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Chapter 4

Battlefield Digitization

Advances in technology continue to affect how we conduct warfare. Communications connectivity, line-of-sight (LOS) limitations, map and compass navigation, hierarchical flow and bottlenecked information, and static CPs are all giving way to new technologies and procedures as we digitize the battlefield. The military is modernizing its forces through digitization. Digitization is the near-real-time transfer of battlefield information between diverse fighting elements. This transfer permits the shared awareness of the tactical situation. Digitization leverages information-age technologies to enhance the art of command and to facilitate the science of control. Continued insertion of digital (data) technology into sensors, intelligence fusion systems, communications systems, and smart munitions will increase our ability to manage, process, distribute, and display C 2 information rapidly and globally.


4-135. Microprocessing and space-based technologies have combined to permit almost real-time distribution of battlefield information. Broadband transmission systems, modular communications components, and automated decision-support systems enable high-speed data distribution to all levels of the C 2 structure. Facsimile, video, global-positioning information, and graphic overlays for digital mapping are examples that support commanders even at lower echelon units (the war-fighting entity).

4-136. This chapter describes the digital systems used by the DOD and the Army. The linkage of these systems is critical for maintaining situational awareness and common-picture displays and for providing information to the battle commander. The key components are GI, digital-map backgrounds, TDAs, and topographic-analysis products. Although these components are vertical or stovepipe development programs, it is mandatory that we integrate them horizontally.

Global Command and Control System

4-137. The Global Command and Control System (GCCS) is a predominant source for generating, receiving, sharing, and using information securely. It provides reconnaissance and surveillance (R&S) information and access to global intelligence sources as well as data on the precise location of friendly forces. The GCCS and GCCS-Tactical (GCCS-T) provide a means for crisis planning, intelligence analysis and support, tactical planning and execution, and collaborative planning.

4-138. War fighters can plan, execute, and manage military operations with the GCCS. The system helps joint-force commanders synchronize the actions of air, land, sea, space, and special-operations forces. It has the flexibility to be used in a range of operations—from actual combat to humanitarian assistance. The Joint Operational Planning and Execution System (JOPES) is responsible for maintaining and updating the nation's worldwide military plans. This system has been transferred into the digital environment.

Army Battle Command System

4-139. The ABCS will provide the framework for the digitized battlefield to become interoperable. The system is an integrated network of battlefield automated information systems, providing a seamless C 2 capability from the strategic echelon to the foxhole. It uses common hardware, a core set of common support software, and functionally unique software. The ABCS's purpose is to help commanders obtain optimal, near-real-time access to CCIR through force-level databases. Optimal means getting the right information to the right place at the right time, under all war-fighting conditions. The ABCS provides strategic, operational, and tactical C 2 for contingency operations across all spectrums of conflict. Joint Vision 2010 and Army Vision 2010 lay out the future strategic framework concepts for US forces. Both of these visions identify combined and joint activities as the reality for any future military operation. The requirement for, and means of, achieving interoperability between systems is developing rapidly. The primary systems of the ABCS include the—

  • GCCS-Army (GCCS-A).
  • MCS.
  • ASAS.
  • Combat-Service-Support Control System (CSSCS).
  • Forward-Area Air-Defense System for Command and Control (FAADC 2 ).
  • Advanced Field-Artillery Tactical Data System (AFATDS).
  • Force XXI Battle Command—Brigade and Below (FBCB 2 ) System.
Additionally, the ABCS is supported by the—
  • Army Airspace Command and Control (A 2 C 2 ).
  • DTSS.
  • Integrated Meteorological System (IMETS).
  • Integrated Systems Control (ISYSCON).
  • War-Fighter Information Network (WIN) and the Tactical Internet (TI).

4-140. The ABCS will provide users with standard, modular systems and applications-support software coupled with a tailorable set of functional applications software (both common and functionally unique). This system and software will create, access, and update the ABCS common database (ACDB) and generate a user-defined relevant common operational picture of the battlefield in both time and space. The ABCS's current developmental programs extend from the joint/strategic command, control, computers, communications, and intelligence (C 4 I) systems via the GCCS-A through the TO to the operational/tactical headquarters. These systems will culminate in near-real-time, digital links among the tactical BOS functions at brigade and below. The WIN will be developed to satisfy communications requirements essential to the ABCS's information exchange. The WIN must support the war fighter under all conditions.

4-141. The ABCS is the integration of fielded and developmental BOSs and communications used in both training and tactical environments, in developed and undeveloped theaters, and in fixed installations and mobile facilities. The ABCS is interoperable with standard DOD C 4 I systems, architectures, and protocols. The objective is to network the strategic, operational, and tactical headquarters and to interoperate with theater, joint, and combined C 2 systems across the full range of BOS functions. The ABCS will use automated source data entry wherever possible to populate the ACDB. This is tailorable to support information requirements, planning, and the use of decision-support tools by commanders to meet METT-TC requirements.

Global Command and Control System-Army

4-142. The GCCS-A is the Army's link between the ABCS and the GCCS. The GCCS-A will provide a set of modular applications and information and decision support to Army strategic planning, operations, and sustainment. The GCCS-A will support the apportionment, allocation, logistical support, and deployment of Army forces to the combat commands. The system will be used for force tracking; host-nation and civil-affairs support; theater air defense; targeting; psychological operations; C 2 ; and logistics, medical, and personnel statuses. The GCCS-A will be deployed from theater EAC elements to corps.

Maneuver Control System

4-143. The MCS is the primary battle-command source. It provides the common operational picture, decision aids, and overlay capabilities to support the tactical commander through interface with the force-level information database populated from the other BOSs. The MCS provides the common applications necessary to access and manipulate the information database. It will satisfy information requirements for a specific operation; effect timely control of current combat operations (deep, close, and rear); and develop and distribute plans, orders, and estimates effectively in support of future operations. It will also support the decision-making process. The MCS will be deployed from corps to the maneuver battalions.

All-Source Analysis System

4-144. The ASAS is the intelligence and electronic warfare (IEW) component from EAC to the battalion. It is a mobile, tactically deployable, computer-assisted IEW processing system. The ASAS receives and rapidly processes large volumes of combat information and sensor reports from all sources to provide timely and accurate targeting information, intelligence products, and threat alerts. It consists of evolutionary modules that perform system-operations management, system security, collection management, intelligence processing and reporting, high-value/high-payoff target processing and nominations, and communications processing and interfacing. The ASAS—Remote Workstation (ASAS-RWS) provides automated support to the G2/S2's doctrinal functions from EAC through battalion, including special-operations forces (SOF). It also operates as the technical-control portion of the ABCS's intelligence node to provide current IEW and enemy situation (ENSIT) information to the intelligence database for access and use by the ABCS's users. The ASAS produces the ENSIT portion of the battlefield's common operational picture disseminated by the ABCS network.

Combat-Service-Support Control System

4-145. The CSSCS provides critical, timely, integrated, and accurate automated CSS information to CSS, maneuver, and theater commanders and logistics and special staffs. Critical resource data is drawn from manual resources and from the Standard Army Management Information System (STAMIS) at each echelon (STAMIS will evolve to the Integrated Combat-Service-Support System [ICS 3 ]). The CSSCS processes, analyzes, and integrates resource information to support the evaluation of current and projected force-sustainment capabilities. It will be deployed from EAC to brigade level.

Forward-Area Air-Defense System for Command and Control

4-146. The FAADC 2 system integrates air-defense (AD) fire units, sensors, and C 2 centers into a coherent system capable of defeating or denying the aerial threat (UAVs, helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft, and so forth). It provides the automated interface (corps and below) for the AD control segments to the ABCS and allows commanders to communicate, plan, coordinate, direct, and control the counterair fight. The system provides rapid collection, storage, processing, display, and dissemination of critical, time-sensitive situational awareness (air and ground) and battle-command information throughout the forward-area AD battalion and between other AD, Army, joint, and combined elements. The FAADC 2 provides the third-dimension situational-awareness component of the ACDB. The air- and missile-defense workstation (AMDWS) will provide elements from EAC to battalion with the capability to track the air- and missile-defense battle.

Advanced Field-Artillery Tactical Data System

4-147. The AFATDS provides automated decision support for the FS functional subsystem, to include joint and combined fire (such as naval gunfire and close air support). The AFATDS provides a fully integrated FS C 2 system, giving the FS coordinator (FSCOORD) automated support for planning, coordinating, controlling, and executing close support, counterfire, interdiction, and AD suppression fires. The AFATDS performs all of the FS operational functions, including automated allocation and distribution of fires based on target-value analysis. The AFATDS will be deployed from EAC to the firing batteries and will provide the FS overlay information to the ACDB.

Force XXI Battle Command—Brigade and Below

4-148. The FBCB 2 is a set of digitally interoperable applications and platform hardware. It provides on-the-move, real-time, and near-real-time situational awareness and C 2 information to combat, combat support (CS), and CSS leaders from brigade to the platform and soldier levels. The FBCB 2 will populate the ACDB with automated positional friendly information and current tactical battlefield geometry for friendly and known or suspected enemy forces. The goal is to field the FBCB 2 to the tank and the Bradley fighting vehicle and other platforms with a common look-and-feel screen. Common hardware and software design will facilitate training and SOPs.

Army Airspace Command and Control

4-149. The A 2 C 2 system is an aircraft-based C 2 system that provides the maneuver commander with an airborne C 2 capability. The system includes voice and data equipment for battlefield information processing and connectivity equivalent to the ground tactical CP and the battle-command vehicle (BCV). This enables the war fighter to exercise C 2 of assigned and attached elements and to coordinate with adjacent, supported, and supporting forces. Specifically, the A 2 C 2 system provides a relevant common picture of the battlefield and provides the necessary C 4 I links to keep this common picture updated and completely interoperable with other C 2 vehicles (such as the BCV and the command and control vehicle (C 2 V). This system incorporates components of the common operating environment. During operations other than war, the system will provide connectivity to embassy, law-enforcement, maritime, civil, and other humanitarian information and communications networks.

Digital Topographic Support System

4-150. The DTSS is the topographic-engineer and topographic-analysis component that provides critical, timely, accurate, and analyzed digital and hard-copy mapping products to the battle commander for terrain visualization. The DTSS is an integral part of the force-level information database. It supports commanders from theater (via the GCCS-A) to brigade (via the MCS or FBCB 2 ) levels by preparing tailored map products and TDAs. The DTSS will also generate tailored data sets for war-fighting entities based on data sets prepared by NIMA, intelligence resources, and imagery-collection assets. Tailored data sets and TDAs are created using the GIS and imagery-analysis software. Units will deploy with a foundation data set and MSDS based on missions and contingency areas. Map updates and enriched data sets will be disseminated using satellite and tactical communications means. The DTSS will manage all digital topographic data at the echelon at which it is employed.

Integrated Meteorological System

4-151. The IMETS is the meteorological component of the IEW subelement of the ABCS. The IMETS provides commanders at all echelons with an automated weather system to receive, process, and disseminate weather observations, forecasts, and weather and environmental effects decision aids to all BOSs. The IMETS and staff weather teams are assigned to echelons from brigade through EAC and to Army SOF. They receive weather information from polar-orbiting civilian and defense meteorological satellites, the Air Force Global Weather Center, artillery meteorological teams, remote sensors, and civilian forecast centers. The IMETS processes and collates forecasts, observations, and climatological data to produce timely and accurate weather products tailored to the specific war fighter's needs. The most significant weather and environmental support to war fighters is the automated TDAs produced by the IMETS. These graphics go beyond briefing the weather by displaying the impact of the weather on current, projected, or hypothesized conditions on both friendly and enemy capabilities. Instead of reacting to the weather, the war fighter can use it to his advantage.

Integrated Systems Control

4-152. The ISYSCON provides automated management and synchronization of multiple tactical communications and C 2 systems. Theater, EAC, and division signal units will use the ISYSCON. It will provide automated assistance for the following signal operations:

  • Network planning and engineering.
  • Battlefield-spectrum management (BSM).
  • Wide-area network (WAN) management.
  • Communications-security (COMSEC) management.
  • C 2 of signal units.

Tactical Internet

4-153. The TI, a subcomponent of the WIN, will enhance war-fighter operations by providing an improved, integrated data communication network for mobile users. The TI passes C 4 I information, extending tactical automation C 4 I systems to the soldier/weapons platform. The TI will focus on brigade and below to provide the parameters in defining a tactical automated data communications network.

Combat Terrain Information Systems

4-154. Essential to the ABCS's operational concept and relevant common picture are single-entry, near-real-time information and automated interaction between each BOS. This interaction should be such that data entered at any node in the architecture is distributed to all other nodes requiring that data without copying or re-entering the information. The elapsed time will be consistent with the needs of the operational mission. The ABCS will allow users with different security classifications to use a single communications backbone.

4-155. It is important to achieve interoperability between the ABCS and the CTIS, with the CTIS being the component for topographic data. This is the capability of people, organizations, and equipment to operate effectively together and share information so that it can be used across domains. Geospatial interoperability is hindered by information extracted to varying definitions, attribution rules, reference geometry, resolution, content, and currentness. It is also hindered by finishing and dissemination processes that apply varying formats and inconsistent data boundaries and tiling schemes. User systems may reformat information, apply inconsistent symbology, or run analytic and visualization packages based on different assumptions or rules. It is both impossible and undesirable to root out all differences because GI supports so many specialized applications. Compatibility must be achieved across essential interfaces (BOSs) through common data models and exchange standards.

4-156. The CTIS will provide four systems with the automation tools to support the Army's operational and tactical terrain-visualization missions. These systems will allow topographic analysts to manipulate and manage digital terrain data to produce accurate, tailored, digital terrain-visualization products and to produce multicolor hard-copy map products. The CTIS allows the fusion of information from different domains and provides an integrated view of the mission space. The DTSS is currently being fielded as a replacement for the Legacy Systems (see Appendix F).

  • The DTSS-B supports theater operations with imagery interpretation and generation of data obtained from national resources. Products generated are disseminated to forward-deployed C 2 and topographic engineer assets.
  • The DTSS-D (see Figure 4-1) supports all topographic engineer units by providing sophisticated imagery-analysis and GIS topographic-analysis tools. This transit-case system is tailorable to the mission and command deployment requirements.
  • The DTSS-H (see Figure 4-1) is a tactical system mounted on 5-ton trucks with a 20-foot international standards organization (ISO) shelter. The system is located at corps and heavy division CPs and has full topographic-analysis functionality and rapid digital-map-generation capability.
  • The DTSS-L (see Figure 4-1) is mounted on high-mobility, multipurpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWVs) supporting JTF to maneuver-brigade-force operations. The DTSS-L develops and manages products tailored and focused for the supported unit's mission

    Figure 4-1. DTSS

4-157. Future requirements will require digital access to databases and the ability to enrich and exploit GI. Topographic-engineer responsibilities include identifying, submitting, and prioritizing requirements and managing and disseminating information and updates.

Topographic survey

4-158. Surveying has become a digital science. The modern survey systems work with software specifically designed to process field data, perform computations, and produce a precise product (whether it is a global positioning system [GPS] network, a digital database, or a computer-aided design [CAD]). Survey computations require a computer system to process large amounts of mathematics variables. The effort should be ongoing to obtain or upgrade to the fastest systems available. Computer resources are standardized on the tables of organization and equipment (TOE) for units with topographic surveyors. Application and functional software packages increase the topographic surveyor's efficiency and productivity. The survey information center (SIC) collects and disseminates the positioning and orientation requirements of NIMA; FA, ADA, and armor units; and the USAF. The SIC maintains a digital database capable of archiving, querying, and manipulating survey control. The topographic surveyor is equipped with common GPS hardware and software, CAD software (Terramodel and Autocad), and survey-applications software.

Global Positioning System—Survey

4-159. The Navigation Satellite Timing and Ranging (NAVSTAR) GPS is capable of determining accurate positional, velocity, and timing information. The Precise Positioning Service (PPS) consists of military users and authorized representatives. The PPS user can obtain high instantaneous positioning if the receiver is capable of accepting the necessary cryptologic variables. When two or more receivers are used, it is called differential GPS (DGPS) surveying. The error values are determined and removed from the survey either by postprocessing or real-time processing of the data. The type of DGPS survey method used depends on accuracy requirements. There are two basic types of DGPS surveys—the static and dynamic surveys. The static survey uses a stationary network of receivers, collecting simultaneous observations over a predetermined time interval. This type of survey yields the best accuracy. The dynamic survey uses one stationary receiver and any number of remote or roving receivers. It allows for rapid movement and collection of data over a large area. When operating in real-time mode, the roving receiver can place very accurate positions instantaneously, as the mission requires, on the battlefield.

Automated Integrated Survey Instrument

4-160. The automated integrated survey instrument (AISI) provides the topographic surveyor with the improved capability to extend control in a more timely and efficient manner. It is a total station, combining angular, distance, and vertical measurements into a single electronic instrument. The AISI is designed to digitally record and transfer data into a computer.

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