What is it? Battle Command is the art and science of applying leadership and decision making to achieve mission success. Battle Command leverages technology to achieve information and decision superiority. Battle Command systems enable leaders to gain knowledge to enhance the speed and accuracy of decision making. Battle Command provides Commanders and Leaders with the ability to see first, understand first, act first, and finish decisively.
What has the Army done? Recent combat operations highlight the criticality of beyond line of sight mobile communications, enhanced situation awareness, and synchronization of force application. Battle Command provides improved information systems to make visible actionable information and reduce the cycle time on key commander decisions. The Army has created a better common operational picture with enhancements made to Blue Force Tracking and Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below (FBCB2). With Joint Intelligence Operations Capability – Iraq (JIOC-I) the Army has integrated and fused intelligence that is relevant and timely within a specific geospatial area of operation for Commander’s and Leaders.
The Army has also integrated unmanned Aerial Systems and their imagery feeds, and we have added Biometric enhancements to our Human Intelligence (HUMINT) data collection. The Army’s Joint Battle Command network has increased connectivity with JNN, putting more soldiers on the network with higher throughput, so that they are able to push more Command & Control information to Battalion.
Additionally, the Army has experimented with collaboration tools such as Information Dissemination Management – Tactical (IDM-T) and Command Post of the Future (CPoF), and information systems similar to Combined Information Network Data Exchange (CIDNE) and FusionNet, which provide valuable information to Commanders. The Army has accelerated the fielding of critical Battle Command systems to standardize capabilities, ensuring interoperability of operational and tactical organizations. These capabilities improve joint interdependency as well as horizontal and vertical situational awareness to the platoon level. The Army continues to work with DOD agencies to bring the Joint community closer to a shared common operational picture.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future? The Army continues to focus on the synchronization of operations, logistics and intelligence in order to provide Commanders and leaders with the most accurate information needed to conduct combat operations and achieve mission success. The Army will use the Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) process to field robust Joint Network Battle Command capabilities to the units as they prepare and engage in combat operations. The Army will use these new Joint Networked Battle Command capabilities to leverage information from intelligence, logistics, operations and medical sources, improve analysis, enable greater collaboration, to synchronize efforts quicker and reduce Commander’s decision cycles in the execution of operations to include Force on Force, Stability and Security Operations (SASO) and Counter Insurgency (COINS). The Battle Command systems will connect more soldiers to the network, and provide increased throughput, improve security, enhance collaboration, provide situation awareness, unit readiness status and Command & Control analysis. Battle Command will move toward closer integration with Logistics, including the Movement Tracking System. This system automates tracking of continuous, distributed, and Joint focused logistics across the battle space. Battle Command will also add gateways to US Marine Corps, joint, and coalition tracking systems. As with Blue Force tracker, the result will be a better integrated common operational picture.
Why is this important to the Army? Battle Command is an essential Warfighter Mission Area operational capability for both our current and future joint operations. Joint fully networked Battle Command capabilities will bridge to the Future Force and enable the Joint Force Commander to conduct fully interdependent, network-centric warfare. The Army must continue to work with the Combatant Commanders, Joint Forces Command, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics and the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Network and Information Integration to identify, align and develop Joint Force capabilities relevant to joint operations. Battle Command will align with Joint ground combat capabilities while simultaneously spiraling in proven Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Information, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) technologies.