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Theater Battle Management Core Systems

The Theater Battle Management Core Systems (TBMCS) program provides the Combat Air Forces (CAF) and the Joint/Combined Forces with an automated and integrated capability to plan and execute the air battle plan for operations and intelligence personnel at the force and unit levels. Prior to establishing an integrated TBMCS program, the Air Force pursued force, unit, and intelligence automation under separate programs. As such, there were three distinct program offices.

TBMCS provides the air commander with the means to plan, direct, and control all theater air operations in support of command objectives and to coordinate with ground and maritime elements engaged in the same operation. By virtue of its deployability and flexibility, TBMCS can be tailored to large-scale or small-scale operations in varying intensities of warfare. The system fully supports peacetime training and daily operations as well as timely reaction to contingencies. TBMCS implements interoperable functionality with other Command, Control, Communications, Computer, and Intelligence ( C4I ) systems involved in theater air warfare.

The Theater Battle Management Core System (TBMCS) is the future replacement for the Contingency Theater Automated Planning System (CTAPS) applications and communication interfaces which allow the ground commander to nominate, track, and verify targets in the Air Tasking Order.

TBMCS supports the development and sharing of a common relevant operational picture of theater air and surface activity. Common TBMCS applications and interfaces provide a network for joint force data sharing. The TBMCS intelligence and targeting applications at the theater Joint Force Air Component Commander level, at the Air Support Operations Center (ASOC), and the Direct Air Support Center supports the coordination of precision engagement fires, safe passage zones, and near real-time warnings of impending air attack. The air and surface surveillance and weapons coordination engagement options enable synchronized operations and employment of the correct weapons for each target to generate the desired results. Engagement intentions and results assessments are shared by all TBMCS network participants, contributing to improved decision making by commanders. TBMCS fielding includes every theater air component, all Navy aircraft carriers and command ships, all Marine Air Wings, and all Air Force flying wings and Air Support Operations Center squadrons. Army Battlefield Coordination Detachments also interface with TBMCS.

Since 1994, TBMCS has been under development and OSD placed it on oversight in 1999. The Program Management Office is the Air Force Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts. The Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center became the lead test organization and coordinated the planning and conduct of two TBMCS Version 1.0.1 multi-Service operational test and evaluations, as well as operational tests of four subsequent enhancement releases. The 605th Test Squadron took the lead for future operational assessments. The unit-level intelligence (UL-Intel) and unit-level operations (UL-Ops) portions of TBMCS are tested and fielded separately, but interoperate with the Forcelevel system.

The TBMCS program made significant improvements since being on oversight and is compliant with the acquisition requirements for Major Automated Information Systems. Coordination among the Services for defining Service-unique requirements significantly improved, and the Service operational test agencies all work well together on this program.

The Global Command and Control System - Air Force (GCCS-AF) consists primarily of the Theater Battle Management Control System (TBMCS) with additional functionality provided under the umbrella of the Air Operation Center-Weapon System (AOC-WS) program. TBMCS provides hardware, software, and communications interfaces to support the preparation, modification, and dissemination of the Force-level Air Battle Plan (ABP). The ABP includes the Air Tasking Order and Airspace Coordination Order. TBMCS unit-level operations and intelligence applications provide Air Force Wings the capability to receive the ABP, parse it, and manage wing operations and intelligence to support execution of the ABP.

In April 2001 Theater Battle Management Core Systems Block 10 baseline, the initial configuration required to establish Prince Sultan Air Base, was delivered. in the use of s in the CAOC," he said. The Block 10 baseline is the first series of capabilities that will be delivered to AOCs throughout the Air Force. Additional capabilities will be added and further developed in future "block" deliveries, similar to how other weapons systems are currently upgraded.

The capabilities being delivered in the Block 10 baseline include the ability to produce and disseminate to coalition forces a releasable air tasking order and a 24-hour plan to execute air operations. It also has the ability to create an air picture of the battlespace that shows where all aerospace assets are located at a given time that can be released to other coalition nations. Other capabilities include the ability to disseminate releasable intelligence products; and reduce the hardware footprint in an open coalition environment, meaning cutting back significantly on the amount of equipment that is required in a CAOC.

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