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FORCEnet Functional Concept Signed, Face of Naval Warfare to Evolve

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050225-01
Release Date: 2/25/2005 8:49:00 AM

By Chief Journalist (SW/AW) Joseph Gunder, Naval Network Warfare Command Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The Chief of Naval Operations and Commandant of the Marine Corps signed the FORCEnet Functional Concept Feb. 7 to focus on exploiting the power of networking decision-makers at all levels, giving naval forces the speed and agility to dramatically improve overall combat effectiveness and mission accomplishment.

FORCEnet capabilities support Sea Power 21 pillars (Sea Basing, Sea Shield, and Sea Strike) with systems and processes for providing effective, networked command and control for naval forces in the 2015-2020 time frame. The functional concept identifies 15 capabilities that the Navy and Marine Corps will use to build the supporting architecture, doctrine, organization, training and supporting systems.

"We're at the crossroads, the merger of all aspects of FORCEnet," explained Vice Adm. James D. McArthur, Naval Network Warfare Command (NETWARCOM) commander. "Success will require aligning the systems, the processes, the acquisition, the programmatics, and the experimentation needed to bring speed to capability."

Being enterprise-wide, FORCEnet supports tactical, operational and strategic levels of engagement, along with the associated support to the Sea Power 21 enabling processes of Sea Trial, Sea Enterprise and Sea Warrior.

"Enterprise-wide refers to not just the 'trigger pullers' within the Navy and Marine Corps, but also other aspects of the naval force and throughout the services," said Capt. Rick Simon, deputy director for FORCEnet at NETWARCOM. "I'm talking supply, medical, meteorology, etc.,...all those things that support the warrior pulling the trigger. Additionally, it directly relates to how naval forces will 'plug into' and share information with coalition and joint partners."

FORCEnet will accelerate command and control (C2) capabilities by changing the way information moves. FORCEnet will improve the performance of the OODA (Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act) Loop through shared situational awareness and feedback, decentralized command and a collaborative approach to problem-solving that opens new ways for the commander's intent to be executed.

"FORCEnet should allow the commander to choose the terms of the engagement and to do it in such a way that the enemy cannot tolerate our actions," Simon said.

FORCEnet will ensure naval networks are built with compatible components used by the other services to allow seamless interaction between all the branches, as well as with the Global Information Grid (GIG), the much larger-scale network run by the Department of Defense. FORCEnet is the naval component of the GIG, which will be connected to the more than 160 major military installations worldwide.

"It's meant to be interoperable with the GIG. It's meant to share the same protocols, backbone, satellites and bandwidth expansion as the other services," Simon said. "In fact, all of the architecture we're developing is being integrated into the joint vision."

The FORCEnet Functional Concept takes aim at the years 2015-2020. 2020 is the target point for all services to be interoperable and compliant with Joint Vision 2020, which is the Joint Chiefs of Staff strategic direction for achieving joint force full-spectrum dominance with a smaller, faster, smarter and more lethal military service. By choosing this time frame, the functional concept aims to field FORCEnet capabilities out past the current Planning/Programming/Budgeting/Execution process, yet be close enough to allow industry an objective to build toward.

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