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DoD Seal, OASD, C3I, CIO

Frequently Asked Questions about
Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence



General

Command and Control

Communications

Intelligence and Counterintelligence

Security, Information Operations, and Information Assurance

Integration and Interoperability

General

    What is the ASD(C3I)?
    The Assistant Secretary of Defense (Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence), (ASD (C3I)), is the principal OSD staff assistant for the development, oversight, and integration of DoD policies and programs relating to the strategy of information superiority for the Department of Defense. ASD(C3I) functions include information policy and information management, command and control, communications, counterintelligence, security, information assurance, information operations, space systems and space policy, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and intelligence-related activities conducted by the Department. In addition, the ASD(C3I) serves as the Chief Information Officer of the Department. The Office of the ASD (C3I) consists of five subordinate Deputy Assistant Secretaries: Policy and Implementation/Deputy CIO; C3ISR and Space; Intelligence; Security and Information Operations; and Programs and Evaluation. The headquarters for the ASD(C3I) organization is in the Pentagon, with staff elements both in the Pentagon and in nearby office buildings in Arlington, Virginia.

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    What is the overall mission of the ASD(C3I)?
    The Assistant Secretary for Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence is responsible for providing capabilities that enable the military forces of the United States to generate, use, and share the information necessary to survive and succeed on every mission.

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    What is "Information Superiority?
    Information superiority is the capability to collect, process, and disseminate an uninterrupted flow of information while exploiting or denying an adversary's ability to do the same. To achieve this capability, U.S. forces must have a comprehensive knowledge of the battlespace, including the status and intentions of both adversary and friendly forces. The Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) identified information superiority as the backbone of military innovation, and noted that the Revolution in Military Affairs centers on developing the improved information and command and control capabilities needed to significantly enhance joint operations.

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Command and Control

    What is the Global Command and Control System (GCCS)?
    The Global Command and Control System (GCCS) provides friendly forces with an enhanced common operational picture, force status, intelligence support, enemy order of battle, related facility information, and air tasking orders. GCCS has replaced the World Wide Military Command and Control System.

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    What is the Global Combat Support System (GCSS)?
    The Global Combat Support System (GCSS) complements GCCS by providing warfighters with the ability to track the status and location of critical logistics, procurement, engineering, finance, personnel, and medical resources.

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Communications

    What is the Defense Information Infrastructure?
    The Defense Information Infrastructure is the web of communications networks, computers, software, data bases, applications, weapon system interfaces, security, and other services that meet DoD’s end-to-end telecommunications and computer needs. Defense Information Infrastructure resources connect DoD mission support, C2, and intelligence systems and users through voice, data, imagery, video, and multimedia services. The Defense Information Infrastructure is part of the National Information Infrastructure.

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    What is the Defense Information System Network?
    The Defense Information System Network (DISN) is DoD’s worldwide, common-user telecommunications network that interfaces with customer-owned equipment to deliver secure and non-secure information from desktop to foxhole. DISN supports the Defense Message System (DMS) and Electronic Commerce/Electronic Data Interchange (EC/EDI). DISN incorporates surge capacity, robustness, interoperability with the systems of allied and coalition forces, end-to-end network management, and assured service using a mix of military and commercial media.

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    What is the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System?
    Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS) is a ultra high frequency terminal that uses DoD’s primary tactical data link to provide secure, jam-resistant, high-capacity interoperable voice and data communications for tactical platforms and weapon systems.

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    What is the Joint Tactical Radio System?
    The Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS), previously called the Programmable Modular Communications System, is a single family of radios to replace many incompatible Service radios.

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    What is the significance of the electromagnetic spectrum issue to DoD?
    Assured access to the electromagnetic spectrum is essential for U.S. strategic and tactical systems to fulfill their communications, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and weapons guidance missions. Government and private sector requirements and competition for this finite resource are increasing. DoD continues to review its spectrum requirements and to identify ways to manage the spectrum more effectively and efficiently.

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Intelligence and Counterintelligence

    What initiatives are being taken to improve intelligence management?
    The Deputy Secretary of Defense and the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) issue Joint Intelligence Guidance to provide focused program direction and priorities for all intelligence and related activities. They co-chair the Expanded Defense Resources Board, which is the senior advisory body for reviewing all Defense intelligence and related issues. Defense intelligence is placing greater emphasis on activities that promote information availability and interoperability between Services and multinational partners.

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    What are some intelligence collection initiatives?
    The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) is leading an advanced concept technology demonstration (ACTD) to enhance management systems for intelligence collection across all echelons. DoD and the Central Intelligence Agency are working to improve the balance of imagery, signals, and human intelligence (HUMINT) capabilities. The Defense HUMINT Service has restructured global assets to increase human intelligence capabilities, and new defense attache offices have expanded U.S. military diplomatic presence around the world. The DIA Central Measurement and Signature Intelligence (MASINT) Office initiatives to improve intelligence collection from complex sensors, unattended MASINT monitoring, and chemical/biological weapons detection programs have been successful.

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    What are some other intelligence initiatives?
    The Joint Staff has enhanced the process for identification of intelligence support requirements for new weapon systems, and for input to new intelligence systems by weapon system developers and users. The Joint Reserve Intelligence Program has established electronic connectivity among continental United States (CONUS) Joint Reserve Intelligence Centers and the organizations they support. DoD is developing a Defense Reserve Language Program to enhance Reserve linguistic resources. The Joint Military Intelligence College has gained congressional approval to award the Bachelor of Science in Intelligence. NIMA has established new training standards and is conducting a pilot program to improve the integration of geospatial data into intelligence analysis for imagery analysts and cartographers.

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    What is the role of DoD's counterintelligence program?
    DoD’s counterintelligence (CI) program provides protection against foreign intelligence activities and terrorist organizations. The Department runs over 2,000 CI investigations annually. In addition to espionage cases, the Department conducts investigations into the illegal transfer of critical defense technologies, intrusions into defense automated information systems and terrorism.

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    What improvements are being made in surveillance and reconnaissance?
    Increased warfighter demands for information have highlighted the need for enhanced airborne reconnaissance coverage and increased reconnaissance operating tempo. DoD is procuring a family of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to complement current manned systems, with significant savings. Manned airborne surveillance and reconnaissance assets are developing better situational awareness by using enhanced and modernized capabilities, such as Moving Target Indicator. In addition, DoD has expanded the flow of intelligence information from national reconnaissance systems to all users. To meet long-term requirements, the National Reconnaissance Office has launched initiatives to revolutionize collection technologies used in space. NIMA acquires commercial imagery from multiple vendors for both geospatial production and peacetime and crisis applications. NIMA will also acquire unclassified imagery from new high-resolution commercial sensors with enhanced spectral capabilities. Finally, numerous programs are being developed to allow users to receive data more quickly with the ability to manipulate it to meet their requirements.

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Security, Information Operations, and Information Assurance

    What are Defense security programs?
    Defense security programs prevent or deter espionage, sabotage, subversion, theft, or the unauthorized use of classified or controlled information, systems, or war materiel in DoD custody. The Defense Security Service (DSS) provides security services to DoD.

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    What are Information Operations?
    Information operations (IO) are actions taken across the entire conflict spectrum to affect adversary information and information systems while protecting one’s own information and information systems. Information warfare is conducted during crisis or conflict to achieve specific objectives over an adversary. Information assurance protects and defends information and information systems by ensuring their availability, integrity, authenticity, and confidentiality.

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    What is Information Assurance?
    Information Assurance (IA) is the component of Information Operations that assures DoD’s operational readiness by providing for the continuous availability and reliability of information systems and networks. IA protects the Defense Information Infrastructure against exploitation, degradation, and denial of service, while providing the means to efficiently reconstitute and reestablish vital capabilities following an attack.

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Integration and Interoperability

    Describe efforts to integrate information in DoD?
    Developing an overall C4ISR architecture is the critical element to ensure consistent implementation and effective employment in all operations. The Joint Technical Architecture, which facilitates use and exchange of information for operational planning and combat decision making, is DoD's most important C4ISR architecture initiative. To facilitate AIS development and operation, the Defense Information Infrastructure (DII) common operating environment provides an architecture of standards and software. In addition, the Joint C4ISR Decision Support Center (DSC) provides analytical support to requirements and acquisition decision makers.

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(This information was abstracted from the most current published version of the Secretary of Defense's "Annual Report to the President and Congress".)