Joint fight: Pentagon‘s push for Mission Partner Environment
12 May 2022
by Carlo Munoz
US and partner country military personnel participate in an MPE computer network demonstration in Suffolk, Virginia, on 4 November 2021. (US Department of Defense)
From the ‘coalition of the willing‘ that underpinned the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, the evolution of coalition warfare has been accelerated by the maturation of information, networking, and communication technologies that have enabled disparate armed forces to wage war under one banner.
The technological advances made by the US Department of Defense (DoD) to support coalition operations, and the department's self-imposed transition from network-centric to data-centric operations, has triggered a demand inside the Pentagon for new ways to share critical data with coalition forces.
The DoD‘s most advanced effort for getting the US and its allies on the same data footing, from the strategic to the tactical level, is the Mission Partner Engagement (MPE) programme.
Since being named the Joint Staff's chief information officer (J6) in May 2021, US Marine Corps Lieutenant General Dennis Crall has made development of the MPE and modernisation of Identity, Credential, and Access Management (ICAM) processes, a key enabler for any MPE programme, a top priority.
SOCOM explores new Tactical Mission Network concept
20 May 2022
by Carlo Munoz
A US Air Force Special Operations Weather Technician sends intelligence to the Reconnaissance Operations Center during the Marine's Reconnaissance Team Leader Course's final exercise on 31 October 2017. SOCOM is soliciting industry proposals to improve its Global Analytics Platform to process, exploit, and disseminate battlefield intelligence. (US Department of Defense )
US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) is exploring a new edge networking concept, focused on operationalising chat and data-sharing environments patterned closely after commercial applications like WhatsApp, Signal and Facebook Messenger.
The concept, dubbed within the command as the Tactical Mission Network, from a technology perspective is centred around “a commercially cloud-hosted set of collaboration tools, where we have a file share chat, instant messenger, [and data] typing for basic mapping that allows [partner nations] to consume at the edge and collaborate,” US Army Colonel Joseph Pishock, director of global networks and services (J63) at USSOCOM, said.
The network concept being fleshed out by Col Pishock and others in the command is predominantly focused on enabling USSOCOM's security forces assistance (SFA) missions and other non-clandestine ‘white' operations carried out by US special operations units worldwide.
FlashHawk is designed to enable small airborne platforms to perform 3D geolocation of communications emitters. (Avantix)
French electronic warfare (EW) house Avantix has begun initial production of its FlashHawk airborne communications intelligence/communications electronic support measures (COMINT/CESM) system in anticipation of launch orders.
Intended for integration on a range of air platforms – including fixed-wing intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft; helicopters; unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs); and balloons – FlashHawk has been designed as a low-size, weight, and power (SWaP) CESM sensor that can provide instantaneous detection, characterisation, localisation, and identification of short-burst emitters in the VHF/UHF (30–3,000 MHz) communication bands. The system uses a patented compact antenna design to achieve precise 3D geolocation (typically 1° RMS) that is sufficient for immediate cueing of an electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor for real-time visualisation and video tracking.
According to Avantix, the antenna design and sensor processing implemented in FlashHawk can perform near-instantaneous location of ground-based communication emitters, including push-to-talk (PTT) radios, military radios, mobile telecommunications, and satellite telephones. Speaking to Janes
US naval officials plan to conduct more Arctic operations
20 May 2022
by Michael Fabey
USMC and NATO forces trained for Arctic operations during Exercise ‘Cold Response 2022‘ in Norway. (Michael Fabey)
The US Navy (USN) and US Marine Corps (USMC) will be conducting more operations in the Arctic, according to officials from both services.
”In both Alaska and frankly in Europe, we‘re going to more frequently deploy smaller units for two to four weeks at a time,” General David Berger, USMC commandant, testified on 18 May before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense during its hearing on the fiscal year (FY) 2023 USN and USMC budget request.
“You do large exercises to learn big lessons and send big messages, but smaller units more frequently on a more enduring basis have a lot of return on investment too,” said Gen Berger.
The USMC trained with other NATO forces in northern Norway earlier this year during the exercise ‘Cold Response 2022'.
During the same hearing, Admiral Michael Gilday, USN chief of naval operations (CNO) noted the service's recent history of increased operations in the region.
Podcast recording date: 26 April 2022.
Huw Williams of our EMEA news team chairs a discussion focussed on the Russian invasion of Ukraine featuring Amael Kotlarski, Senior Analyst at Janes, Thomas Bullock, Senior Russia and CIS OSINT Analyst a...