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SPECIAL REPORT

SPECIAL REPORT

SPECIAL REPORT

The Multilateral Interoperability Programme (MIP)

SPECIAL REPORT: THE MULTILATERAL INTEROPERABILITY PROGRAMME

Contents The Multilateral Interoperability Programme (MIP)

SPECIAL REPORT: THE MULTILATERAL INTEROPERABILITY PROGRAMME

Interoperability in the Information age

The Role of The Multilateral Interoperability Programme in Facilitating Counter Insurgency Operations in Afghanistan

Coalition and joint interoperability software failures Post 911 and the Afghan insurgency Interoperability the “hard” factors

Contents The Multilateral Interoperability Programme (MIP) Foreword

2

Interoperability in the Information age

3

MIP and related technology in Systematic

Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media

Published by Global Business Media Global Business Media Limited 62 The Street Ashtead Surrey KT21 1AT United Kingdom

The Role of The Multilateral Interoperability Programme in Facilitating Counter Insurgency Operations in Afghanistan

7

Defining interoperability

A brief history of interoperability and the Multilateral Interoperability Programme (MIP)

Coalition interoperability Interoperability in the Information Age

Switchboard: +44 (0)1737 850 939 Fax: +44 (0)1737 851 952 Email: info@globalbusinessmedia.org Website: www.globalbusinessmedia.org

Coalition and Joint Interoperability Software Failures The Role of The Multilateral Interoperability The NATO response Programme in Facilitating Counter Insurgency The contents of the volumes Business Development Director Operations in Afghanistan Marie-Anne Brooks Network Centric Warfare and interoperability Publisher Kevin Bell

Editor Martin Richards

9

Foreword

Why is interoperability so hard to achieve in

Coalition and Joint Interoperability Software Failures Network Centric Warfare?

Senior Project Manager Steve Banks

Production Manager Paul Davies

PostFactors 9/11 and the Afghan insurgency Interoperability the “Hard”

For further information visit: www.globalbusinessmedia.org The opinions and views expressed in the editorial content in this publication are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the views of any organisation with Sponsored which they may beby associated. Material in advertisements and promotional features may be considered to represent the views of the advertisers and promoters. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily express the views of the Publishers or the Editor. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, neither the Publishers nor the Editor are responsible for such opinions and views or for any inaccuracies in the articles.

11

Counter insurgency in Afghanistan

Interoperability the “hard” factors

2

Martin Edwards, Editor

Moores Law

Post 9/11 and the AfghanNational Insurgency procurement decisions and interoperability

Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes

12

Working with the French on interoperability within the “entente frugale”

Glossary and Explanation of Acronyms References

Interoperability in the Information Age

3

Ian Smart, Lead Consultant for Interoperability, Systematic MIP and related technology in Systematic

MIP and related technology in Systematic

© 2011. The entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. Full details are available from the Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

Published by Global Business Media

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Published by Global Business Media

The Role of The Multilateral Interoperability Programme in Facilitating Counter Insurgency Operations in Afghanistan

Global Business Media Limited 62 The Street Ashtead Surrey KT21 1AT United Kingdom

Meredith Llewellyn, Lead Contributor, Defence Industry Reports

Fax: +44 (0)1737 851 952 Email: info@globalbusinessmedia.org Website: www.globalbusinessmedia.org

Multilateral Interoperability Programme (MIP)

7

Defining interoperability

Interoperability in the Information Age Switchboard: +44 (0)1737 850 939 A brief history of interoperability and the Coalition interoperability The Role of The Multilateral Interoperability Publisher Programme in Facilitating Counter Insurgency Kevin Bell Coalition and Joint Interoperability Software Failures Business Development Director Marushka Dubova, Defence Correspondent, Defence Industry Reports Operations in Afghanistan Marie-Anne Brooks Editor Martin Richards

9

The NATO response

The contents of theSoftware volumes Coalition and Joint Interoperability Failures

Senior Project Manager Steve Banks

Network Centric Warfare and interoperability

is interoperability so hard to achieve in Post 9/11 and the AfghanWhy Insurgency Network Centric Warfare?

Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes Production Manager Paul Davies

Moores Law

Interoperability the “Hard” Factors National procurement decisions and interoperability

For further information visit: www.globalbusinessmedia.org The opinions and views expressed in the editorial content in this publication are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the views of any organisation with which they may be associated.

Sponsored by

Material in advertisements and promotional features may be considered to represent the views of the advertisers and promoters. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily express the views of the Publishers or the Editor. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, neither the Publishers nor the Editor are responsible for such opinions and views or for any inaccuracies in the articles.

Post 9/11 and the Afghan Insurgency

11

Don McBarnet, Staff Writer, Defence Industry Reports

Counter insurgency in Afghanistan

Interoperability the “Hard” Factors

12

Meredith Llewellyn, Lead Contributor, Defence Industry Reports

Working with the French on interoperability within the “entente frugale”

Glossary and Explanation of Acronyms

13

References © 2011. The entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. Full details are available from the Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

Published by Global Business Media

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The SitaWare Command and Control Suite - a genuine MIP solution

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DES 396

THE


SPECIAL REPORT

SPECIAL REPORT

SPECIAL REPORT: THE MULTILATERAL INTEROPERABILITY PROGRAMME

SPECIAL REPORT: THE MULTILATERAL INTEROPERABILITY PROGRAMME

The Multilateral Interoperability Programme (MIP)

Contents The Multilateral Interoperability Programme (MIP)

Interoperability in the Information age

The Role of The Multilateral Interoperability Programme in Facilitating Counter Insurgency Operations in Afghanistan

Coalition and joint interoperability software failures Post 911 and the Afghan insurgency

Foreword

2

Interoperability in the Information age

3

Interoperability the “hard” factors

MIP and related technology in Systematic

Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media

Published by Global Business Media Global Business Media Limited 62 The Street Ashtead Surrey KT21 1AT United Kingdom

The Role of The Multilateral Interoperability Programme in Facilitating Counter Insurgency Operations in Afghanistan

7

Defining interoperability

Contents

A brief history of interoperability and the Multilateral Interoperability Programme (MIP)

Coalition interoperability Interoperability in the Information Age

Switchboard: +44 (0)1737 850 939 Fax: +44 (0)1737 851 952 Email: info@globalbusinessmedia.org Website: www.globalbusinessmedia.org

Coalition and Joint Interoperability Software Failures The Role of The Multilateral Interoperability The NATO response Programme in Facilitating Counter Insurgency The contents of the volumes Business Development Director Operations in Afghanistan Marie-Anne Brooks Network Centric Warfare and interoperability

9

Publisher Kevin Bell

Editor Martin Richards

Foreword

Why is interoperability so hard to achieve in

Coalition and Joint Interoperability Software Failures Network Centric Warfare?

Senior Project Manager Steve Banks

Production Manager Paul Davies

PostFactors 9/11 and the Afghan insurgency Interoperability the “Hard”

For further information visit: www.globalbusinessmedia.org

Counter insurgency in Afghanistan

The opinions and views expressed in the editorial content in this publication are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the views of any organisation with Sponsored which they may beby associated.

Interoperability the “hard” factors

Material in advertisements and promotional features may be considered to represent the views of the advertisers and promoters. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily express the views of the Publishers or the Editor. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, neither the Publishers nor the Editor are responsible for such opinions and views or for any inaccuracies in the articles.

2

Martin Edwards, Editor

Moores Law

Post 9/11 and the AfghanNational Insurgency procurement decisions and interoperability

Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes

11

12

Working with the French on interoperability within the “entente frugale”

Glossary and Explanation of Acronyms References

Interoperability in the Information Age

3

Ian Smart, Lead Consultant for Interoperability, Systematic MIP and related technology in Systematic

MIP and related technology in Systematic

© 2011. The entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. Full details are available from the Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

Published by Global Business Media

WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 1

Published by Global Business Media

The Role of The Multilateral Interoperability Programme in Facilitating Counter Insurgency Operations in Afghanistan

Global Business Media Limited 62 The Street Ashtead Surrey KT21 1AT United Kingdom

Meredith Llewellyn, Lead Contributor, Defence Industry Reports

Switchboard: +44 (0)1737 850 939 Fax: +44 (0)1737 851 952 Email: info@globalbusinessmedia.org Website: www.globalbusinessmedia.org

A brief history of interoperability and the Multilateral Interoperability Programme (MIP)

Publisher Kevin Bell

Defining interoperability

Coalition interoperability

Coalition and Joint Interoperability Software Failures 9

Business Development Director Marie-Anne Brooks

Marushka Dubova, Defence Correspondent, Defence Industry Reports

Editor Martin Richards

The NATO response

Senior Project Manager Steve Banks Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes Production Manager Paul Davies For further information visit: www.globalbusinessmedia.org The opinions and views expressed in the editorial content in this publication are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the views of any organisation with which they may be associated. Material in advertisements and promotional features may be considered to represent the views of the advertisers and promoters. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily express the views of the Publishers or the Editor. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, neither the Publishers nor the Editor are responsible for such opinions and views or for any inaccuracies in the articles.

7

The contents of the volumes Network Centric Warfare and interoperability Why is interoperability so hard to achieve in Network Centric Warfare? Moores Law National procurement decisions and interoperability

Post 9/11 and the Afghan Insurgency

11

Don McBarnet, Staff Writer, Defence Industry Reports

Counter insurgency in Afghanistan

Interoperability the “Hard” Factors

12

Meredith Llewellyn, Lead Contributor, Defence Industry Reports

Working with the French on interoperability within the “entente frugale”

Glossary and Explanation of Acronyms

13

References © 2011. The entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. Full details are available from the Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner. WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 1


SPECIAL REPORT: THE MULTILATERAL INTEROPERABILITY PROGRAMME

Foreword

T

HE CHALLENGE of interoperability between different armed forces fighting together has been a critical impediment to the success of modern coalition western warfare for centuries. This report is going to look at interoperability in the information age, the role of the multilateral interoperability programme in facilitating counter insurgency operations in Afghanistan and how and why the history of the many attempts to wrestle with the issue have produced such mixed results. What emerges is that interoperability should be prioritized as a matter of urgency, but frequently is not with lethal consequences on the field of battle. The second part of this report will assess the central role of interoperability in coalition Network Centric Warfare (NCW), and how this impacts on the work of the International Security Force (ISAF) to try to mitigate the insurgent threat in Afghanistan. Interoperability is sometimes seen as a technical issue that allows different countries systems to” plug and play”. However, recent research in Afghanistan and elsewhere, indicates that miscommunication in the so-called “soft” cultural areas of planning, command culture, training and doctrine are of equal importance in establishing interoperability as technical software features. The third section of the report will address the Mulitlateral Interoperability Programme (MIP) specifically, and its attempts to address this issue across 34 countries. This is an independent programme linked to NATO’s Standard Agreement process and is currently working through various bilateral exercises to improve the communications of three of the most significant players in NATO and ISAF.

Martin Richards Editor

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SPECIAL REPORT: THE MULTILATERAL INTEROPERABILITY PROGRAMME

Interoperability in the Information Age Ian Smart, Lead Consultant for Interoperability, Systematic MIP and related technology in Systematic

THE

NATO defines interoperability as “The ability of systems, units, or forces to provide services to and accept services from other systems, units, or forces and to use the services so exchanged to enable them to operate effectively together”. As the nature of operations changes and military forces find themselves working as part of coalitions with a wide range of military non-governmental partners, ‘information’ becomes one of the most important services because it underpins, enables and enhances interoperability.

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The SitaWare C2 Server provides the engine under the hood of SitaWare Headquarters, a complete off-the-shelf C2 system that gives a full overview of any theatre of operations.

M

UCH WORK has been done to address the technical challenges of exchanging information, not least in increasing communications efficiency and reducing ambiguity by separating information into its data and context components, areas where Systematic has considerable experience, knowledge of the standards and a range of solutions in the IRIS product suite. Considerable challenges remain, however with the non-technical aspects of information exchange and also in the areas of information management and information exploitation. The desire to send an ever increasing variety of presentation slides, spreadsheets, maps and images etc has an obvious impact on the volume of data to be exchanged. To compound this, as applications become more sophisticated and

storage becomes ever cheaper less attention is paid to reducing file sizes. In a cabled environment this is not a problem but for ‘over the air’ exchanges both bandwidth management and frequency management become important disciplines, even where file compression is used. The Air and Maritime communities have considerable experience in ‘picture management’ but their skills and tools are of limited value when faced with the significantly greater number of ‘tracks’ encountered in the Land environment. The traditional ‘one up, two down’ philosophy of unit position reporting no longer provides adequate visibility of friendly land force dispositions, indeed some nations simply send all their unit position information by default. Or send position information for all the units which have Blue Force Tracking systems, or simply a GPS and a radio. Or send all the information they consider

The SitaWare Command and Control Suite - a genuine MIP solution

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SPECIAL REPORT: THE MULTILATERAL INTEROPERABILITY PROGRAMME

SitaWare C2 Server provides the platform necessary to pull together the information you need to generate the full operational overview, displayed as a unified Common Operational Picture (COP).

Key to the wide appeal of MIP is its heritage in the ‘generic hub’ concept where the MIP database has evolved to cover the command & control related information which is common to, and needs to be exchanged between, a number of military and CIMIC functions.

to be ‘releasable’. This may or may not depend on how much they trust the recipient. It can no longer be assumed that the ‘C’ in ‘COP’ stands for ‘common’; safer to think of it as the ‘Coalition Operating Picture’ and then ask some searching questions about what is actually released, when and to whom. We have all saved a document in a folder only to later wonder what word to enter in the search engine and then trawl through a sprawling folder structure looking for it whilst cursing the day that you put off that disk housekeeping task along with all the other New Year’s resolutions. Scale that up to a Headquarters and you still come nowhere near understanding the complexity of the task facing the Information Management function. And up-skilling the admin clerks with an IT course and establishing a document naming convention does not create an Information Management Cell! Even if the stored information is retrievable, it may well not have been kept up to date. Perhaps the information was considered to be ‘dynamic’ and is not stored locally anyway. Here, the wonders of the World Wide Web (or a tactical web, or even just a Portal) will give access to any number of sources of information. All I need to know is which the authoritative sources for each type of information are. And to avoid ‘paralysis of analysis’ while I check for that that critical piece of information that the Board of Inquiry will certainly know about. And to decide if I want to look at the latest overhead image ‘raw’ or if I’d rather have an assessed product from a specialist a few minutes later. Or both. Finally, having exchanged the information I need and having managed it accordingly, I will be in

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a position to exploit it. Or the decision aids and planning aids in my suite of C4/ISTAR/EW/… applications will exploit it for me, evaluate all the possible courses of action, develop a plan based on the best option and then efficiently execute said plan, presenting me with a ‘control by veto’ override option. OK, so I ran ahead there; systems are not yet quite that advanced. Or maybe they are but I don’t trust them. Or I don’t agree with the acceptable collateral damage one of the algorithms uses. Or I can’t trust the data because one of the sources was inaccurate. Or compromised. Or subject to a denial of service attack. Systematic’s rich heritage in information exchange is founded on deep knowledge of, and involvement in message text formats (MTFs); one of the military community’s earliest solutions to standardising and managing information exchange and one which remains widely used today. As the MTFs have developed, so have the computer systems used to create and process the information they exchange. Over time, MTFs have increasingly become a very useful, unambiguous, system independent method of exchanging information between the databases underpinning systems and their advantages in areas such as human readability and language independence have been less beneficial. Indeed, the increased use of databases at both ends of the information exchange forced nations to investigate ways of exchanging information directly between the databases. The enduring, multinational success story in this area is the Multilateral Interoperability


SPECIAL REPORT: THE MULTILATERAL INTEROPERABILITY PROGRAMME

Programme (MIP) which has produced several generations of common database schema, the Information Exchange Data Models, and the associated replication standards or Data Exchange Mechanisms. Key to the wide appeal of MIP is its heritage in the ‘generic hub’ concept where the MIP database has evolved to cover the command & control related information which is common to, and needs to be exchanged between, a number of military and CIMIC functions. Evolving from this initial foundation, MIP has managed to encompass a wide range of information including logistics, medical, targeting, IED, plans, orders, ORBATs and other operationally focused information, supporting a broad range of functions without becoming bogged down in detail specific to any one functional area or community of interest. As information exchange technologies have evolved, Systematic has evolved with them, developing an entire suite of C2 products based around the MIP standards whilst continuing to develop the message text format focussed IRIS product suite.

MIP and related technology in Systematic The military, and the defence industry which provides them with the tools of their trade, must keep up-to-date with the rapid evolution of both tactics and technology if they are to cope with an agile adversary who has no shortage of funding and operates in small autonomous cells with little need for information exchange and no need to integrate with legacy CIS infrastructure. In an operational age where tactics demand technology whilst the same technology both limits and enables tactics, close working relationships are required between doctrine staff and technical experts. Here, the military need to build relationships with industry providers who understand their needs and constraints and can keep them as close to the ‘leading edge’ as the procurement, training and deployment and in-service support constraints will allow. Recognising this, when responding to the UK’s Strategic Defence and Security Review, President and CEO of Systematic, Michael Holm, said “We appreciate the difficulties facing Mr Cameron’s new government to reduce public spending. We have found that many of our customers around the world face similar challenges. This is why we have invested considerable time and effort in producing reliable and scalable software solutions which are easy to procure, fulfil all core requirements and are rapidly deployable.”

Central to these scalable solutions is the SitaWare product suite which has evolved around the MIP standards. Most closely associated with the MIP standards is SitaWare Headquarters, focussing on corps level and below as MIP does. Up to MIP’s Block 2 release (the Command and Control Information Exchange Data Model, C2IEDM), SitaWare Headquarters was built directly on top of the MIP database. There are, however, some trade-offs involved when building an application directly on top of a database which is optimised for information exchange so, as the MIP database has evolved to become more Joint and to support NATO consultation requirements in the Block 3 release (the Joint Consultation, Command and Control Information Exchange Data Model, JC3IEDM), Systematic has developed the SitaWare C2 Server to sit between SitaWare Headquarters and the MIP database. The SitaWare C2 Server is a high-performance, scalable data repository that provides platform independent services. Based on SOA principles it can easily integrate many different specialist systems and legacy applications, making it ideal for use by systems integrators and developers and the foundation of choice for future-proof C2 architectures. Using SitaWare C2 Server Web Services, users can develop custom C2 applications specific to their needs and requirements, for instance to build and display a single unified COP which can then either be viewed in a standard web browser or made available to other applications via an open web services API. “The SitaWare C2 Server gives us a very high degree of flexibility and the ability to support multiple, disparate standards simultaneously,” explains Hans Jørgen Bohlbro, Systematic Product Manager, “It easily maps data and provides interfaces between systems using, not only MIP Block 2 and MIP Block 3, but can also exchange data types such as NFFI, MTF, XML and tactical data links.” Although Block 3 takes MIP into the Joint arena, evolving still further from its Land roots than the Block 2 C2IEDM was able to do, JC3IEDM is not designed to handle large volumes of data with very fast update rates, such as those encountered in a wide area recognised air picture. To extend its MIP based product suite to address this requirement, Systematic developed the SitaWare TrackServer, using highly optimised GIS and non persistent database technologies. Information in SitaWare TrackServer can be linked to SitaWare C2 Server to provide both persistence and MIP DEM exchange and to allow information to be viewed and processed in SitaWare Headquarters.

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SPECIAL REPORT: THE MULTILATERAL INTEROPERABILITY PROGRAMME

Alternatively, where a very fast display update rate is required and where the decision aids and planning aids available in SitaWare Headquarters are not required, Systematic’s light weight web COP viewer can be used. This can be exposed through a standard web browser either as a stand-alone view or through a Portal. These powerful options extend the benefit of MIP based information exchange both vertically through the military command chain to top level headquarters and even into Other Government Departments (or Partners across Government) as well as horizontally with, for example, Non Government Organisations who have nothing more than an internet link and a web browser. At the other end of the military information exchange spectrum, progressing through the vehicle based environment to the dismounted soldier, bandwidth becomes far more of a constraint, devices and displays are smaller, keyboards need to be replaced with simple, touch-screen selection options and battery life precludes power-hungry applications. Here, the breadth of data supported in the MIP IEDM is not required, it is possible to increase the efficiency of the MIP Data Exchange Mechanism and a simple yet highly functional and feature rich user interface is critical. At the user level, SitaWare Battle Management extends appropriate MIP information and associated functionality into this tactical domain with work continually progressing to harness and exploit the best hardware, operating systems and other technology available in this rapidly evolving field. An extensive knowledge of the MIP Data Exchange Mechanism gained through its IRIS Replication Mechanism and SitaWare MIP Replication products have allowed Systematic to develop the highly optimised SitaWare Tactical Replication product. This allows highly efficient information exchange between SitaWare Battle Management instances and with its relatives in the SitaWare suite. Within MIP, work continues to develop the information exchange schema and the replication mechanism and to extend MIP to encompass other technologies and techniques. These will keep MIP at the forefront of information exchange across an increasingly wide community. Products such as those in the SitaWare suite will deliver this information exchange. They will also go a long way towards managing the information and exploiting it. It will be some time, however, before they simplify critical decision making to the use of a veto option. Until then, the Information Manager’s job is safe and MIP is his friend. 6 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM

At the user level, SitaWare Battle Management extends appropriate MIP information and associated functionality into this tactical domain with work continually progressing to harness and exploit the best hardware, operating systems and other technology available in this rapidly evolving field.


SPECIAL REPORT: THE MULTILATERAL INTEROPERABILITY PROGRAMME

The Role of The Multilateral Interoperability Programme in Facilitating Counter Insurgency Operations in Afghanistan

THE

FUTURE

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The SitaWare Command and Control Suite

SitaWare Headquarters allows users to select the exact information they want to see included in the COP.

Defining interoperability Professor Julian Lindley-French defines traditional interoperability as: “being the ability of systems, units or forces to provide and accept services from other systems, units or forces and to use the services so exchanged to enable them to operate effectively together.” He makes it clear that this is a step beyond “co-operability” and is functional: “Interoperability concerns the effective ‘mixing’ of allied capabilities, to make them as collectively compatible as possible in order to efficiently combine their respective military forces to military effect.” The Multilateral Interoperability Programme (MIP) takes the definition one stage further: “The aim of the MIP2 is to achieve international interoperability of Command and Control 1

Information Systems (C2IS) at all levels from corps to battalion or the lowest appropriate level, in order to support combined and joint operations; and pursue the advancement of digitization in the international arena, including NATO.”

- a genuine MIP solution

A brief history of interoperability and the Multilateral Interoperability Programme (MIP) The British are sometimes seen as the leader in the 20th century move towards interoperability. In 1924 they formed their version of what in the United States is called the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The United States followed in 1942 with a unified command and during and after World War Two, General Dwight Eisenhower became a noted proponent of interoperability. Anecdotal WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 7


SPECIAL REPORT: THE MULTILATERAL INTEROPERABILITY PROGRAMME

There has been an undistinguished history of joint interoperability failures between branches of the American forces resulting in communication difficulties.

evidence of the failure of communication due to interoperability between branches of US forces and between allies is legion. First, there has been an undistinguished history of joint interoperability failures between branches of the American forces resulting in communication difficulties: All interoperability3 is not of the coalition variety however. Even amongst the branches of the United States military, lessons learned from past operations indicate the need for much greater speed and precision in terms of command, control, and communications. There are many examples: US Navy ships unable to talk to a USAF aircraft flying overhead; during the invasion of Grenada in 1983, in a specific instance a commander had to resort to the use of a commercial long distance payphone from his position in order to call back to Ft. Bragg, NC to request C-130 gunship support for his unit, which was under fire. General Norman Schwarfkopf testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Lessons Learned during the Grenada invasion in 1983. “In Grenada we did not have interoperability with the Army and the Air Force, even though we had been assured at the outset that we did… uncoordinated use of radio frequencies caused a lack of inter-service communications except through offshore relay stations and prevented radio communications between Marines in the north and Army Rangers in the south.” 4 But such was the salience of nuclear warfare during the Cold War, that conventional interoperability issues frequently remained on the back burner. The American Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 began to address some of the issues of inter service rivalry that had been a key stumbling block to establishing interoperability within US forces let alone coalition forces.

Coalition interoperability In parallel, a process to improve coalition interoperability was established in the post World War Two era between predominantly English speaking allies-the United States, Britain and Canada, ‘the ABC’. In 1947, the ABC armies developed the “Plan to Effect Standardization,” the purpose of which was to continue the close cooperation that had developed during WWII between the British and other allies. At the conclusion of the first Basic Standardization Agreement (BSA) in 1964, Australia was added to the list of allies concerned with interoperability issues, and the term ‘ABCA’ came into use. In 1948, the Air Standardization Coordinating Committee (ASCC) was formed to focus standardization on issues related to military aviation, or airpower; “the basic purpose and 8 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM

initial members were the same as ABCA, with Australia joining in 1964 and New Zealand in 1965.” The most significant development in June 1976 was the NATO Military Committee approval of a requirement for NATO allies for interoperability between automated data systems called MC 245. This was a visionary statement, which remains valid today, and led to the development of the Army Tactical Command and Control Information System (ATCCIS) in 1980. ATCCIS was not a NATO programme, but a voluntary activity sponsored by Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE)5 the central command of NATO military forces. The objective is described as to identify the minimum set of specifications, to be included within C2 systems, to allow interoperability between national C2 systems”. At the same time NATO had to begin to cover the language issue; within the ABCA group English was predominantly the mother tongue, however within NATO this was not the case. NATO’s many member countries used English as a second language or used French. What began to emerge as a strong theme of these negotiations was that interoperability was about a great deal more than sharing a common language or equipment, or equipment specifications. When it came to command and control the “cultural differences in cognition and in world view… can seriously impede smooth coordination among allies”.6 The message here is at least clear: “Even if coalition members are provided with the same information, what they see in the information may be very different.”7 NATO an established coalition of increasing numbers of partners was creating a process to “work around” and attempt to overcome the issue of interoperability, but international events overtook this process. The Gulf War (1990) loomed. A U.N. authorized ad hoc coalition force of 34 disparate countries with differing military traditions and backgrounds became an interoperability challenge, whatever the work done previously within NATO.


SPECIAL REPORT: THE MULTILATERAL INTEROPERABILITY PROGRAMME

Coalition and Joint Interoperability Software Failures THE

Marushka Dubova, Defence Correspondent, Defence Industry Reports

FUTURE

In the 1990-1 Gulf War against Iraq 34 nations were brought together in an ad hoc coalition under UN auspices. Here the interoperability issues were often difficult even within the United States forces themselves.

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IRIS Standards Management is a web-based tool for defining, managing and analysing structured information standards, which are essential in ensuring interoperability in many military systems.

I

N UNCLASSIFIED lessons learned from the Gulf War it was revealed that Air Tasking Orders (ATOs) had to be distributed in printed versions (in the case of the US Navy by helicopter from shore stations to the fleet) rather than electronic formats, (a time consuming task, especially on the battlefield), because of differences in software amongst US military branches. This was not just a coalition interoperability problem; it was still an internal joint military problem within the United States forces.

Common Operating Environment (NCOE), and the NATO Command, Control, and Communications Technical Architecture (NC3TA) provide a five volume series of manuals dealing with procedures designed to be effective in terms of a common operating environment. NC3TA “describes an architectural approach that lays the structural foundation necessary to attain interoperability between diverse C3 systems and provides the rationale on why this approach has been proposed for use throughout NATO.”

The NATO response

The contents of the volumes

Since 1995, NATO has pioneered a system to work through the standardization process, through its NATO Open Systems Working Group (NOSWG)8 and NATO Interoperability Standards and Profiles (NISP). The NATO

The volumes outline three ways of looking at interoperability against this background. • COTS-based approach to optimise the costeffectiveness of NATO C3S programmes development;

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SPECIAL REPORT: THE MULTILATERAL INTEROPERABILITY PROGRAMME

Despite budget constraints the United States develops and employs many of the newest generations of smaller and faster equipment in a traditional military belief that technological advancement leads to critical advantage in battle.

• Open Systems approach based on an appropriate selection of interface standards to adapt to technology advances while avoiding any product or vendor lock-in. • Service Oriented Architecture approach to directly support Interoperability in NATO’s Network Enabled Capability initiatives.”9

Network Centric Warfare and interoperability While rising to the interoperability challenge through NATO and MIP, another transformational change was taking place within American war fighting doctrine Network Centric Warfare (NCW). This doctrine advance by John Gartska in 1999 became the overriding war fighting doctrine of the United States forces and had a rapid impact on NATO forces in Europe and beyond. This concept uses information technology to gain battlefield dominance by the ability to collect, process, and disseminate an uninterrupted flow of information while exploiting or denying an adversary’s ability to do the same. NCW in theory would provide a common operating picture (COP) between the commander and the soldier on the ground. The goal of NCW is to use a flow of images and information to accelerate the speed of command and focus the agility of the networked soldier in the “fog” and unpredictability of battle. The dominance of this concept and the critical role it places on the latest information technology enhancing the speed of battle should place interoperable network enabled capability as a key priority. But for a number of reasons this has not been the case.

Why is interoperability so hard to achieve in Network Centric Warfare? The first issue that handicaps full interoperability of C2 information is cost. Many European countries have followed the American example and have moved towards the American transformation process to be networked. However, from a European perspective Network Centric Warfare is frequently seen as “the American way of war”10 and the regular updating of information technology systems and software to be compatible with the latest generation of American systems is beyond many NATO members’ budgets.11 “If the European modernisation12 effort is compared with the US as a percentage of US investment per dollar spent per soldier on modernisation, the figures are even more telling. Poland spends six per cent, while the Czech Republic spends seven per cent, which gives some indication of the state of forces of most of the newer EU and NATO members. Belgium 10 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM

spends 10 per cent, Spain 11 per cent, with Italy at 17 per cent and Germany at 21 per cent. Only the Dutch at 41 per cent and the French at 42 per cent approach anything like respectability. It is only the British who spend some 95 per cent of the US spend per soldier who can be said to be in the same league as the Americans. However, much of the British effort is driven by their determination to be interoperable with the US. “ The consequences of this difference in spend are apparent in a yawning Atlantic gap between American and European NATO allies’ level of potential interoperability which has been heightened by the severe cost constraints imposed on European armed forces in 2010. Britain the one country moving towards interoperability fastest has had its spend cut back dramatically under the recent 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR).

Moore’s Law The operation of Moore’s Law13 is the second issue mitigating against synchronous development of American and European systems. Despite budget constraints the United States develops and employs many of the newest generations of smaller and faster equipment in a traditional military belief that technological advancement leads to critical advantage in battle. This means that as the United States updates it equipment, many European countries are trapped running up a down escalator as they continually fail to keep up with the latest American systems. What’s more allied budgets are unable to keep up with the other military technical “enabling” factors that complex software systems demand to be able to operate in a battle space environment such as training, doctrine, aligned military culture, and rules of engagement.

National procurement decisions and interoperability A further impediment to developing interoperability is that many European countries for reasons of trust or national security prefer their own national equipment manufacturers in competition with other original equipment manufacturers. This is even so when the product offered is superior and cheaper. So when European countries feel forced to procure systems from foreign providers that are critical for interoperability, “the relationship14 between military interoperability and equipment and materiel procurement is both intimate and pivotal… This is particularly important in areas such as signals intelligence (SIGINT), air breathing manned and unmanned combat and intelligence gathering aerial vehicles, precision guided munitions, advanced secure communications and advanced command architectures.”


SPECIAL REPORT: THE MULTILATERAL INTEROPERABILITY PROGRAMME

Post 9/11 and the Afghan Insurgency Don McBarnet, Staff Writer, Defence Industry Reports

The post 9/11 military environment has added a new dimension to the demands on interoperability and the Network Centric Warfare envisioned by Joint Vision 2010 in the United States.

R

ECENT DEVELOPMENTS in doctrine now demand that many more agencies are networked on the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan. This group includes civilian agencies from government, development teams and NGO’s. Extending the network to these agencies is still a challenge to the United States and European countries.15

Counter insurgency in Afghanistan In 2010/11 there has been an evolution in American doctrine in Afghanistan away from Network Centric Warfare towards “partnering” with the Afghan Army, the Afghan Police and the Afghan Security Forces. In a letter to ISAF coalition forces General David Petraeus, Commander, International Security Force/United States Forces Afghanistan redefines the way counterinsurgency should be pursued. “Act as one team.16 Work closely with our international and Afghan partners, civilian as well as military. Treat them as brothers-in-arms. Unity of effort and cooperation are not optional. Partner with the ANSF. Live, eat, train, plan, and operate together. Depend on one another. Hold each other accountable at all echelons down to trooper level. Help our ANSF partners achieve excellence. Respect them and listen to them. Be a good role model.” ISAF coalition forces are therefore not fighting a network centric war, but a complex process ensuring security while partnering and training a new Afghan security force which lacks the financial, logistic and information technology resources of western armies. “The truth17 is that many of the forces that are needed to provide the force base for such ambition are locked down in Afghanistan either fighting the Taliban or running provincial reconstruction teams (PRTs). Consequently, not only are they far from being the rapier-like, networked, interoperable force envisioned by the NATO transformation model, they and their equipment are also slowly being worn down by stabilisation attrition and the exigencies of muddy and dusty boot operations… Indeed, PRTs have

THE

FUTURE

ISAF coalition forces

C2 OF

are therefore not fighting a network centric war, but a complex process ensuring security while partnering and training a new Afghan security force which lacks

deployed today

the financial, logistic and information technology resources of western armies. become the very antithesis of interoperability as they emphasise forces only operating in their own zones within theatre.” In a case study researched in the field in Afghanistan. Brigadier Lindley-French highlights further problems when a coalition of separate countries trains a new army. Each country however well linked into the NATO standardization system has different military traditions and a different civil-military balance. Acknowledging this difference NATO has set up Operations, Mentoring and Leadership Teams (OMLT’s) (Omelettes) however, the interoperability issue is not one for “hard” factors like software, but “soft” ones like military tradition and culture. “The training given by the French to officers at the Kabul Military Training Centre (KMTC) in Kabul varies from that of the Americans in charge of NCOs and the Canadians, British and Dutch when the Afghan battalions, the socalled KANDAKs go south to begin operational training. This situation not only leads to confusion on the part of the Afghans, but also reveals the extent of military doctrinal differences between the Europeans.”

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Interoperability the “Hard” Factors Meredith Llewellyn, Lead Contributor, Defence Industry Reports

While the heat of battle or counter insurgency warfare will always throw up examples where systems have failed, there are areas where some steps forward are being taken to work on the underlying issues.

Talon-Strike is the end product of a series of U.K.-U.S. interoperability studies conducted by the U.S. Army TRADOC Analysis Center (TRAC) and the UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratories (Dstl) conducted in the UK and US.

being researched by the Tactical Human Integration of Network Knowledge (THINK) Army Technology Objective (ATO), to assess cognitive workload, social networks, and team performance. Working with the French on interoperability within IRIS Forms simplifies and structures the inputting and transfer of important military the “entente frugale” information, orders and reports, using simple-to-deploy interoperability standards. In recent moves to further consolidate N FEBRUARY 2004, MIP and NATO the advantages of working with medium sized Data Administration Group signed a neighbours with similarly austere financial Memorandum of Agreement stating their constraints, Britain, in November 2010 signed intent to collaborate in data modeling efforts a Defence Treaty with France. This bilateral to produce a Joint Consultation Command treaty will facilitate synergies of equipment & Control Information Exchange Data use and platforms and the formation of an Model (JC3IEDM) in 2008. What is more Anglo-French Combined Joint Expeditionary The JC3IEDM has been ratified as STANAG Force, moreover, in the area of interoperability the 5525. And the MIP vision principal operator- new “exceptional relationship”18 with the UK armed led multinational forum has been set up to forces will reinforce the capabilities of the two promote international interoperability of countries to work together to overcome software Command and Control Information Systems problems and differences in language, culture and (C2IS) at all levels of command in 34 countries. military tradition. As the British Prime Minister is quoted as saying “The Force19 will stimulate Following through on this, a series of bi-lateral greater interoperability and coherence in military exercises has been scheduled. Talon-Strike is the end product of a series of U.K.- doctrine, training and equipment requirements.” U.S. interoperability studies conducted by the U.S. This new development will be enhanced by Army TRADOC Analysis Center (TRAC) and the the bilateral Anglo French Exercise Flanders UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratories planned for 2011. These bilateral efforts to move interoperability (Dstl) conducted in the UK and US. The first study, conducted in 2004, identified capability gaps in under the auspices of the Multilateral battle command that would prevent effective Interoperability Programme build steps interoperability between U.S. and U.K. forces. towards developing skills, experience and When such capability gaps have been identified software capabilities that are to the future they are not always rectified for reasons of cost potential benefit of commanders of coalitions or capability. However, in this case after each trial, in the field of battle. Nevertheless, the overriding solutions were achieved to bridge gaps so that political advantages of fighting in a coalition for the Talon Strike exercise full interoperability of in terms of resources and international approval systems was planned. And of equal importance, may still be undermined by the “friction” of there was a soft factors assessment of the work interoperability in expeditionary warfare.

I

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SPECIAL REPORT: THE MULTILATERAL INTEROPERABILITY PROGRAMME

Glossary: ASCC

Air Standardization Coordinating Committee

ATO

Air Tasking Order

ATCCIS

Army Tactical Command and Control Information System

BSA

Basic Standardization Agreement

C2IS

Command and Control Information Systems

COP

Common Operating Picture

COTS

Commercial off the shelf product

DSTL

Defence Science and Technology Laboratories (UK)

ISAF

International Security Assistance Force

MIP

Multilateral Interoperability Programme

NC3TA

NATO Command, Control, and Communications Technical Architecture

NCOE

NATO Common Operating Environment

NATO

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

NCW

Network Centric Warfare

NOSWG

NATO Open Systems Working Group

OMG

Object Management Group

SDSR

Strategic Defence and Security Review

SHAPE

Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe

USAF

United States Air Force

References: 1 2 3

4 5 6 7 8 9 10

11 12 13

14

15

16 17 18 19

http://www.mip-site.org/publicsite/02-Baseline_1.0/MIP_CONOPS-MIP_Concept_of_Operations/MIPCONOPS-FR-OWG-Edition1.1.pdf http://www.mip-site.org/011_Public_Home_Concept.htm p4 “Command, Control (C2) and Coalition Interoperability Post ‘911’: Introducing the Network Centric Infrastructure for Command Control and Intelligence (NICCI)” by Gary Illingworth C3I Associates, and AFRL/RRS/IFSE http://www.dtic.mil/cgibin/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf&AD=ADA461479 ibid http://www.mip-site.org/01-Atccis/ATCCIS_History.htm ibid ibid http://nhqc3s.nato.int/architecture/_docs/NISP/index.html# ibid Professor Julian French and Dr Yves Boyer EURO-INTEROPERABILITY: THE EFFECTIVE MILITARY INTEROPERABILITY OF EUROPEAN ARMED FORCES by Yves Boyer and Julian Lindley-French 19 November 2007 ISIS framework for the European Parliament http://www.frstrategie.org/barreCompetences/securiteEuropeenne/doc/Interop.pdf ibid by Professor Julian French and Dr Yves Boyer ibid by Professor Julian French and Dr Yves Boyer Moore’s law describes a long-term trend in the history of computing hardware. The number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit has doubled approximately every two years. Professor Julian French and Dr Yves Boyer EURO-INTEROPERABILITY: THE EFFECTIVE MILITARY INTEROPERABILITY OF EUROPEAN ARMED FORCES by Yves Boyer and Julian Lindley-French 19 November 2007 ISIS framework for the European Parliament http://www.frstrategie.org/barreCompetences/securiteEuropeenne/doc/Interop.pdf “Command, Control (C) and Coalition Interoperability Post ‘911’: Introducing the Network Centric Infrastructure for Command Control and Intelligence (NICCI)” by Gary IllingworthC3I Associates 2002 http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf&AD=ADA461479 http://usacac.army.mil/blog/blogs/coin/archive/2010/08/02/general-petraeus-issues-new-comisaf-coin-guidance.aspx Professor Julian French and Dr Yves Boyer http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSLDE6A11E020101102 http://www.systematic.com/defence+website/news/news+viewer?docid=1659 WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 13


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