Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) Interoperability: Are We There Yet?   [open pdf - 1MB]

"Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) Interoperability: Are We There Yet?" is a thesis written by USAF (US Air Force) Major Brian J. Worth in pursuance of a M.M.A.S (Master of Military Art and Science) in General Studies. From the thesis abstract: "This study examines command, control, communications, computer, and intelligence (C4I) systems interoperability progress within the United States (U.S.) military services and amongst coalition partners since the year 2000. This study uses national military strategy, joint military strategy, service unique strategy and doctrine, Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) and Defense Integrated Military Human Resource System (DIMHRS) case studies, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) technological standards, C4I technical reports to establish trends, patterns, and gaps in coalition interoperability. C4I interoperability successes are abundant since 2000 but it is clear from current day operations and research that the U.S., its allies and coalition partners need further improvements in order to master the many moving parts required for true coalition C4I systems interoperability. Clearly, acquisition, development, testing, and fielding must be fully integrated into either a joint or coalition solution. In order to achieve C4I interoperability, this study recommends changes in law, namely to the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 to further define the strategic intent of system interoperability among services of the DoD and foreign nations. Changes to national military strategy, joint military strategy, and service-unique military strategy are required to overhaul and emphasize the unequivocal need for fully interoperable C4I systems across the DoD and amongst coalition members. […] Training, operations and maintenance expenditures related to C4I across the services rise annually at exorbitant rates as authorized manpower shrinks and contractor support skyrockets. Efficiencies through standardization of training, joint operations and exercises, and common maintenance practices within DoD can yield substantial savings and concentrate efforts along similar planes. These efforts, along with a concerted C4I interoperability life cycle system, can yield the necessary interoperability to ensure warfighters of the future have at their disposal the most integrated, efficient, and lethal means of conducting military affairs."

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