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Linked Operational Intelligence Centers Europe [LOCE]

LOCE (an acronym currently expanded as Linked Operations-Intelligence Centers Europe but initially formed from Limited Operational Capability Europe) is a United States European Command (USEUCOM) system that provides U.S. forces, NATO forces, and other national allied military organizations with near-real-time, correlated situation and order of battle (OB) information. It supports threat analysis, target recommendations, indications and warning, and cueing of collection assets. The LOCE system brings a fused, all-source intelligence focus to current crisis situations with the capacity to support future operations and exercises. The system is structured to present a complete picture of the threat environment with the ability to highlight specific critical nodes. LOCE's intelligence data exchange capabilities and secure voice communications, LOCE facilitates multi-national operations and integrated allied participation in the intelligence and operations planning cycles. LOCE assists in maintaining the intelligence infrastructure by distributed database management, rationalized intelligence databases supporting multi-source OB, artificial intelligence applications in correlation, and enhanced targeting applications.

LOCE is a US-developed system utilized several hundred NATO locations, but with limited bandwidth capability in the late 1990s. There had been a significant expansion in the number of LOCE sites over the 1990s, with most of these terminals deployed in support of theatre operations, including Operation Joint Guard in the former Yugoslavia. LOCE started as a US system and was adopted by US allies because it was further along in development and offered better capability than what was available to them at the time. The system consists of web-enabled PCs (clients), a centralized set of servers, and dedicated communications circuits, providing multimedia E-mail, bulletin board, TACELINT, secondary imagery, order of battle databases, network services, and a secure voice capability.

The LOCE system supports combined intelligence operations by connecting users at all echelons, from the national ministry of defense to the tactical level. LOCE is a SECRET REL NATO intelligence system that serves as USEUCOM's intelligence system for coalition warfare. It is also the declared US gateway to NATO's Battlefield Information Collection and Exploitation System (BICES). LOCE provides users with connectivity among NATO and US operational units and decision-makers in the form of gateways such as BICES, SHAPE's CRONOS network and SACLANT's Maritime Command and Control Information System (MCCIS). This gives each user access to near-real-time (NRT), all-source, correlated air, ground and naval intelligence analysis and products. It supports I&W, current intelligence, collection management, and most aspects of the targeting cycle including nominations, air tasking orders, and battle damage assessments. It also provides the TBM data architecture supporting shared early warning among NATO and theater components. LOCE is the designated US injection system for the sharing of theater missile defense data under the Shared Early Warning Program.

USEUCOM has the responsibility for maintaining (LOCE). Originally designed as a NATO-only information dissemination system, LOCE has greatly aided the dissemination of US intelligence to coalition partners in the Balkans. The LOCE Correlation Center, located at the Joint Analysis Center, RAF Molesworth, UK, functions as the US gateway for exchange of operations intelligence with NATO. LOCE remains a top priority for continued support and funding for needed enhancements as NATO expands and combined operations increase.

LOCE is the backbone intelligence system for NATO, and remains a top priority for continued support and funding for needed enhancements as NATO expands and coalition missions increase in intensity and frequency. While NATO coalition partners now are fully using LOCE and sharing information among themselves, there are many cases where US forces are not taking full advantage of the information in LOCE. Electronic transfer of LOCE information to US systems, e.g., Warlord, is not currently available. And LOCE utility is still limited in many locations because of severely constricted bandwidth and/or air gaps. LOCE is definitely not a user-friendly system, as it has difficult operating instructions.

Initially, information entered into LOCE was "fat-fingered in," meaning that an operator physically typed the relevant information into the LOCE system which created an opportunity for error in translations. The current process is to copy the US information to disk or some other media and then transfer it to LOCE, which still requires manual intervention but with less errors and risk.

The 1996 Defense Science Board Task Force concluded that use of an electronic gateway with the appropriate "guard" technology would not significantly increase the risk over today's methodology and may even improve it. The cycle time for transfer would be faster because less effort is required on the part of the operator(s), who would simply "send" it to LOCE rather then first copying it. The net benefit to the warfighter would come from being able to better operate inside the enemy's information cycle.

The Task Force concluded that the philosophy that "We must maintain an air gap" is not the right solution to security concerns in this environment. DIA has several less than perfect, multilevel security solutions available now, and the Task Force recommended that DIA pick one, install it at the Joint Analysis Center (JAC) as well as other locations operating to the same constraints and not wait for the 100% solution, given that the benefits of doing so appear to outweigh the risk in this circumstance.

While significant progress had been made in strengthening the LOCE system by extending the a range of information that can be carried on it and encouraging allies and coalition partners to make their own contributions of information, by the turn of the century US forces were not exploiting LOCE as they could. Limitations with the LOCE system that contributed to its under utilization by US forces included: LOCE bandwidth is far too low at major nodes (only 19.2 kbps and often is less than that depending on how a site is configured) and does not allow for effective information push to the brigade level; US forces cannot easily move between LOCE and US databases; the ACE is reacting rather than pushing information; and there is no electronic connectivity between the Army's Warlord system and LOCE.

Integrating LOCE with the Joint Broadcast System [JBS] delivery system would allow LOCE users much faster access to larger product files on a routine basis and free up some of its very limited bandwidth for other important uses. At the same time, the LOCE concept could be migrated into the DISN architecture to provide a seamless flow of information into and out of LOCE and US systems consistent with the security guidelines and the previous discussion relative to electronic interfaces. In addition, LOCE utility would be increased if it were made compatible with 5D and Netscape, thereby allowing the use of standard web browsers for access to information and accelerating LOCE's compliance with the standard architecture for Intelink.

Efforts were funded under the Joint Military Intelligence Program to use the best functionality from LOCE and develop the system into the Joint Deployable Intelligence Support Systems (JDISS) common intelligence baseline, thereby eliminating different systems with near duplicate functionality and centering on JDISS as the DoD common intelligence workstation baseline. RDT&E funding was used to work on the development of LOCE functionality onto JDISS, develop LOCE tools as a model of intelligence services for a JDISS coalition system, develop all functionality to the Defense Information Infrastructure (DII), development of JDISS segments in the Global Command and Control System and the serviced systems Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) systems, and adopt new technology as it becomes available into the JDISS intelligence environment.

The JDISS/LOCE development ensured interoperability with the Navy's Joint Maritime Command Information System, Army's All Source Analysis System Warlord system, Air Force's Combat Information System, and USMC's Interactive Analysis System, while all systems continue to evolve to a common DII.

Upgrades were tested to allow sharing of intelligence data between NATO and US systems. New software developed and successfully tested at USAFE to interface the Combat Intelligence System (CIS) and the LOCE system was loaded and successfully tested at the 1996 Fort Franklin Battle Lab demonstration. Previously to this fix only 83% of the data being sent from LOCE to CIS was successfully passed, and it took about five hours to complete. This upgrade produced a 100% successful download and is took only 15 minutes to load the LOCE database into the CIS workstation and updated the CIS database with this information.

During Operation ALLIED FORCE LOCE's primary benefit was that it provided access to the NATO Air Tasking Order. LOCE was deployed to Rhein Main Air Base, Germany; JTF-SH at Einsiedlerhof Air Station, Germany; and Mont de Marsan, France. Once a long haul circuit connection was made to the appropriate LOCE Remote Communications Server, the user required several pieces of equipment. There was some confusion over the responsibility for the implementation of LOCE requirements, and therefore many responsibilities were never addressed during the air campaign. One source of confusion was the transfer of office of primary responsibility early on in the operation.

As of early 2000, the LOCE network had expanded to approximately 400 remote sites, and was expected to grow to 500 by the end of 2000. Various communications technology upgrades underway were FOC by the end of FY2000.

By 2005 LOCE was a technological leader in meeting the goals of the US government in the areas of coalition warfare and streamlining and increasing the use of intelligence and responsiveness to customers needs. Its ability to integrate and correlate data and rapidly disseminate the data based on consumer demands, as well as its flexibility in serving a wide variety of coalition partners, allows LOCE to stand out among intelligence support systems.

LOCE uses integrated commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) and government off-the-shelf (GOTS) software packages. By 2005 LOCE supported a user population of 1,200 with the ability to handle 300 concurrent users. LOCE is accessed by U.S., NATO, and allied forces through more than 300 Sun Sparc and NT workstations geographically located throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe. LOCE is installed at approximately 130 sites, including ships and bases.

Basic LOCE functions include database and repository services, automatic sensor report correlation, electronic mail, imagery dissemination, graphical situation displays, and secure voice communications. Databases are maintained at the Correlation Center (CORCEN) located at the USEUCOM Joint Analysis Center (JAC), RAF Molesworth, UK. The intelligence reports database (IRDB) presents the results of near-real-time sensor reports and intelligence reports received from units "on the ground." The Combined Orders of Battle (COB) hold the results of OB analysis by the designated OB Manager. The imagery database consists of a storage and retrieval system to provide U.S. and allied imagery to consumers. This imagery forms the basis for operational planning, battle damage assessment (BDA), and confirmation of OB analysis results. The LOCE Bulletin Board, and HTML servers at DIA, the JAC, and the U.S. Army Intelligence Readiness Facility (USAIRF) provide a database for unstructured text reporting for items of general interest. Together, these databases form the basis for a common and consistent view of the area of concern. Using a LOCE workstation (LWS), an analyst can query against one or more system databases.

The LOCE system architecture consists of an automated data processing (ADP) component, a communications component, and interfaces with external NATO domains. Primary ADP components include a fixed CORCEN, deployable workstation capability, browser-accessed web servers, and the LWS. Communications are implemented via integrated voice and data over dedicated and dial-up circuits. These circuits are generally carried over leased land lines, military communications, and indigenous satellite communications. External system interfaces include near-real-time sensor reporting, such as track updating, other intelligence products, like the U.S. NATO releasable integrated database (IDB), and input from foreign intelligence dissemination systems and sources.

Anteon has played a major role in helping LOCE become one of the most widely used C4I information systems within the intelligence community. Anteon has been directly involved in the expansion of the LOCE program, which has grown from 2000 to 2005 from 60 to more than 300 LOCE workstations located throughout Europe, Canada, and the US. Anteon is the operations, training, and support contractor for LOCE. As such, we provide systems engineering and technical assistance, software operations and maintenance, configuration management, communications engineering support, inventory management, and user training.

Anteon engineers and maintains the complex LOCE communications network by providing full-service site surveys, configuration, and installation support for all systems on the LOCE network. Anteon has employees working to support the LOCE system in Naples and Vicenza, Italy; RAF Molesworth; Ramstein, AFB and Stuttgart, Germany; and Alexandria and Norfolk, VA. Anteon maintains formal LOCE training centers in Vicenza, Ramstein, and Molesworth. In addition, Anteon deploys mobile trainers throughout Europe. Dedicated employees ensure rapid response and quality support are provided to all LOCE users located throughout Europe and North America.

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Page last modified: 28-07-2011 00:49:57 ZULU