DISA enhancing GCCS at Northcom

The Defense Information Systems Agency soon will be adding an integrated imagery and intelligence (I3) enhancement to the Global Command and Control System (GCCS) being used by the Defense Department's new Northern Command.

The I3 capabilities will be put in next week, in the first of numerous phases aimed at enhancing GCCS for use by Northcom as it nears its official launch Oct. 1, said Don Eddington, chief of the center for information technology integration at DISA.

GCCS features a common operational picture that top DOD commanders worldwide use to control and manage forces as well as obtain near real-time graphical snapshots of friendly and potentially enemy forces.

The I3 features are used at several commands elsewhere around the world and will be the first step in implementing a Common Relevant Releasable Operational Picture at Northcom during the next year, Eddington said, speaking Sept. 11 at the Homeland Security and National Defense Symposium in Atlantic City, N.J.

The difficulty in establishing the Common Relevant Releasable Operational Picture is not so much determining what is relevant, but what is releasable, Eddington said. "The hard part is some things are needed at the unclassified level when most of what we start with is secret."

Further complicating matters is that Northcom will include both air and ground defenses, which are "two separate worlds," Eddington told Federal Computer Week, adding that Northcom also will need to resolve policy issues about what information must be shared, and with whom, among the intelligence, defense and civilian communities.

"Over the next 12 months, we'll work with [Northcom] and decide what else to put in the picture," he said.

The symposium sponsors are the Army's Communications-Electronics Command, the Association of the U.S. Army's Fort Monmouth, N.J., chapter, the Association of Old Crows' Garden State chapter and the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association's Fort Monmouth chapter.

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