What is it? Battle command is defined as “the art and science of applying leadership and decision making to achieve mission success (Army Field Manual 7-30).” Battle Command is the ability to envision the tactical military objectives, translate the vision into intent, formulate courses of action, and provide the force of will to concentrate overwhelming combat power at the right time and place to win decisively with minimal casualties. The term “Battle Command” incorporates the joint functional concepts of Command and Control, Net-Centric Operations, and Battlespace Awareness. Combatant Commanders, their components, and service units rely on battle command to execute their operations. Battle command systems enable commanders to lead, prioritize, and allocate assets required to employ and sustain combat power. Fielded systems enable the commander to see further, process information faster and strike more precisely and quicker. If information is the medium of the battle command process, the battle command system provides commanders with timely and accurate information on which to base the commander's decision.
What has the Army done? The Army is investing $23B across the Future Years Defense Plan in Battle Command capabilities, 80 percent of the resources is focused on delivering transport capability and the remainder on applications, services and standards. By applying the lessons learned in combat, the Army is implementing a unit set fielding construct to deliver a coordinated suite of capabilities intended to provide greater voice and data information down to battalion level. Significant materiel solutions being resourced and delivered to both active and reserve components include:
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future? The Future Battle Command and Control System will enable Battle Command on the Move and Battle Control in Near Real Time by unobtrusive monitoring of Situational Awareness telemetry data that is then combined with C2 information and processed by the Tactical Knowledge Management Engine to infer and publish the right information to all users in the system, dependent on their role within the Task Force and scenario. The key material component of future battle command will be the Warfighter Information Network - Tactical (WIN-T) and Net-Enabled Command Capability (NECC). WIN-T will provide support capabilities that are mobile, secure, survivable, seamless, and capable of supporting multimedia tactical information systems within the warfighters' battlespace. NECC will provide secure, collaborative information-sharing environment and unprecedented access to decision-quality information. NECC will enable decision-making superiority that results in increased mission effectiveness and enhanced process execution. It is based upon an emerging concept called "net-centricity," which enables systems to provide the right information to the right person at the right time.
Why is it important to the Army? Advanced battle command capabilities are essential to exploiting the full advantages of networked communications from the tactical to strategic level. The Army is accelerating the fielding of additional elements of critical battle Command capabilities. This is improving situational awareness from the Joint staff down to platoon level. This brings the Joint community closer to a shared common operation picture and is essential for the development of a secure and reliable network.