Army Releases Common Operating Environment Implementation Plan

By ASA(ALT) StaffJanuary 12, 2012

usa image
(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

The U.S. Army has formally unveiled its Common Operating Environment (COE)

Implementation Plan, an effort consisting of an Army's plan to modernize

equipment and weapons systems around a common set of IT standards and

architecture as it develops a truly networked force.

The goal of COE is to reduce the development timeline,

lower development cost, and shorten the time required to integrate and

certify systems. We will accomplish this by transitioning to an approved

set of standards, processes and products. The COE implementation provides

the detailed direction to industry partners and Army program managers to

guide that transition. This will allow the Army to more quickly and

efficiently develop and field interoperable software based capability to our


The plan will help establish, and make public, Army technical standards,

processes and practices which any vendor can understand, internalize and

build towards. The COE Implementation Plan will remain a living artifact and

be updated as the Army continues to evolve its network standards and

synchronized fielding methods. The Army will continuously seek industry

input as COE implementation is executed.

Without sacrificing warfighter functionality and data security, the COE will

promote open systems, integrated architectures and common standards that

maximize interoperability and integration between applications and ease the

challenge of adding new functionality.

The COE Implementation Plan is an important step in realizing strategic

software reuse across the Army. The COE Implementation plan promotes the

alignment of Army programs into six Computing Environments (CE) based on

mission and environment (Size, weight, power, and bandwidth) limitations.

Each CE will be base lined on a common foundation (hardware and software) to

facilitate reuse of common components. Each CE will be designed to

interoperate with the others, thus forming the COE. The interface between

CEs will be enabled through the establishment of Control Points i.e. tightly

controlled technical specifications that act as the blueprint for how data

will be exchanged between CEs. Implementation will be in a phased approach

expected to be executed over the next several years.

"The Army COE Implementation Plan is based on the Guidance for 'End State'

Army Enterprise Network Architecture developed by the Army's Chief

Information Officer (CIO) G6. The document contains approved technologies,

products and standards. The G6 vision is grounded in the idea that

technologies and programs can transition to this common computing

environment, making it easier to leverage commercial innovation and

synchronize emerging technologies with existing systems", said Mr.Terry

Edwards, Director of ASA (ALT) s Office of the Chief Systems Engineer.

"To prevent starting from scratch, we assessed the systems in each CE and

identified if there was one we could use as a single foundation, based on

software architecture, operating systems, services, data, and interfaces in

order to establish the foundations to build on," said Ms. Monica

Farah-Stapleton, the ASA(ALT) OCSE lead for COE.

"Transitioning to the COE in accordance with the Implementation Plan

represents a significant cultural shift in the way the Army will acquire and

develop systems. The Plan is designed to tell industry upfront and

with certainty the parameters within which Army applications and

foundational software must fit. The plan is to establish an Ecosystem for

each of the CE's so that developers have access to architectures,

foundational products, SDK's and certification environments required for


applications," Edwards explained.

A few of the many challenges we must address include transitioning from a

systems focused architecture to a software applications focus; effectively

reusing software and architectures; creating a circumstance wherein Programs

of Record can integrate applications built by others; aligning requirements

to the various CEs; establishing a process to sunset PORs that are not

required; and building the correct cost models.

"Our strategy for implementing this COE vision is transformational in that

it will change how we define requirements, resource, acquire, test and

deliver capability to the Warfighter. Army acquisition is becoming much more


recognizing the need to adapt to rapidly evolving technology. A key step in

that process is defining the

common technical standards establishing a foundation for the Army, partnered

with industry, to modernize more quickly and efficiently while providing

Warfighters with interoperability as we move toward a fully networked Army,"

said Ms. Heidi Shyu, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army - Acquisition,


and Technology (ASA ALT).

The COE Implementation Plan can be found:

Related Documents:

Common Operating Environment Implementation Plan [PDF]

Related Links:

CoE Implementation Plan

ASA(ALT) Homepage

Army Network Modernization