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Information movement graphicsIntelligence dissemination system providing new capability

A new system under U.S. Joint Forces Command validation will provide joint warfighter up-to-the-minute intelligence data and information in real-time allowing them to make better, more informed decisions.

06-01-04

By Jennifer Colaizzi
USJFCOM Public Affairs

(NORFOLK, Va. -- June 1, 2004) - A transformational intelligence interoperability and communication concept may enable coalition forces to better analyze enemies and their intentions by fiscal year 2008.

U. S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) is gearing up to validate an advanced concept technology demonstration (ACTD) which enables the warfighter to access intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) information in near real-time; hence satisfying critical information needs in support of time-sensitive operations.

According to Christopher Jackson, USJFCOM's deputy director of intelligence for ISR integration, rather than waiting for an intelligence report to arrive days or weeks after the data has been collected, the Multi-sensor Aerospace-ground Joint ISR Interoperability Coalition ACTD, better known as MAJIIC, will equip a warfighter with important intelligence information now.

ACTDs, such as MAJIIC, provide new and transformational operational capabilities designed to benefit the joint warfighter. ACTDs are sponsored by the deputy undersecretary of defense for advanced systems and concepts and are sponsored by all combatant commanders. USJFCOM has 14 ACTDs in which the command refines requirements, develops joint employment concepts of operation, and assesses the transformational capabilities in a variety of relevant operational venues.

MAJIIC concept developers confirmed the need for the ACTD from lessons learned captured during Operation Iraqi Freedom according to Jackson. Operational commanders used unprecedented levels of diverse ISR assets during OIF to aid U.S. and coalition operations. However, a lack of data accessibility and system interoperability limited the functionality of collected ISR data.

Jackson, who has been working in the intelligence field since 1982, said that although intelligence capabilities have greatly improved over the past 20 years, the rapid pace of operations demands a new way of intelligence data dissemination.

Shortfalls in ISR data accessibility and interoperability continue to impact situational awareness, time sensitive targeting, combat assessment, and other ISR-related mission areas.

According to Jackson, the keystone for supporting successful time sensitive missions is better coalition ISR interoperability and MAJIIC is designed to accomplish this task.

MAJIIC, which had a fiscal year 2004 start, is scheduled for its first validation during the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Networks and Information Integration's Quantum Leap 2 event in August. It will demonstrate a net-centric environment that fully supports “post before process” (PBP) information dissemination collected by platforms such as Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS).

PBP serves as one of DoD's identified initiatives for intelligence transformation. The old way of transferring intelligence data consisted of a process that moved ISR information to an analyst and eventually to the joint warfighter. PBP means that all authorized personnel can access information simultaneously.

The MAJIIC software will provide data dissemination, populated to whatever network is being used, even in limited bandwidth situations. Therefore, even joint and coalition forces in remote locations can access information.

“MAJIIC represents a giant step toward integrating intelligence community capabilities with the operational needs of the warfighter,” said Jackson. “It is transformational.”

The importance of the new ISR net-centric data sharing concepts is that a MAJIIC-equipped servicemember will have the ability to access recently gathered ISR data to speed the decision making process and will be in a better position to determine whether the vehicle sitting on the other side of a hill is friend or foe.

“I just loaded an image of a tank. It looks like a tank. What do you see?” said Jackson, as he described the conversation between a tank operator and an all-source analyst viewing the same real-time image.

According to Jackson, intelligence data collection systems have advanced considerably.

“When I started, high resolution radar was literally blobology - big or little white fuzzy blobs that needed a trained intelligence specialist to decipher what those fuzzy blobs were. Those days are over. Image resolution provides clear images now. The tank operator may not be able to tell if a tank is a T72 or T80. He doesn't care about the serial number, he just wants to know if there is a bad guy over there,” said Jackson.

According to both Jackson and Stan Stefansky, MAJIIC ACTD operations manager, MAJIIC's goal is making data from U.S. and multi-national manned and unmanned air platforms available in real-time to the decision maker, and to the degree communications will support, to the foot soldier, the tank driver, and the vehicle driver rather than transmitting to a central location and then disseminating.

“They need to know,” said Jackson.

Developers will examine the ACTD in several smaller live operations before being integrated into the architecture of a big exercise.

In the future, MAJIIC will not only involve the U.S., but also the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, Norway, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, and the NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency.

The multi-national part of the ACTD kicks off in April 2005 and will serve as a follow-on venture of earlier insight into intelligence capability needs discovered during the Coalition Aerial Surveillance and Reconnaissance (CAESAR) ACTD, which exploited multinational military interoperability of aerial ground surveillance resources.

Ultimately, MAJIIC improves ISR data accessibility in support of time sensitive missions, battlefield situational awareness, decision-making, and C2I analysis according to Stefansky.

“MAJIIC is letting the customer tell you when his requirement is satisfied,” said Stefansky. “It essentially gives power to the edge. The joint warfighter is the customer.”