Army, Navy, Air Force Plan for Collaborative Comms

DoD Pentagon Military

The secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force emphasized their commitment to working together, including a joint memo to make sure communications systems are interoperable between the service branches.

The joint memo, sent to service acquisition executives, ensures “an open mission-systems architecture,” said Heather Wilson, secretary of the Air Force, during a Center for Strategic and International Studies event on Feb. 8.

“Everybody has standards for communications, and everybody knows what the other’s standards are,” she noted. “If we’re going to multi-domain operations, which is also part of the Air Force approach to this, we need to able to have any sensor connect any shooter at very rapid mission speed-to-machine speed. The ability to communicate, and know what those standards are, and that all of our equipment will be done that way in all three services, that’s a very big deal.”

“It’s probably one of the most important things we’ve done together,” she added.

The secretaries noted that the collaboration between the branches extended to other areas as well.

“I sat there during one of our breakfasts we have every two weeks, and said, ‘Wow, you have the Warfighting Integration Center [at the Air Force], you have the new [Army] Futures Command, let’s get Navy and Marines installed in both of these.’ So we’re hearing about it in real-time, and can adopt, adapt and bring it in, rather than traditional stovepiping,” said Richard Spencer, secretary of the Navy.

The collaboration between the branches represents the evolving nature of warfare in the future, not fitting neatly into the categories of land, air, and sea.

“The Army is working on our new doctrine called multi-domain operations…it’s another key line of effort for the Army to modernize in the future,” said Mark Esper, secretary of the Army. “It allows us to work cross-domain, supporting each other in different ways, and of course, multi-domain is not just the air domain and Navy, but it’s cyber, it’s space, and it’s electromagnetic spectrum as well.”

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