imagery products, and decision-support information. To accomplish this mission, the Army deployed four elements linked though the "in-place" communications architecture. The first two were basic structural elements and the latter two were specifically for the JWID:
  • An analysis and control element (ACE) to support the CJTF.
  • The deployable intelligence support element (DISE) to support the Army Forces Forward (ARFOR FWD) at Camp Pendleton.
  • The Army provided an ACE (in sanctuary) at McLean, Virginia, to support the simulated ARFOR 1st Airborne Division.
  • A force projection combat brigade (forward) at Fort Gordon, Georgia. (See Figure 1 for a depiction of the JWID 1995 organizational structure.)

Exercise Procedure

The mission of the ACE and the ASAS was to provide the common enemy ground intelligence picture to all the commanders. The Army Commander decided to employ a baseline ASAS in a doctrinal configuration to demonstrate the actual capabilities of ASAS. Additionally, this decision allowed the ASAS operators and developers to focus on identifying specific ways to enhance the current system's interoperability. The path to success-producing products for the CJTF rested on ASAS capabilities and information-engineering concepts. Figure 1.
The ACE at the CJTF (see Figure 2) was the critical hub for intelligence fusion and analysis. The ACE mission was to build a common enemy situation derived from an all-source correlated database. To support the mission, the ACE employed the ASAS in an extended configuration. This included
  • Two all-source (DEC Alpha) workstations.
  • Two single-source (Sun) workstations.
  • The CGS-100 which provided a communications interface. Figure 2. This hardware is part of the fielded baseline equipment. We added a Binocular workstation (National Security Agency system) to the single-source local area network as a capability demonstration.

Demonstrating Connectivity

A well designed architecture allowed the ACE to "push" intelligence products to many special consumers within and outside the CJTF by using an Intelink terminal and a TRUSTED multilevel workstation. The intent was to allow consumers to pull on-demand from these dissemination points specific standardized intelligence products. Examples of these standardized all-source products include a graphic intelligence summary (INTSUM), a graphic intelligence report, and an enemy order-of-battle report. The leadership in the ACE concentrated all available human talent and equipment capabilities to create these products. The concept was to amplify the product through the use of focused resources and to support other locations with intelligence as requested. These additions allowed the ACE to provide timely and accurate intelligence to the allies and all tactical JTF ground commanders.
A mix of workstations (see Figure 3) to meet the mission and functions requirements was the basis of the ARFOR FWD. The baseline ASAS Remote Workstation (RWS) provided the common enemy picture and products from the CJTF and 1st Airborne Division ACE. One of the more important missions for the RWS was to send message reports and products to the ACE for fusion with other data. A Joint Deployable Intelligence Support System workstation provided the ARFOR FWD direct links for a "push-pull" capability. Use of several different types of fielded workstations enabled use of automated terrain, human intelligence, and tactical exploitation of national capabilities (TENCAP). These allowed the ARFOR FWD to concentrate on fighting the battle with a full spectrum of automation support. We used a prototype ASAS Block II system and a LINCS 5D imagery server to test and evaluate some increased functions not yet in the baseline system. This provided the ARFOR DISE with some great experience with baseline capabilities and a look at emerging experimental applications.
In this exercise, the soldiers for the CJTF ACE came from III CORPS and I CORPS intelligence organizations with technical augmentation from the Project Manager Intelligence Fusion. The 1st Airborne Division ACE was an element from XVIII Airborne CORPS. The I CORPS soldiers operated the ARFOR DISE. This satisfied the JWID mission requirement of having baseline capabilities operated by actual Army intelligence soldiers and organizations. The participants and distinguished visitors praised the soldiers for their outstanding briefings and exceptional demonstrations. The key to any operation is the selection of the soldiers to make intelligence happen. These soldiers clearly were Always Out Front!

JWID Operations

At the start of the exercise, intelligence data and imagery fed directly into the ASAS single-source workstations or through the Binocular workstations replicated the intelligence battlefield operating system (BOS). For sensors that were not reporting due to simulation or exercise limitations, we manually created the needed data to stimulate the system and analytical operations. The ASAS single-source operators assessed the mass of data and then sent doctrinal products to the ASAS all-source for fusion. The ASAS single-source added value to combat information by applying human cognitive ability to create a quality product specifically engineered for timely fusion. The ASAS all-source fusion is the ability to combine multiple reports of a single object despite time, location, and definition differences. Additional key capabilities demonstrated by the all-source system include an ability to show an advanced analytical capability through node maintenance and a robust graphic INTSUM capability. Node maintenance allowed the all-source analyst to link battlefield objects and entities and assess enemy capabilities based on inferential and spatial relationships. This crucial function facilitated both the production and dissemination of easily understood graphic INTSUMs to all the elements of the CJTF, including the allies. Figure 3.
The vertical integration of the intelligence BOS provided a common view of the battlefield. The DISE, combat brigade, and both the ACE organizations continually exchanged data, reports, and products. This allowed database updates as special events and new combat information triggered actions or decisions during operations. The CJTF ACE became the focal point for detailed analysis and production. This continual operational exchange promoted both conceptual and detailed understanding of the battlespace that allowed the CJTF to dominate the enemy.

JWID Results

During the JWID demonstrations, the intelligence elements performed all objective functions. These functions were
  • Push-pull intelligence product movement and receipt.
  • Information exchanges with the other Services.
  • Links with broadcast, weather and allied systems.
  • Enemy situation information provision to Global Command and Control System.
  • Horizontal, vertical, and joint interoperability.
This exercise reinforced one key point repeatedly the intelligence BOS leaders need detailed knowledge of the capabilities and operating procedures of the crew-served weapon system called ASAS. Leaders with this knowledge successfully accomplished the mission, optimized system capabilities and soldier abilities, and moved toward mastering intelligence support in a joint environment.
Master Sergeant Fallon is the Chief Intelligence Sergeant for the Training and Doctrine Command System Manager-ASAS. He has a bachelor of science degree in Business Administration from the University of Texas. Readers can contact the author through E-mail at fallonm%hua1@ huachuca- emh11.army.mil.

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