Utilizing technology at sea presents unique challenges with connectivity. The U.S. Navy and the DoD at large are incorporating more connected devices, including drones and unmanned systems, into day-to-day military activity to support the work of troops in the field. Before warfighters can benefit from the data these devices collect and analyze, they need a way to access it.
Developing an OCONUS Cloud
Domestically, cloud deployments are routine, but now the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is looking to extend cloud usage across the globe allowing access to key systems from ships in the middle of the ocean, in sub-Saharan Africa, on a remote island, or even in areas of Europe suddenly cut off from connectivity (as was the case with Ukraine).
Utilizing services provided by the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability and DISA’s private cloud offering, will allow OCONUS cloud users (those deployed outside of the continental U.S.) to access the same tools and systems they use when utilizing U.S.-based clouds. This approach supports the vision for Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2).
Making JADC2 a Reality
The vision of JADC2 is to connect sensors from all of the military services—Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Space Force—into a single network to enable greater information sharing and data access. The Navy is doing their part via Project Overmatch, working to create pathways for data whether troops or devices are on land or at sea. In 2023, the Navy is planning a carrier strike group demonstration that will deploy software and hardware across the 11 carrier groups to illustrate how connectivity between these constantly moving assets can be achieved.
Calling in the Drones
2023 will also see the launch of the first ever unmanned surface fleet. Developed by Task Force 59, the fleet integrates unmanned systems with artificial intelligence for maritime applications. The use of unmanned assets allows the Navy to greatly multiply the number of “eyes” they have on the water, providing a more complete situational view. The fleet is connected via a mesh network that constantly communicates collected data as well as information on drone health and maintenance.
- Navy Large Unmanned Surface and Undersea Vehicles (white paper) – This paper details The Navy’s proposal to develop and procure three types of large, unmanned vehicles (UVs) called Large Unmanned Surface Vehicles (LUSVs), Medium Unmanned Surface Vehicles (MUSVs), and Extra-Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (XLUUVs). The Navy wants to acquire these large UVs as part of an effort to shift to a new fleet architecture (i.e., a new combination of ships and other platforms) that is more widely distributed.
- Emerging Military Technologies (white paper) – This report provides an overview of selected emerging military technologies in the United States, China, and Russia such as artificial intelligence, lethal autonomous weapons, hypersonic weapons, directed energy weapons, biotechnology, and quantum technology. It also discusses relevant initiatives within international institutions to monitor or regulate these technologies, considers the potential implications of emerging military technologies for war-fighting, and outlines associated issues.
- Drones within the Federal Government (white paper) – Read highlights from a discussion among Federal Government experts on the various aspects of using drones to advance agency mission and serve constituents – including, but not limited to, data security, drone operation safety, domestic versus foreign manufacturers, public perception, and more.
- Pathways to Implementing Comprehensive and Collaborative JADC2 (white paper) – This paper describes the implementation strategy for Joint All Domain Command and Control and lays out the pathway for future Joint Force networked Command and Control (C2). This complex planning effort offers an overarching framework to connect service efforts and ensure the United States can work effectively with its allies and partners.
- WEST Conference and Exhibition (February 14-16, 2023; San Diego, CA) – Co-sponsored by AFCEA International and the U.S. Naval Institute, WEST is a key event for the makers of platforms and the designers of technologies to network, discuss and demonstrate their solutions.
- Information Warfare Forum (March 15, 2023; virtual) – Top military leaders, government officials and industry executives will convene to discuss the implications of information warfare’s rise — and what the Department of Defense is doing to prepare for it.