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Data shared across systems, services, intel communities

by Monica Morales
Electronic Systems Center Public Affairs

9/28/2007 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. (AFPN) -- By providing interoperability among 19 systems, four security domains, four networks, six countries and three continents, members of the Electronic Systems Center here recently demonstrated a level of connectivity some previously thought impossible.

When the 950th Electronic Systems Group's DIB Management Office recently took part in Empire Challenge 2007, it proved that the critical integration backbone for the Distributed Common Ground System, or DCGS, could provide an unprecedented level of multi-site intelligence information awareness.

Empire Challenge is a demonstration event designed to test multi-intelligence DCGS joint and coalition interoperability, and is held at China Lake Naval Air Warfare Center, in China Lake, Calif. 

Other exercise players included Navy, Army, Marine Corps, Australian, British and Canadian participants.

The Air Force's DCGS is a global system that uses data-gathering sensors to collect information and provide analysis and distribution of intelligence data from anywhere on the planet.

The main component of the DCGS integration backbone, or DIB, is the metadata catalog which allows users to access information via a search engine like those on the Web. Using a key word, target, interest type or geographic area, users can search through libraries of information.

For the warfighter, this catalog provides a wider range of intelligence data accessibility and the ability to make more informed decisions based on a broader situational picture.

The DIB was originally developed as part of the Air Force DCGS 10.2 program and is now a critical component of every service's DCGS system. The DIB enables the net-centric vision of sharing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data between sites and carries with it the capacity to change how data workflow is processed.

"I am very proud of the team and what it accomplished," said Maj. Guy Mathewson, the DIB program manager at the 950th ELSG's DIB Management Office. "There were skeptics that may have thought that we had bitten off more than we could chew, but by sharing intelligence data across systems, across services and the intelligence community we proved that it can be done."

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