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Platform integration, commonality challenges hinder CJADC2

A US Air Force officer operates a virtual reality headset in support of the Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) Onramp 2 on 2 September 2020 at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. The ABMS is the air-domain component of the CJADC2 capability. (US Air Force)

The Pentagon's ongoing maturation of its Combined Joint All-Domain Command and Control (CJADC2) capability is being dramatically hindered at the services' level because of a lack of specific, concrete operational command-and-control (C2) requirements – from well-defined mission threads to a realistic data management strategy – and challenges in integrating legacy systems, according to senior service officials.

The concept behind CJADC2 – the ability to detect, identify, target, and potentially strike anything on the battlefield in any domain at any time – has been a long-standing objective of the US Department of Defense (DoD). However, in the three years since the department kicked off the capability's development, service leaders tasked with CJADC2 implementation continue to grapple with the viability of the concept at the operational and tactical level.

β€œThe lack of specificity and congruence around a well-defined mission thread that we are all trying to solve … is somewhat problematic when it comes to actually being able to articulate how [the systems and platforms] we are putting together are going to match up” under the CJADC2 capability, the Integrating Program Executive Officer for Command, Control, Communications, and Battle Management, US Air Force (USAF) Brigadier General Luke Cropsey, said.

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