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Global Command and Control System - Maritime (GCCS-M)

The Global Command and Control System - Maritime (GCCS-M) AN/USQ-119E(V) previously JMCIS, is the Navy's primary fielded Command and Control System. The nomenclature AN/USQ-119(V) and AN/USQ-119A through D refer to older versions of the Navy Tactical Command System Afloat (NTCS-A) and JMCIS.

The objective of the GCCS-M program is to satisfy Fleet C4I requirements through the rapid and efficient development and fielding of C4I capability. GCCS-M enhances the operational commander's warfighting capability and aids in the decision-making process by receiving, retrieving, and displaying information relative to the current tactical situation. GCCS-M receives, processes, displays, and manages data on the readiness of neutral, friendly, and hostile forces in order to execute the full range of Navy missions (e.g., strategic deterrence, sea control, power projection, etc.) in near-real-time via external communication channels, local area networks (LANs) and direct interfaces with other systems.

The GCCS-M system is comprised of four main variants, Ashore, Afloat, Tactical/Mobile and Multi-Level Security (MLS) that together provide command and control information to warfighters in all naval environments. GCCS-M provides centrally-managed C4I services to the Fleet allowing both United States and allied maritime forces the ability to operate in network-centric warfare operations.

GCCS-M is organized to support three different force environments: Afloat, Ashore and Tactical/Mobile. Afloat configurations can be categorized as force-level and unit-level configurations. Ashore configurations of GCCS-M are located in fixed site Fleet and Tactical command centers as well as mobile rapid deploy command centers such as MICFACs, mobile command facilities designed to provide the CJTF commander with similar C4I capabilities when forward-deployed ashore. In order to allow for maximum interoperability among GCCS systems at all sites and activities (Afloat, Ashore and Tactical/Mobile), GCCS-M utilizes common communications media to the maximum extent possible. The Secure Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNET), Non-Secure Internet Protocol Router Network (NIPRNET) and the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communication System (JWICS) provide the necessary Wide Area Network (WAN) connectivity. JMCOMS will provide the WAN connectivity for the Afloat and Tactical/Mobile GCCS-M systems. Operating "system-high" at the Secret and SCI security levels, both networks use the same protocols as the Internet. In addition to the SIPRNET operating at Secret/SCI security levels, GCCS-T supports collaborative planning at the National Command Authority level by providing Top Secret connectivity to a limited number of sites. OPLANS developed at NCA level can then be downgraded to secret for dissemination using SIPRNET.

GCCS-M has been implemented traditionally on high-performance UNIX workstations because, until recently, only these platforms were powerful enough to run GCCS-M software. However, with the exponential increase in processing capability of the Intel PC processor family and the maturity of the Windows NT and JAVA / Web multi-user operating systems, migrating GCCS-M to the PC environment is a very practical and logical decision. Once designed for the PC environment, GCCS-M becomes largely hardware independent, meaning that it uses almost all existing hardware platforms: UNIX, Wintel, Macintosh, etc. GCCS-M intends to incrementally migrate GCCS-M segments to both the Windows NT and JAVA / Web environments.

GCCS has replaced the Honeywell computers and associated peripheral equipment used by the Worldwide Military Command and Control System (WWMCCS) in those major command centers that had WWMCCS installations. The full implementation of GCCS and GCCS-M will include more sites than the former WWMCCS sites, and in general these installations will include installation of new hardware to existing C4I systems or upgrading the hardware of existing systems to meet IT-21 and DII COE requirements. The key to understanding GCCS and GCCS-M is that they are principally sets of integrated software applications which will operate on DII COE hardware.

During the transition from UNIX servers to Windows NT servers these software applications replace older versions and continue to run using most of the same hardware and network infrastructure already in place, allowing for phased introduction of new hardware.

GCCS-M expands existing C4I baseline capabilities through the evolutionary, incremental implementation of hardware and software releases. This approach provides the user with state-of-the-art C4I capabilities that keep pace with both continually evolving operational requirements and technological advances. Central to the success of this approach is adherence to an open-system commercial and government standards-based architecture that maximizes use of nondevelopmental items. GCCS-M must also be in compliance with the Global Information Grid- Enterprise Services to ensure interoperability with U.S. Joint and other naval C4I systems. A key goal of GCCS-M is to serve as the host for other independently built applications using the Global Information Grid. GCCS-M can be used as a building block for C4I systems that range in size from a single server and client workstation, through a large multi-server, multi-client architecture. GCCS-M Version was evaluated as effective and suitable in 2002 and is executing well in the fleet. Several critical interfaces have not been formally tested and certified for interoperability by the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC).

During operational testing, the system was operated on a continuous basis by fleet personnel in the intended operating environment, and was employed to perform all routine C4I functions normally associated with battle group operations and underway training exercises. The system met or exceeded all threshold values except maintainability, which could not be measured since no failures occurred.

The Navy's next generation of the Global Command and Control System - Maritime (GCCS-M) was installed on board USS Nimitz (CVN 68) in early 2005. The seven-month, large-scale tactical system installation was performed by SPAWAR Systems Command San Diego, Northrop Grumman Corp and Nimitz' Combat Systems Department. The greatest challenge of the transition was the removal of the already installed GCCS-M 3.X architecture and replacing it with the state of the art GCCS-M 4.X architecture.

Everyone involved in the installation had significant challenges to overcome in order to meet developmental deadlines of the fleet-representative GCCS-M upgrade to be ready for the system's Operational Evaluation (OPEVAL). The key to this extremely successful installation, which occurred concurrently with the basic training phase, can be summarized in one word - TEAMWORK. This installation is considered one of the best ever seen in such a large-scale project and is truly the baseline for all future installs of GCCS-M 4.X.

The GCCS-M 4.X implementation is slightly different than GCCS-M 3.X with significant differences in the display. The 3.X was UNIX-based, while 4.X uses an MS Windows-based operating system. This generates a significant cost savings in terms of hardware and software, but the real savings comes in the training. Most Navy Information System Technicians (IT) are trained more on the Windows platforms than UNIX. This shift to Windows systems allows the Navy to better utilize and reutilize its intellectual capital. Other enhancements include: enhanced track management capabilities, target management, web access, web enabled GCCS-M functions and operations, imbedded training and performance support, user-friendly PC workstations and joint interoperability. The GUI makes the system very user friendly. It's similar to a Windows-based system, which makes it easier for new operators to learn. Everyone knows how the system works because they use the same windows based system at home for web surfing and for email. Although the system architecture and user interfaces are significantly different than those in GCCS-M 3.X, the 4.X system provides the same top-level functionality. The improved maps, the increased flexibility of overlays, and the improved integration of tracks, intelligence information and imagery provides increased efficiency in decision making. The integration with MS Office products on IT-21 personal computers enhances the overall usability of the system and greatly facilitates sharing of tactical information. The automatic sharing of tactical information via web pages and shared directories is enabling for the fleet to have a common operating environment at their fingertips.

The culmination of this effort was hosting OPTEVFOR's shipboard Operational Evaluation of the system during a three-week Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) in December 2004. Minor deficiencies noted during the OPEVAL have already prompted follow-on software and data management systems.

Intelligence Shared Data Server (ISDS)

There are three logical repositories of Order of Battle Intelligence data within a Global Command and Control System-Maritime (GCCS-M) Intelligence Shared Data Server (ISDS). They are the General Military Intelligence (GMI) data, the Track and Observations data, and the Local data. The GMI Data contains National Intelligence data from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), as well as from other delegated producers. The Track and Observations data is the repository of tactical inputs from external sources. The Local data is the primary repository of fused all-source intelligence produced by the local command. The Local data is the heart of GCCS-M ISDS; it is an integral component in building the Current Intelligence Situation. The Current Intelligence Situation is the combination of National and Local data, and it provides the analyst with the most up-to-date analyzed data. The Current Intelligence Situation and all finished products are built from the Local data. The intelligence analyst makes updates to the Local data based on tactical reporting as well as finished intelligence received from other commands. The Current Intelligence Situation is identified by using the Local record. If no Local record exists, the National record is used to define the Current Intelligence Situation.

The Central Data Server Web (CDSWEB) segment provides a browser interface to display and query General Military Intelligence (GMI) and characteristics and performance (C&P) data. This segment is platform independent. GMI data consists of Order of Battle (OOB) data, such as military and non-military units, installations and facilities, equipment and populations. This data also includes tactical information received from message traffic and analyst entries. C&P data consists of information such as platform, weapons, and electronics parameters.

National Data

National data is data that has been analyzed, validated, and released by shared production authorities. Transaction Formats (TFs) are the common format for exchanging national data between the delegated production authorities. National data is provided by a designated producer, such as AIC and JICPAC. This data consists of facility, unit, equipment, and related data. Only a delegated producer may update National data. On the initial load of the ISDS, only National data exists in GMI.

Tactical Data

Tactical data is data that needs analysis. Tactical systems have the capability to collect and maintain organic and non-organic data received in near real-time. Organic data includes sensor data and human intelligence (HUMINT). Non-organic data is typically data received in United States Message Traffic Format (USMTF) messages. This information is referred to as Tactical data, and it is used to create Local data. In MIDB 2.0, this data is stored in the Track and Observations structures, which replace the former IDB tactical extensions. The Observations structures contain the actual data from messages, and they provide a history of the tactical entity. The Track structures contain a combination of the identifying information from the related observations. These structures are empty on an initial load of GMI in the ISDS.

Information on a tactical entity is stored in a Track record, and related Observations are tied to the Track record (unrelated Observations exist without a Track record). If subsequent associations are successful, Track records are then tied to National data via the Tactical Message Parser using logical record keys/id data. National records can be tied to multiple Track records, or a single Track record can be tied to multiple National records. Tactical Data Maintenance (TACDM) tools use the Track to National ties to provide capability to promote Track and Observations data to Local data.

Local Data

Local data is Tactical data that has been analyzed and provides the Current Intelligence Situation. Local fusion of the National and Tactical data is required to create a current intelligence situation awareness picture. This fused picture is the Local data for the tactical system. Local data can be updates to the National record, and it can be new entities that previously did not exist. Local data consists of national facility, unit, equipment association, and related data that is updated by the tactical systems analyst or a non-delegated producer. Local data also includes new facility, unit, equipment, and related data that is added by the tactical systems analyst or a non-delegated producer. The data is stored in the same structures as the National data. Upon initial load of the GMI portion of MIDB 2.0, no local records exist on the tactical systems.

The raw Tactical data, or Observations, provides the input to creating the Local data. Local data does not include the data in the Track and Observations structures. The data in these structures must be analyzed and used as input to create Local data. In the most simple terms, raw, unanalyzed data is Tactical data, and Local data is the Tactical data that has been reviewed and promoted. Therefore, Local data, as the most accurate analyzed data, is considered High-Confidence data.

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 12:56:59 ZULU