By Philip F. RomanelliFebruary 11, 2009
FORT MONMOUTH, N.J. - Command Post of the Future (CPOF) received the 2009 Network Centric Warfare (NCW) Award for Outstanding US Government Program. The award, given by the Institute for Defense & Government Advancement (IDGA), was presented during the 2009 NCW Conference in Washington, DC on January 28th, 2009. Criteria for the award include how the program incorporates the principles of network-centric warfare; objectives of the program and a technical profile; an explanation of interoperability and joint force integration within the development process; and how the program contributed to the overall effectiveness of the warfighter.
CPOF, a crucial element of the Army Battle Command System (ABCS), is managed by Product Manager Tactical Battle Command, headquartered at Fort Monmouth, NJ. ABCS is the Army's foundation for C2 systems that assist Soldiers at all echelons to make better-informed decisions. CPOF empowers warfighters to visualize the battle space and synchronize the elements of combat power while simultaneously collaborating and sharing data in near-real time. CPOF enables users to see and interact with each other's workspaces, tools, data, and maps as if they were interacting with their own workspace.
CPOF's central repository provides instant distribution of information to all connected users, regardless of location. It is unique because only the changes to a data set are shared across the network not the entire changed data set, minimizing bandwidth use and increasing the speed of information flow. This enables commanders, staffs, and geographically distributed subordinates to gain awareness of battlefield developments as they happen, and coordinate responses to those battlefield events quickly. CPOF, paired with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), is a powerful combination of shared information and voice communication required to rapidly process, prioritize, and respond faster and more effectively.
The ability to share situational awareness across geographic distance and collaborate on responses to battlefield events can mean the difference between life and death. For example, medical evacuation teams can monitor a Division's Common Operating Picture (COP) in CPOF for information on new Improvised Explosive Device (IED) events. This minimizes the need for communication since vital information such as locations is readily available and increases the speed of response by rushing assistance where needed, helping to save lives.
CPOF was initially created by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) as an effort to improve C2, with the ambitious aim of doubling the speed and quality of command-level decisions. The Army later took over management of CPOF, and it has been used on the ground in Iraq since 2003-2004. In his keynote address to the IDGA conference, Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, the Vice-Chief of Staff of the Army, cited CPOF approvingly for its contribution to tactical success in Iraq. Its many capabilities include:
Aca,!Ac Map displays of friendly and enemy locations, plus overlays
Aca,!Ac Shared workspaces with access to the information and insights of all users on network
Aca,!Ac Personal workspaces - maps, tables, charts, and other planning and analysis tools
Aca,!Ac Two and three dimensional map views
Aca,!Ac 3-D map time slider for virtual "rehearsal" of forces moving over time
Aca,!Ac Distributed collaboration that supports hundreds of users in real-time
Lt. Col. Richard Hornstein is the Product Manager for TBC. His background includes a variety of command and staff assignments from an infantryman with the 7th Infantry Division (Light), to a platoon leader in the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Fulda, Germany, to a member of the NATO Implementation Force deployed to Bosnia. More recently, he has served as a Contingency Contracting Officer for two deployments to Kuwait/Iraq and Afghanistan.
Tactical Battle Command (TBC) TBC provides a suite of products and services that include the Maneuver Control System (MCS), Command Post of the Future (CPOF), Battle Command Common Services (BCCS), Tactical Share Point Web Portal, coalition interoperability, integration of Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) capabilities, and Joint convergence effort with the Marine Corps. TBC is part of the Army's Battle Command Systems (ABCS) which combine multiple, complex capabilities into an integrated tool set allowing warfighters to visualize the battle space and synchronize the elements of combat power while simultaneously collaborating and sharing data in near-real time.
Project Manager Battle Command (PM BC) is the Army's foundation for Command and Control (C2) architecture. Battle Command provides software and hardware systems that assist Soldiers at all levels to make better informed decisions. PM BC provides an integrated tool set deployed in theater now, while simultaneously migrating to the future.