Print This Page
previous section

Distributed Common Ground System - Army (DCGS-A)

What is it?
The DCGS-A is a system that connects intelligence analysts to hundreds of intelligence and non-intelligence data sources at all classification levels. This system allows analysts to use a growing menu of advanced analytic tools which enabled them to better understand norms, detect change, discern linkages, appreciate significance, cue collection, and identify, track, and target hostile forces in a timely and effective manner. This capability provides analysts at all levels with the ability to rapidly mine, fuse, and visualize data on top of geospatial-intelligence to gain unprecedented contextual understanding of their operational environment.

What has the Army done?
The Army led the Joint Intelligence Operations Capability-Iraq developmental work in 2004-2005 which led to the fielding of DCGS-A flat network to Brigade Combat Teams (BCT) and battalions in Iraq and Afghanistan, two years ahead of schedule. Today, DCGS-A capability provides our Soldiers access to more than 200 databases and allows rapid collaboration through shared data access. The DCGS-A also enables forward-deployed analysts to leverage reach back analytical support from the outside organizations such as the Army's Intelligence and Security Command, combatant commands, and national level intelligence agencies.

The Army has invested in home station installation of DCGS-A capabilities. This makes it possible for Soldiers to stay engaged with deployed activities before and after deployments, and directly support units in the forward fight with tactical overwatch. Tactical overwatch assists deployed combat units with significantly more analytical capacity and considerably increases the situational awareness and readiness for deploying units. The latest version of DCGS-A is now fielded to BCTs and battalions (Army, Marines, and Special Operations Forces) in Iraq and Afghanistan. Joint Task Force Horn of Africa is also in the process of receiving this system. The Army is also working aggressively to incorporate DCGS-A into all combat training centers. By the end of 2008, all training centers will have a full suite of DCGS-A capability.

Every effort is made to continually expand DCGS-A access to other libraries of data. Most recently, at the request of Multi-National Forces-Iraq, work is underway to add Defense Intelligence Agency data sources into the DCGS-A enterprise.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army will integrate DCGS-A capability across the total force (combat and support forces) and Active and Reserve Components by the end of 2010. As this occurs, the Army will continue to integrate new technical upgrades into the DCGS-A enterprise.

Why is this important to the Army?
Analysts, commanders, and Soldiers operating in complex operating environments, such as Iraq and Afghanistan, must have access to a distributed, all-source, flat-network information system connected at all classification levels and the advanced fusion analysis tools to rapidly fuse, visualize, and generate actionable intelligence. Achieving the desired effects from actionable intelligence in these environments requires the 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 in support to plans, operations, and effects gauging. Every battalion and BCT needs to be able to readily access, search and visualize years of data in specific locations to gain the necessary contextual understanding for effective and timely decision making. The DCGS-A is providing that capability to Soldiers now.

previous section

Back to Top :: Print Version
Questions about Army Posture Statement: