Information Papers

“Flat Network” Analysis Systems

What is it?
To create “actionable intelligence”, analysts, commanders and Soldiers must have distributed, all-source “flat” network access and advanced fusion analysis tools. This access connects them to hundreds of intelligence and non-intelligence data sources at all classification levels. Use of advanced analysis tools enables analysts to understand norms, detect change, discern linkages, appreciate significance, cue collection, and identify track and target hostile forces within tactically useful timelines. This capability enables analysts at all levels to rapidly mine, fuse, and visualize data on top of Geospatial Intelligence data layers for better understanding.

What has the Army done?
The Army led Joint Intelligence Operations Capability – Iraq (JIOC-I) developmental work in 2004-05 enabled fielding of Distributed Common Ground System-Army (DCGS-A) Version 2 “flat” network capability two years earlier than scheduled to BCTs and Battalions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, DCGS-A capability provides warfighters access to more than 200 databases and allows rapid collaboration through shared access to data, regardless of type or classification. DCGS-A also enables forward-deployed analysts to leverage “reach back” support from Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) as well as Theater and National agencies. DCGS-A access at home installations makes it possible for Soldiers to stay “in contact with the enemy” upon returning from combat, perform tactical overwatch in direct support of deployed units, and prepare for future deployments. DCGS-A is now fielded to BCTs and Battalions in Iraq and Afghanistan. The JTF Horn of Africa equipment and data repository are at initial operational capability. DCGS-A Version 3.0, which is interoperable with Army Battle Command systems, is being fielded as a software upgrade this summer. Iraq upgrades are nearly complete and Afghanistan upgrades begin in Aug 2008.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army will integrate DCGS-A capability across all forces (Combat Arms and Support Forces; Active, National Guard and Reserve) by FY10. As this occurs, we will spiral technical advances into the DCGS-A program in order to adapt to technological advancements and threat tactics. Ongoing DCGS-A MTOE fielding will replace ASAS across the Army at all levels by FY10. Army MI is also working aggressively to incorporate DCGS-A into all three Combat Training Centers. We have already fielded “issue” sets at NTC and JRTC with JMRC fielding beginning August 2008. The next version of DCGS-A (Version 4.0) will integrate “flat network” capabilities into hardened mobile platforms and be integrated into Future Combat System (FCS) units

Why is this important to the Army?
Successful operations in complex operating environments such as Iraq and Afghanistan require the ability to rapidly fuse and visualize all sources of information, across all levels of classification, to generate “actionable intelligence”. Achieving desired effects in these environments requires integration of cultural, tribal, historical, religious and other data for contextual understanding. Non-intelligence reporting (e.g. historical activity, targets, situation reports, etc) is equally important for understanding change, enemy presence and activity to plan operations and gauge effects. Every Battalion and BCT needs to be able to readily access, search and visualize "years of all-source memory" along tactically useful timelines for effective decision making. DCGS-A is providing that capability to Soldiers.