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Global Information Grid (GIG)

The Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks and Information Integration (OASD(NII)) works closely with other elements of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Services, Agencies, Joint Forces Command and other combatant commanders to eliminate technical and organizational impediments. In particular we have partnered with the Joint Staff, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Joint Forces Command, and the Services to update the Joint Battle Management Command and Control (JBMC2) Roadmap, which provides a comprehensive, executable plan for improving how DOD will organize, train and equip to achieve Joint battle management command and control capabilities.

DOD seeks to leverage existing processes to ensure that net-centric capabilities are taken into account when formulating requirements through the Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS) and when developing and deploying system capabilities through the acquisition process and the Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution (PPBE) process.

The Department's vision of Network-Centric Operations is to foster an agile, robust, interoperable and collaborative DoD, where warfighters, business and intelligence users all share knowledge on a secure, dependable and global network that enables excellent decision-making, effective operations and network-centric transformation.

As part of DoD's information age transformation, the network is emerging as the single most important contributor to combat power and protection. Network-Centric Operations provide an unprecedented potential to attain critical advantage over adversaries within available resources in the long-term. Increased information sharing capabilities also have had positive repercussions in the Global War on Terror.

Network-Centric Operations allow the Department to leverage both commercial trends and new DoD thinking about missions and operations. OASD (NII) has supported an accelerated military transformation to expand access to information and eliminate unnecessary duplication of systems. As the pace of this change accelerates, we are both developing advanced DoD systems and addressing how to respond to commercial product life cycles that may be measured in months or weeks instead of the years over which the government budget process is developed.

To respond to this increased pace of technological change and evolving operational demands, the Department needs to converge multiple programs into one seamless capability and rapidly transition to there from legacy systems. To this end, the Global Information Grid (GIG) is one of the key enablers that form the foundation of the DoD?s Network-Centric Transformation. The GIG represents a globally interconnected, end-to-end set of information capabilities and processes for collecting, processing, and managing information on demand to warfighters, policymakers, and support personnel. The GIG fulfills a fundamental principle of Network-Centric Operations by securely connecting people and systems regardless of time or place, providing vastly superior situational awareness and better access to information for accelerated decision-making.

To enable the transformation needed to meet the challenges posed by today?s new threat environment, the Department needs a single, secure grid providing seamless end-to-end capabilities to all warfighting, policy-makers and support personnel. The objective is to support defense and national security requirements through all levels of conflict and contingency support. The network-centric operations bring together joint, high-capacity, networked sensors, weapons systems and decision tools, merging key tactical, operational and global functional capabilities. The GIG supports all Department missions with information technology, including joint operations, joint task force and combined-task force commands, with the most effective and assured information-handling capabilities.

Perhaps the single most transformational and operationally significant attribute presented by the GIG vision will be that U.S. servicemen and women ?at the edge? will no longer be at the mercy of someone remote from the fight determining what information they need. Specifically, information posted to the GIG becomes available to all relevant users from the grid, allowing them to pull information according to their need or have it pushed to them based on pre-defined criteria. The GIG provides a critical foundation for the Department?s Network-Centric vision by: (1) supporting the posting of data to shared spaces as early as possible; (2) providing users with an enhanced capability to pull required data from wherever they are, whenever they need it; and (3) ensuring information assurance measures are applied effectively and across the enterprise. The network-centric data strategy links together disparate systems and also provides the basis for coalition interoperability in a time of rapid transformation. Radio frequency spectrum issues become exceptionally important in this increasingly wireless environment.

To ensure that these families of programs are developed in a seamless and fully interoperable fashion, NII has established a new Senior Systems Engineering position reporting directly to the ASD(NII)/DoD Chief Information Officer. The Systems Engineer examines key initiatives associated with implementing the Department's network-centric vision; serves as a principal advisor on the end-to-end systems engineering and integration; is responsible for the development and oversight of the DoD GIG Systems Engineering Oversight Process; and provides input to the JCIDS, acquisitions and PPBE processes.

The basic premise of the GIG is to leverage technologies successfully used by most commercial data communications in the world today: an Internet Protocol (IP)-based infrastructure. Key to the success of the GIG are six major DoD programs that are the bedrock of network-centric transformation: four deal with transportation of information, one with enterprise services, and one with information assurance. The four transport components include terrestrial networks, mobile networks using IP (Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS)), space-based laser communications (Transformational Satellite (TSAT) Communication Program), and teleports (which link the ground and space segments together). JTRS, the wireless radio segment, is based on the software programmable components, and ultimately will replace numerous Service-unique radios with common software radios that can be used in hand-held, mobile, vehicular, airborne, and maritime settings. This family of radios will bring much needed interoperability to tactical users who today have different radios that don?t communicate with one another, and will bring joint wireless communications to U.S., allied and coalition forces. TSAT, the space-based segment of the transport layer, is critical because many users are deployed in areas where terrestrial fiber is unavailable, and many information sources, particularly intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, are airborne - making connecting to them difficult. This satellite communications capability provides high speed, secure, protected, dynamically allocated and efficiently utilized bandwidth to satisfy the warfighter's demands. The result is protected bandwidth on demand and communications on the move, which empowers mobile forces and reduces last tactical mile bottlenecks.

The enterprise services component of the GIG consists of a suite of reusable core enterprise services such as (1) discovery of potential new users or data sources, (2) mediation between various data formats, (3) discovery of data and applications to solve problems, and (4) provisioning of the appropriate security services and keys to allow access to the data required. Prior approaches were built on point-to-point interfaces between systems. Hence, duplication of efforts occurred as each new point-to-point interface to share data was defined or upgraded. This network-centric, service-oriented environment enables the data from any system to be available to all users at all times, subject to security and access controls. In this environment new systems only need to be developed when new information is required. Capabilities can easily be offered as value added services that provide tailored answers to problems, such as target tracking, blue force tracking, or current weather information by exploiting the information made available from existing systems. Users will pull the information they need, when they need it.

Finally, for the GIG to enable and empower people at the edge of the network, it must be secure and dependable. Therefore, the GIG security solutions must move away from the common approach of perimeter defenses to one that allow real-time situational awareness in networks. These information security features must be designed into the network from the beginning and not be an afterthought.

There are three concepts that complement individual programs and help shape the implementation of the GIG. (1) network operations and network management, especially at the tactical edges of the network, (2) spectrum management, which involves intensive planning, especially for tactical, mobile, ad-hoc networks; and (3) the net-centric data strategy, which enables different systems to access the same data but manipulate, process, format, or otherwise translate that data in accordance with the needs of individual users. It also provides the basis for coalition interoperability in a time of rapid transformation. Data will be posted to the network and applications will use the best data available on the network, no matter what system provides it, to enable end-user decision-making. Every sensor, platform, and user communicates directly with the network. Sensors not directly connected to the core network use feeder systems, such as the space-based TSAT and JTRS. The goal is to get the data from the sensor posted on the network for use by everybody at the first point where it become consumable. Likewise, users can reach back to the network to get the data they need, processed by the applications they choose.

Page last modified: 28-07-2011 00:49:18 ZULU