Services grapple with 'any sensor, any shooter' network concept

soldier and IoT sensor network 

The Joint All Domain Command and Control effort aims to connect every soldier, device and weapons platform, and is one of the Joint Staff's top priorities for future warfare. But data infrastructure and messaging will make or break the program, top brass said at a March 5 budget hearing.

"The only question is how you deliver it," Gen. John Murray, the head of Army Futures Command testified when asked whether there was adequate cooperation between the services to achieve the military's "any sensor, any shooter" communications network objectives during a House Armed Services Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee 2021 budget hearing March 5.

"It all comes down to data and data architectures. So how you build that architecture that allows all the services to plug in. Nobody's arguing the concept of [Joint All Domain Command and Control], it's how we get to, for a joint force, to enable that fight in that data architecture."

Each service has been grappling with its own version of multi-domain communications, coordinating with each other along the way, but to get to the concept, dubbed JADC2, the military will also have to refine its definition, according to Lt. Gen. Eric Smith, commanding general for Marine Corps Combat Development Command.

"The concept that I don't think we do as good of a job as we should of explaining what any sensor, any shooter really means. A Marine on the ground in place x should be able to pass data through the Joint All Domain Command and Control to an Army unit that then fires a precision strike missile or to an Air Force F-35A or that F-35B that's flying passes it to me and I shoot a ground based anti-ship missile," said Smith, who is also the deputy commandant for combat development and integration.

"The concept is passing data and we're being very mindful that the systems, the form factors that we need as ground forces are able to feed into something without being forced into a specific methodology in which to pass data."

About the Author

Lauren C. Williams is senior editor for FCW and Defense Systems, covering defense and cybersecurity.

Prior to joining FCW, Williams was the tech reporter for ThinkProgress, where she covered everything from internet culture to national security issues. In past positions, Williams covered health care, politics and crime for various publications, including The Seattle Times.

Williams graduated with a master's in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a bachelor's in dietetics from the University of Delaware. She can be contacted at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @lalaurenista.

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