The Navy`s Tactical Aircraft Strike Planning Process

W. A. MENNER
2. T
ask strike
teams
1. Receive
tasking
3. Brainstor m
rough plan
8. Gather
BDA
Strike
planning
cycle
7. Execute
the mission
4. Brief
5. Create
detailed plan
6. Conduct
briefings
The Navy’s Tactical Aircraft Strike Planning Process
William A. Menner
P
lanning tactical aircraft strikes aboard the Navy’s aircraft carriers is a complex
process involving many different organizations, people, data, and computer systems.
The process occurs within a series of events called the strike planning cycle. This
repetitive cycle begins with the reception of a task and ends with the collection of
strike assessment data. Within the cycle lie steps for strike planning that are divided
into functional areas such as weaponeering and asset coordination. Planners are
assisted by organizations that perform functions such as intelligence analysis and
weather forecasting. Automated systems are used in the aircraft carrier’s intelligence
center to process the high volume of data that influence planning decisions. This
article describes the Navy’s tactical aircraft strike planning process and provides
insights into the challenges facing future strike planning efforts.
(Keywords: Aircraft Carrier Intelligence Center, Strike planning, Tactical aircraft.)
INTRODUCTION
“Basher 52, this is Basher 11.”
“Basher 52, this is Basher 11. Are you up on this
frequency?”
“This is Basher 52.”
“Say again. Understand this is Basher 52.”
“This is Basher 52. I’m alive.”
“Say again, Basher 52. You are weak and unreadable.
This is Basher 11.”
“This is Basher 52!” [Pause]
“Basher 52, what squadron were you in at Kunsan?”
“Juvats! Juvats! I’m alive!”
“Copy that. You’re alive! Basher 52, sit tight and come
back up at 15 past the hour.”
90
CAG
At 0200 on 8 June 1995, this radio conversation
occurred between Air Force Captains Scott O’Grady
(Basher 52) and T. O. Hanford (Basher 11).1 It was the
first contact with O’Grady since a Bosnian Serb SA-6
surface-to-air missile (SAM) slammed into his singleseat F-16 fighter aircraft, forcing him to eject into
hostile territory on 2 June 1995. The contact occurred
during Hanford’s reconnaissance flight, and it touched
off a furious round of final preparations for a rescue
mission.2
During the 6 days before the rescue, the Navy and
Marines convened a crisis action team onboard the
USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) in the Adriatic Sea to plan a
combat search and rescue (CSAR) mission. Many
decisions had to be made in these planning sessions.
JOHNS HOPKINS APL TECHNICAL DIGEST, VOLUME 18, NUMBER 1 (1997)
THE NAVY’S TACTICAL AIRCRAFT STRIKE PLANNING PROCESS
GLOSSARY
AIC
AIM
APS
ATO
ATP
AWACS
BDA
CAG
CCDB
CCTV
CIA
CMSA
COMINT
CSAR
CTAPS
CV/CVN
CVIC
CVW
C4 I
DIA
DIWS-A
DMA
DoDIIS
ELINT
EO
EOTDA
FLIR
FOSIF
HARM
IR
IREPS
ISAR
JAC
JDISS
JIC
JICPAC
JMCIS
JMEM
JSIPS-N
LSP
METOC
MEU
Atlantic Intelligence Command
Air intercept missile
Afloat Planning System
Air tasking order
Advanced tactical processor
Airborne Warning and Control System
Battle damage assessment
Carrier Air Wing Commander
Common cryptologic database
Closed-circuit television
Central Intelligence Agency
Cruise Missile Support Activity
Communications intelligence
Combat search and rescue
Contingency TACS (Theater Air Control
System) Automated Planning System
Aircraft carrier
Carrier Intelligence Center
Carrier air wing
Command, control, communications,
computers, and intelligence
Defense Intelligence Agency
Digital Imagery Workstation Suite-Afloat
Defense Mapping Agency
DoD Intelligence Information System
Electronic intelligence
Electro-optical
Electro-optical tactical decision aids
Forward-looking IR receiver
Fleet Ocean Surveillance Intelligence Facility
High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile
Infrared
Integrated Radar Effects Prediction System
Inverse synthetic aperture radar
Joint Analysis Center
Joint Deployable Intelligence Support System
Joint Intelligence Center
JIC Pacific
Joint Maritime Command Information
System
Joint Munitions Effectiveness Manual
Joint Services Imagery Processing
System-Navy
Launch sequence plan
Meteorological and Oceanographic Center
Marine expeditionary unit
How large a force and precisely which aircraft with
what weapons were needed? What threats were present
in the rescue zone, and how were those threats best
countered? Which routes would optimize use of terrain
masking? What time was best for the rescue? What rules
of engagement were needed? What were the “no-go”
MIIDS/IDB
Military Intelligence Integrated Data
System/Integrated Data Base
MISREP
Mission report
MSI
Multisource interpretation
NIPS
Naval Intelligence Processing System
NIS
National input segment
NSA
National Security Agency
OOB
Order of battle
PC
Personal computer
PPDB
Point-positioning database
PTW
Precision Targeting Workstation
RECCEXREP Reconnaissance exploitation report
SAM
Surface-to-air missile
SAO
Special Activities Office
SAR
Synthetic aperture radar
SEAD
Suppression of enemy air defenses
SIAC
Strike intelligence analysis cell
SIGINT
Signal intelligence
SPA
Strike Planning Archive
SPINS
Special instructions
SPRAC
Special Processing and Reporting Activity
Network
SSC
Surface surveillance coordination
SSES
Ship’s signal exploitation space
STRED
Standard tactical receive equipment display
SUPPLOT
Supplemental plot
TAMPS
Tactical Automated Mission Planning
System
TARPS
Tactical Airborne Reconnaissance Pod
System
TDP
Tactical data processor
TEAMS
Tactical EA-6B Missile Support System
TESS
Tactical Environmental Support System
TIS
Tactical input segment
TOPScene
Tactical Operation Preview Scene
TRAP
Tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel
TRE
Tactical receive equipment
TSA
Target Selection Analysis (publication)
TSCM
Tactical Strike Coordination Module
TTPs
Tactics, techniques, and procedures
TUT
Technology uprade to TEAMS
UAV
Unmanned air vehicle
USACOM
U.S. Atlantic Command
USCINCPAC U.S. Commander-in-Chief Pacific
VTC
Video teleconferencing
5D
Demand-driven direct digital dissemination
criteria for calling off or delaying the rescue? These
were just some of the critical issues that had to be
addressed.
This article describes the Navy’s process for answering these (and other) mission planning questions.
Specifically, the planning process for tactical aircraft
JOHNS HOPKINS APL TECHNICAL DIGEST, VOLUME 18, NUMBER 1 (1997)
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W. A. MENNER
strikes is presented as it occurs onboard the Navy’s
aircraft carriers (CVs). For our purposes here, “mission
planning” means preparation to provide a crew with all
necessary information and material to successfully deliver a weapon against an assigned target or complete
a non–weapon-related objective (such as CSAR);
“strike planning” means the coordination and collection of missions into packages that allow the successful
delivery of multiple weapons and the completion of
multiple objectives.
The information in this article was gathered by the
author during interviews with Fleet experts and via
observations at training centers and exercise sites, the
highlight of which was a cruise aboard the USS Enterprise (CVN 65). Numerous interviews and observations
were necessary because the entire strike planning process draws upon many different organizations, people,
and data. Whereas most related literature describes
only a narrow part of the process, this article shows the
interrelationship of these seemingly disjointed elements of strike planning, which is essential for systemslevel evaluations of the overall strike planning process.
To this end, the final sections of the article focus on
improvement initiatives for ensuring continued strike
planning success. As a prelude to these initiatives, the
following sections describe the four primary components of the strike planning process:
1. The strike planning cycle
2. Strike planning functions
3. The CV Intelligence Center (CVIC), intelligence
gathering, and support functions
4. Automated support systems
THE STRIKE PLANNING CYCLE
The strike planning process occurs within the context of a sequence of events called the strike planning
cycle. This repetitive cycle begins with receipt of a task
and ends with the collection of strike assessment data
as shown in Fig. 1. This figure will be expanded
throughout the article to graphically depict the relationships among various strike planning activities,
spaces, and systems. In this section, we place the strike
planning cycle into perspective with the command
decision process and describe the cycle’s individual
components.
Air Tasking Order
Before strike leaders of tactical aircraft ever assemble
to plan the details of a strike, many decisions have
already been made at a national level by the National
Command Authority, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and
Commanders in Chief. These decisions, which approve
targets, weapons, strategic objectives, etc., are passed to
the military services and are progressively refined by the
92
2. Task strike
teams
1. Receive
tasking
8. Gather
BDA
3. Brainstorm
rough plan
Strike
planning
cycle
7. Execute
the mission
4. Brief CAG
5. Create
detailed plan
6. Conduct
briefings
Figure 1. The strike planning cycle (consult glossary for the
definition of acronyms in this and subsequent figures).
Joint Forces Commander, the Joint Forces Air
Component Commander, Strike Warfare Commanders,
and Battlegroup Commanders. For tactical aircraft, this
progressive refinement leads to an Air Tasking Order
(ATO), which, along with special instructions (SPINS),
serves as the foundation upon which CV-based strike
teams begin their planning.
Depending on the nature of the conflict being addressed, the ATO and SPINS can provide very specific
information, down to the desired mean point of impact
and basic encyclopedia (a compilation of identified
installations and physical areas of potential significance as objectives of attack) designation. In other
situations, tasking may only state objectives from
which specific target data must be determined onboard
the carrier.
Generation of an ATO is cyclical, and at any
particular time, several ATOs may be developing.3 It
typically takes 72 hours to complete a single ATO.
Contingency strikes are developed throughout deployments, however, and in emergency situations the time
line can be compressed to 4 to 8 hours.
Strike Teams
Once the ATO and SPINS are complete, they are
provided to CV-based strike teams via the Contingency
Theater Air Control System Automated Planning
System (CTAPS), usually about 12 to 18 hours before
launch. A strike team generally includes one representative from each air wing squadron. Each squadron is
responsible for the role of a particular aircraft (e.g.,
EA-6B, ES-3A, E- 2C, F-14, and F/A-18), a role commonly referred to as an element of the strike. Strike
JOHNS HOPKINS APL TECHNICAL DIGEST, VOLUME 18, NUMBER 1 (1997)
THE NAVY’S TACTICAL AIRCRAFT STRIKE PLANNING PROCESS
teams—as many as eight or nine—are designated before
deployment to facilitate training and to ultimately
provide rapid response when an ATO is received and
the Carrier Air Wing Commander (CAG) assigns a
particular team to plan a real strike. Each strike team
has a designated leader, who, with help from squadron
representatives, is responsible for generating a strike
plan to satisfy the ATO.
Planning Overview
Initial strike planning is dynamic and interactive.
Each squadron representative provides a particular expertise that allows the strike team to quickly brainstorm
a reasonably complete, but rough, high-level plan. This
brainstorming process involves such activities as selecting appropriate ordnance, determining threat avoidance and suppression techniques, exploiting terrain,
and determining the best approach and timing for the
strike. Brainstorming fosters consideration of multiple
alternatives to determine the best overall approach for
achieving strike objectives.
Once developed, the rough plan is briefed to the
CAG by the strike team leader. This briefing, commonly called the laptop brief, is essentially an informal
progress report. The CAG’s questions and suggestions
present alternatives and contingencies.
Having incorporated feedback from the CAG, the
strike team leader tasks all members of the team to plan
the details in their areas of expertise. This process involves a wide range of activities including weapon
selection, determination of waypoint (point or series of
points in space to which an aircraft may be vectored),
fuel usage calculation, time line development, and
communications planning. Throughout the planning
process, it is also important to assess the likelihood of
various risks, to carefully consider go/no-go criteria, and
to plan alternative courses of action. The strike team
leader ensures that each part of the plan is integrated
into a cohesive and comprehensive whole.
Several computer systems aid the planning process,
most notably the Tactical Automated Mission Planning
System (TAMPS). This interactive, graphical system
gives aircrew planning tools for integrating aircraft and
weapon system mission roles. Connected to TAMPS
are databases that supply information on mapping,
charting, geodesy, imagery, intelligence, the environment, and aircraft and weapon performance. (Computer
support for the strike planning process is discussed
further in this article under Automated Support Systems.)
conflict, and the strike plan, along with its associated
materials (e.g., aviator kneeboard cards; see section on
Products of the Seven Functional Steps), is explained.
During the briefing, a representative from the Meteorological and Oceanographic Center (METOC) will
provide weather-related flight data. An intelligence
officer will also brief strike participants regarding the
order of battle (OOB) and threats. The overall briefing
is typically conducted in the CVIC and viewed in ready
rooms and command centers throughout the CV via
closed-circuit television (CCTV).
Element briefings, which commonly occur in ready
rooms immediately after the overall briefing, allow
strike participants with a particular responsibility to
discuss details specific to an individual element. The
final portion of this cascade of briefings occurs as the
flight crew for each aircraft meet to discuss personal
responsibilities within the cockpit.
Mission Execution
With details firmly in mind, flight crews and aircraft
launch off the deck of the CV to execute the strike.
Before launch, the aircraft’s weight and weapon loadout
(the particular set of weapons attached to the aircraft)
are factored into fuel usage calculations. The amount
of fuel at launch is often based on weight and route
parameters, and airborne refueling with tankers (e.g.,
KA-6 and S-3B aircraft) is carefully planned. Despite
exceptional attention to detail, however, the plan must
be robust enough to accommodate unexpected events
ranging from undetected SAM sites to weather changes.
Replanning may also occur during mission execution, for
example, in response to target or threat movements.
Battle Damage Assessment
In campaign operations, multiple strike planning cycles
may overlap. Thus, the quick acquisition of battle
damage assessment (BDA) data is a critical part of
target prioritization efforts for subsequent strikes. Without proof of success, targets often must be restruck
before the campaign can proceed. Because a conflict
can frequently cease as soon as a strategic advantage is
achieved, rapid feedback is also necessary for political
reasons. Returning strikers provide BDA data in two
primary forms: verbal debriefings and data from flight
imagery recording systems. Both forms are processed in
the CVIC. The BDA data can also be obtained from
national and theater sensors.
Briefings
STRIKE PLANNING FUNCTIONS
About 3 hours before the strike is executed, a series
of briefings is initiated. The overall briefing is given by
the strike team leader to all strike participants. The
strike is placed into perspective within the ongoing
Creation of a single-strike plan typically begins with
targeteering (see below). Once targets and target characteristics are determined, weapons are assigned to
achieve an objective level of damage, and threats are
JOHNS HOPKINS APL TECHNICAL DIGEST, VOLUME 18, NUMBER 1 (1997)
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W. A. MENNER
assessed for suppression to ensure sanctuaries for weapon
delivery. This analysis also helps determine which strike
assets are needed at what times to ensure a successful
strike. Then it remains to determine the specific ingress
and target area as well as egress tactics, techniques, and
procedures (TTPs) to minimize risks. When all aspects
of the strike have been planned, it is then rehearsed to
increase familiarity and to make refinements.
These single-strike planning functions are performed by the strike team in the “brainstorm rough
plan” and “create detailed plan” steps of the strike
planning cycle (Fig. 2). In addition, the strike leader
integrates the single strike with other strikes and operations to achieve maximum military effectiveness.
Targeteering
Targeteering involves evaluating the vulnerabilities
of an adversary’s military, political, and economic systems and determining the effects of loss or impairment
to those systems.4 Data from many intelligence sources
support targeteering and enable the most effective use
of resources in defeating an adversary. Intelligence personnel gather target data continually and activate intelligence collection assets to fill in data shortfalls.
Quick input from BDA assessments is also critical to
the efficient use of resources and risk minimization.
Weaponeering
Weaponeering involves determining the best weapon to employ in the most efficient quantity to achieve
an objective damage level on a target. Weaponeering
considers target construction and materials as well as
weapon capability, reliability, accuracy, and delivery
parameters. Often, weaponeering plans are severely
restricted by collateral damage concerns. The CV engineering support to reconfigure the aircraft with the
desired weapons loadout must also be scheduled.
Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses
This function (SEAD) involves defeating an adversary’s air defense system to create sanctuaries for strike
operations. Air defense systems vary in complexity and
organization and may consist of ground- and air-based
elements. Ground-based air defense systems range from
isolated SAM sites to antiair artillery and SAM sites
under radar guidance and C4I (command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence) control.
(This C4I system type is referred to as an integrated air
defense system.)
Suppression can occur prior to or concurrent with
the strike. The objective of SEAD before a strike is to
make available permanent sanctuary via threat hardkill. Concurrent SEAD maintains an element of
Strike planning functions
Multistrike objectives
2. Task strike
teams
1. Receive
tasking
3. Brainstorm
rough plan
Coordinate w/
other strikes and
operations
Vary
tactics
Single-strike objectives
8. Gather
BDA
Strike
planning
cycle
7. Execute
the mission
4. Brief CAG
Perform
targeteering
Perform
weaponeering
Assess
threats/SEAD
needs
Determine
strike
composition
Determine
strike timing
and LSP
Determine
TTPs
5. Create
detailed plan
Rehearse
the mission
6. Conduct
briefings
Aircraft data loads
Kneeboard cards
Briefings
Figure 2. Strike planning functions.
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JOHNS HOPKINS APL TECHNICAL DIGEST, VOLUME 18, NUMBER 1 (1997)
THE NAVY’S TACTICAL AIRCRAFT STRIKE PLANNING PROCESS
surprise but must be deconflicted with the other strike
elements; it may also only require softkill of the air
defense system. Electronic warfare aircraft (e.g., EA-6B)
are used for jamming and to target enemy air defenses
with antiradiation missiles. The Tomahawk Land Attack
Missile is another prime weapon of choice for hardkill
SEAD.
Enemy air-based defense systems include fighter aircraft, often with radar and C4I connectivity. Such
defenses are neutralized with the fighter element of the
strike package. This element is typically composed of
F-14D Tomcats loaded with a variety of air intercept
missiles (e.g., AIM 7s, 9s, and 54s).
Strike Composition
The strike planning team must also assign aircraft to
strike roles and weapons (i.e., determine strike composition) sufficiently to meet an objective probability of
damage. Asset availability, ordnance loads, range to
target, and timing are all considered. The strike team
must decide upon the right mix of attack, electronic
warfare, fighter escort, SEAD, and command, control,
and communications assets while also planning for
BDA, CSAR, and tanking. They may also integrate
cruise missiles, special forces, and unmanned aerial
vehicles into their plan. The availability of assets directly affects the go/no-go criteria and may influence
tactics. Spares must also be assigned to cover aircraft
fallouts and aborts.
Strike Timing and Launch Sequence Plan
Timing is critical to the success of each strike.
Deconfliction timing is important for avoiding friendlyon-friendly conflicts. Time-on-target timing is essential
for effective SEAD (softkill), for maintaining the element of surprise, and for avoiding blast fragments.
Timing between missions is also critical and must account for adversary reaction time. To complicate
matters further, environmental components (e.g., wind
velocity, cloud cover, precipitation) must also be factored into timing calculations. Each strike is a tightly
choreographed event that demands tremendous flight
discipline from every aviator.
Once the target-related timing has been calculated,
the practical matter of launching aircraft off the deck
of the CV must also be scheduled. This schedule is
contained in a launch sequence plan (LSP) and is based
on factors such as aircraft fuel efficiencies, tanking time,
time on targets, and transit time.
Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures
Tactics, techniques, and procedures are needed for
the ingress, target area, and egress phases of the strike.
During ingress, planning focuses on avoiding or
suppressing threats and finding the target. A compromise must be struck among the capability to generate
the required number of heavily loaded sorties, the safety
of the carrier, and the desire to achieve tactical surprise.
In the target area, terrain masking and high speed
are used to minimize threat exposure. Deconfliction is
coordinated by altitude, geographic location, time, or
weapon selection. Variance in time on target and delivery maneuvers is important to avoid blast fragment
patterns. BDA collection also begins at this time.
During egress, aircraft regain mutual support quickly
and use established procedures for identifying returning
aircraft (e.g., identification friend or foe modes, return
to force procedures, and no radio procedures), especially in the event of equipment failures. When necessary,
jettison areas and pick-up points are used in conjunction with CSAR efforts.
Mission Rehearsal
Mission rehearsal is a key to building situational
awareness and strike familiarity. It can also be used as
a strike plan refinement mechanism (somewhat like
simulation) to discover and correct problems that might
threaten the safety of strike participants.
Products of the Seven Functional Steps
In executing the seven functional steps comprising
single-strike objectives (Fig. 2), strike participants produce three main products: briefings (described previously), aviator kneeboard cards, and aircraft data loads.
Kneeboard cards are 5 3 8 in. photocopies of the briefing materials that are affixed to a special board, which
is strapped to each aviator’s leg just above the knee.
Aircraft data loads are physical pieces of equipment
about the size of a loaf of bread that store data specific
to a given strike. This piece of removable hardware
receives a download from mission planning computers
in the CVIC. It is then carried to the aircraft where it
is connected to avionics systems.
The Big Picture
In addition to integrating the seven functional steps,
the strike leader must place the strike into perspective
with prior and anticipated strikes (the planning for
which often overlaps with planning for the current
strike). The leader must provide strike participants with
the “big picture” and must ensure that the strike is well
coordinated and deconflicted with other operations,
which may include joint services activity. In this higherlevel process, the importance of BDA feedback and
tactical variation is amplified.
As an element of variation, perhaps the greatest
weapon—besides overwhelming superiority—is surprise.
Deception is a fundamental element of surprise, intended
JOHNS HOPKINS APL TECHNICAL DIGEST, VOLUME 18, NUMBER 1 (1997)
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W. A. MENNER
to delay hostile responses, dissipate enemy forces, or
create enough enemy confusion to gain a controlling
advantage in an engagement. It can involve concealment, counterfeiting, decoys, diversion, or evasion and
typically exploits the threat decision maker’s existing
preconceptions. Thus, the strike leader is responsible
for much more than the simple execution of the singlestrike planning functions.
THE CVIC, INTELLIGENCE
GATHERING, AND SUPPORT
FUNCTIONS
Executing the seven strike planning functions is a
very complex task, but it is made easier by an extensive
network of support.5 Strike planners and support personnel form a type of “client”–“server” relationship.
Spaces and systems must be available for server personnel to acquire, analyze, and integrate data into usable
intelligence products. Similar spaces and systems must
be available for the client community to mold those
products into a comprehensive and coherent strike plan.
Most of these spaces and systems reside in the CVIC,
although other forms of support come from spaces such
as the METOC, the ship’s signal exploitation space
(SSES), and the supplemental plot (SUPPLOT). The
support functions performed in these spaces and their
relationship to the strike planning cycle and strike
planning functions are shown in Fig. 3.
Although each air wing squadron has its own ready
room aboard the CV for planning its unique activities,
the CVIC holds most of the strike planning data and
support systems. Thus, the CVIC is the natural meeting
place of the multisquadron strike planning team. Activities within the CVIC are led and coordinated by the
Carrier Air Wing Intelligence Commander. The commander oversees the activities of about 30 ship’s company intelligence specialists and 15 carrier air wing
officers, who most often support two 12-hour work
shifts. This intelligence group continuously gathers
Coordinate w/
other strikes and
operations
2. Task strike
teams
Vary
tactics
3. Brainstorm
rough plan
1. Receive
tasking
SSES
COMINT/SIGINT
processing
Perform
targeteering
SUPPLOT
ELINT processing
RECCEXREPs
Perform
weaponeering
CVIC Continuous intelligence preparation
of battlespace
8. Gather
BDA
MISREPs
MSI
Image processing
Mission planning
Briefing and debriefing
SSC planning
7. Execute
the mission
SIAC—fusion
Target development
Threat analysis
Combat assessment
4. Brief CAG
SIAC—planning
OOB plotting
Data and display
maintenance
Determine
strike
composition
Determine
strike timing
and LSP
5. Create
detailed plan
6. Conduct
briefings
Assess
threats/SEAD
needs
Determine
TTPs
Rehearse
the mission
METOC
Environmental data
fusion
Figure 3. The CVIC and support functions.
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THE NAVY’S TACTICAL AIRCRAFT STRIKE PLANNING PROCESS
information regarding the interests and activities of
foreign countries. Much of the data gathering focuses
on battlespace environment, target analysis, threat
analysis, and strike effectiveness determination. The
analysis and integration of these data with a thorough
understanding of strike objectives create usable intelligence for strike planners.
Fundamental to CVIC effectiveness is the ability to
quickly gather up-to-the-minute strike-related data from
appropriate sources. Many organizations provide these
data, including the following national and theater
intelligence sources: the Central Intelligence Agency
(CIA), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the
National Security Agency (NSA), Cruise Missile Support Activities (CMSAs, e.g., USACOM, USCINCPAC), Fleet Ocean Surveillance Intelligence Facilities
(FOSIFs), Joint Intelligence Centers (JICs, e.g., AIC,
JICPAC, JAC), and national imaging systems (e.g., EO,
SAR, IR).
At the attack carrier air wing (CVW) and battle
group levels, additional data such as communications,
electronic, and signal intelligence (COMINT, ELINT,
and SIGINT, respectively) are gathered by resources
such as the E-2C, EP-3, and ES-3 aircraft. Imagery is
also obtained by organic assets such as forward-looking
infrared receivers (FLIRs), the Tactical Airborne Reconnaissance Pod System (TARPS), and unmanned air
vehicles (UAVs). There are also many onboard systemrelated databases that support the strike planning process (e.g., Military Intelligence Integrated Data System/
Integrated Data Base [MIIDS/IDB]). Table 1 summarizes many of the data sources available to strike planners.
Evaluating information from all of these data sources
is a daunting task performed by CVW and ship’s
company intelligence personnel, with help from the
METOC, SSES, and SUPPLOT. Together, these groups
analyze and integrate huge amounts of data into usable
intelligence, which is coherently organized and displayed in the CVIC. This intelligence is provided as a
service to clients to create strike plans.
Even though each CVIC has a different layout, they
all have three primary support areas: (1) the strike
intelligence analysis cell (SIAC), which supports both
data fusion and planning, (2) multisource interpretation
(MSI), and (3) mission planning. The following subsections provide brief summaries of the functions performed
in these areas as well as the sources of data that are used
in the process. A summary is provided in Table 2.
Table 1. Data organization in the strike planning process.
The Strike Intelligence
Analysis Cell
Data analyzers and integrators
Data sources
CV-based
CVIC-based
Data users
People and
CIA, CMSAs,
METOC
organizations
DIA, FOSIFs, SSES
JICs, NSA
SUPPLOT
CV and CVW
intelligence
Strike
planners
Data and
systems
AWACS
COMINT
ELINT
Mission data
SIGNT
UAV
CCDB
CVW debriefs
DMA charts
DoDIIS
Intelink
JMEMs
MIIDS/IDB
NIS
NIPS
PPDB
SAO packages
Target folders
TIS
TSAs
Weather
EOTDA
IREPS
TESS
ISAR
SPRAC
ATP
STRED
TDP
TRAP/TRE
APS
DIWS-A
JDISS
JMCIS
JSIPS-N
Matrix
PTW
SPA
TAMPS
TEAMS
TOPScene
TSCM
TAMPS
TEAMS
TOPScene
TSCM
Sites
Various
CV
CVIC
CVIC and
ready rooms
Note: See glossary for acronym definitions.
JOHNS HOPKINS APL TECHNICAL DIGEST, VOLUME 18, NUMBER 1 (1997)
The SIAC concept evolved
from lessons learned in the Persian
Gulf War, when a strong need was
recognized for a “one-stop intelligence shop.” The SIAC is the focal
point for intelligence support to
battle group strike operations, specifically strike aircraft, aircrew, and
the CAG. The cell also provides
support to all warfare commanders
as an integral part of the Afloat
Joint Intelligence Center (JIC). It
addresses the need for each strike
team to have common data and
analysis regarding targets and
threats. Its primary activities involve threat analysis, target development and nomination, combat
assessment, OOB maintenance,
tactical reconnaissance, and CSAR
mission support.
These activities are typically performed by the intelligence community in the data fusion area of the
SIAC. Products of this effort (e.g.,
OOB charts and target folders) are
maintained in the planning area of
the SIAC for use by strike planners.
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W. A. MENNER
Table 2. Functions performed by intelligence and support
staff in CVIC’s three primary support areas.
SIAC
MSI
Threat analysis
Processing of EO,
Target development
IR, SAR, FLIR,
and nomination
and TARPS
Combat assessment
images
OOB maintenance
Tactical
reconnaissance
CSAR mission support
Tactical display
maintenance
Mission
planning
Briefing
Debriefing
Surface
surveillance
Note: See glossary for acronym definitions.
Multisource Interpretation
Multisource interpretation is the CVIC’s image processing area. Imagery is playing an increasingly important role in target identification and BDA. A battle
group will deploy with target folder and Special Activities Office (SAO) imagery for anticipated areas of
interest. Additional imagery is obtained via organic
assets such as TARPS and FLIR and is processed onboard the carrier. Imagery from national sensors is also
obtained via database pulls.
The primary forms of imagery are electro-optical
(EO), infrared (IR), and synthetic aperture radar
(SAR). EO imagery is excellent for daylight target
identification. For night strikes, IR imagery is particularly useful. SAR imagery allows better utilization of
aircraft radar displays by flight crews and can also
penetrate weather systems, enabling collection of data
when EO and IR systems cannot. The timing of a
strike—particularly day versus night decisions—often
depends on the availability and type of imagery. Imagery of all forms is gathered, processed, and maintained
in the MSI area.
Mission Planning
The CVIC’s mission planning area is most often used
for briefing and debriefing, as well as routine surface
surveillance coordination planning. It is also used by
strike planners when multiple strike teams must use the
CVIC simultaneously (and, as a result, the SIAC is
unavailable). The overall briefing is usually conducted
in the mission planning space with CCTV links to the
ready rooms. The two primary debriefing products are
mission reports (MISREPs), which contain mission history in a textual format, and reconnaissance exploitation
reports (RECCEXREPs), which contain imagery products recorded during the mission.
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AUTOMATED SUPPORT SYSTEMS
Automated systems are needed to process the huge
amount of data that affect strike planning decisions.
Most of these systems reside in the CVIC and are intended for use by both intelligence and strike personnel.
The distribution of automated support systems across
the CVIC and support spaces is shown in Fig. 4.
Because these systems are the fourth and final component of the strike planning process, Fig. 4 also represents a summary of the process. The three primary
functions of the CVIC are shown at the figure’s center.
Outside support from other onboard organizations and
systems is also shown.
Brief descriptions of the automated systems used to
fuse strike operations with intelligence and support data
to produce a strike plan are provided in the following
sections. They are described under the heading of the
particular strike planning function that they support.
Targeteering Systems
When the ATO does not contain specific targets or
aim points, these objectives must be determined onboard the carrier. During 1995 Fleet training observations, this process involved the use of many manual
calculations along with Target Selection Analysis (TSA)
publications and the hard copy of the Joint Munitions
Effectiveness Manuals (JMEMs; a 29-volume set of
manuals from which strike planners determine appropriate weapon types, quantities, and fuse time settings
for specific targets).
Imagery of selected targets and aim points is downloaded from the demand-driven direct digital dissemination (5D) server using the Joint Deployable Intelligence Support System (JDISS). This system connects
the carrier with national intelligence databases and
allows real-time “chatter” (an e-mail–like capability)
with intelligence analysts around the world. It also
provides direct access to theater and national imagery
resources. This imagery, as well as textual target descriptions and specifications, is collected by CVIC personnel in physical target folders for use by strike planners.
Systems are under development that will streamline
targeteering and other strike planning functions. For
instance, automated versions of TSA publications and
JMEMs are being incorporated directly into other strike
planning systems. (Since the 1995 observations, a PCbased version of JMEMs has been made available.)
Systems such as Constant Web allow the quick evaluation of the critical links and nodes of a country’s
integrated air defense system. Other systems such as the
Joint Services Imagery Processing System-Navy
(JSIPS-N), which includes the Digital Imagery Workstation Suite-Afloat (DIWS-A), along with JDISS/5D,
will provide high-quality imagery for coordinate
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THE NAVY’S TACTICAL AIRCRAFT STRIKE PLANNING PROCESS
Coordinate w/
other strikes and
operations
2. Task strike
teams
Vary
tactics
CTAPS
The tactical air
strike planning process
1. Receive
tasking
SSES
ATO/SPINS
RECCEXREPs
8. Gather
BDA
Perform
targeteering
SUPPLOT TRAP/TRE
ISAR
SPRAC
STRED
ATP
TDP
Perform
weaponeering
CVIC Continuous intelligence preparation
of battlespace
SIAC—fusion
MSI
SAO
DIWS
FLIR
JDISS/5D
TARPS
JMCIS
SPA
TSAs
PCs
TEAMS/TUT
TSCM
TOPScene
JMEMs
Maps and charts
OOB charts
Target folder
PCs
7. Execute
the mission
Aircraft data loads
Determine
strike timing
and LSP
5. Create
detailed plan
Kneeboard cards
Determine
TTPs
Briefings
6. Conduct
briefings
Assess
threats/SEAD
needs
Determine
strike
composition
TAMPS
TAMPS
Mission planning
VTC
4. Brief CAG
SIAC—planning
APS
CCTV
PTW
Constant web
JSIPS-N
Matrix
Imagery systems
MISREPs
3. Brainstorm
rough plan
Rehearse
the mission
METOC
EOTDA IREPS
TESS
Figure 4. Automated support systems.
mensuration and target/aim point identification. The
Precision Targeting Workstation (PTW) is another
new system that embodies an electronic target folder
concept for better handling and storage of target materials, with an emphasis on imagery.
altitudes) forecasts. TAMPS provides an electronic
means for assigning aircraft loadouts. Both PTW and
TAMPS will eventually have electronic JMEM databases. These systems will quicken the weaponeering
process.
Weaponeering Systems
SEAD Systems
Strike planners must assess threats, collateral damage restrictions, and weather conditions in making final
decisions regarding weapon selection and delivery parameters. This process relies heavily on JMEMs.
Other systems assisting the weaponeering process
include the Tactical Environmental Support System
(TESS) and the Integrated Radar Effects Prediction
System (IREPS), which provide weather data, radar
propagation effects information, and contrail (streaks of
condensed water vapor created by an aircraft at high
The Tactical EA-6B Mission Support (TEAMS)
System/Technology Upgrade to TEAMS (TEAMS/
TUT) is the primary SEAD planning tool. It gives
EA-6B squadrons intelligence data (e.g., OOB information), worldwide terrain mapping, HARM (High-speed
Anti-Radiation Missile) jammer/receiver targeting data,
decision aids, aircraft data loads, and postflight analysis.
SEAD efforts are also supported by the Joint Maritime Command Information System (JMCIS), which is
designed to provide the overall tactical picture. The
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W. A. MENNER
system can be directly connected to many communication sources and equipment such as tactical receive
equipment (TRE), the Officer in Tactical Command
Information Exchange System, the Tactical Data Information Exchange Subsystem, and the Aegis Combat
Detection System. Electronic intelligence collection,
correlation, display, and annotation are performed by
the JMCIS. It also yields detailed information describing
every emitter (e.g., active radar) and can plot emitter
histories.
Strike Composition Systems
The determination of strike composition is a manual
process. The strike leader requests asset availability data
from each squadron and must compose the strike on the
basis of additional inputs such as strike range, timing,
threats, weaponeering requirements, and delivery parameters. The JMEMs provide answers to weaponeering
concerns, and OOB charts developed using JMCIS
provide input on threats.
The Tactical Strike Coordination Module (TSCM)
may help run this activity once it is fielded. Its purpose
is to manage all of the strike planning functions and
provide answers to “what if” strike alternative questions. The TSCM is also being developed to work
interactively with systems such as TAMPS, TEAMS,
and the Afloat Planning System (APS). It will operate
with real-time inputs from JMCIS and the central database server. Thus, detailed missions planned on these
systems will be integrated and deconflicted by the TSCM.
In addition, this module supports briefing requirements
by providing graphics, Gantt charts, annotated maps,
and tabular data.
Strike Timing Systems
Time line analysis is critical for strike integration and
deconfliction and must also consider adversary reaction
time to minimize the risk from threats. TAMPS and
TSCM are developing preview modes that can help
uncover time line problems. In this mode, a strike plan
is animated on a display screen, making timing problems visually obvious. Eventually, these systems will
incorporate smart algorithms to optimize time lines,
thereby minimizing risks from threats and allowing
strikes to achieve greater success.
The strike leader must also develop an LSP, which
dictates the timing associated with launching aircraft
from the carrier. This is another manual process that
will be automated eventually.
TTP Systems
TAMPS and TEAMS/TUT are the two primary systems used to plan TTPs. The former is used to develop,
analyze, store, and download mission data to aircraft
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and standoff or precision-guided munitions. It also
provides routes, terrain data, target locations, threat
envelopes, and weather conditions using Defense
Mapping Agency (DMA) and other imagery products.
In addition, TAMPS provides a preview capability for
mission rehearsal and strike plan refinement as well as
access to the tactical situation database, MIIDS/IDB. It
will eventually interoperate with many other Navy,
Marine Corps, and Air Force systems.
The Tactical Operational Preview Scene (TOPScene) System and the TSCM are other systems that
offer support for TTPs along with the METOC systems
that furnish vital weather information. Target folders
supply answers to target area tactics concerns, and OOB
charts developed using JMCIS provide additional input
on threats.
Mission Rehearsal Systems
Rehearsal has benefits similar to simulation, allowing the correction of defects before they become serious
problems while familiarity with the system under study
(i.e., the strike plan) is achieved. TOPScene is the
Navy’s primary mission rehearsal system. This flightsimulator–like system comes complete with joystick,
head-up display overlays, SAR, IR, FLIR, night vision
display, all-source mission terrain imagery, and videotape capabilities. TAMPS and TSCM are incorporating
strike preview modes, which are also useful for mission
rehearsal.
Briefing Systems
Briefings are typically developed by hand using
grease pencils on acetate. For the overall briefing,
acetate viewgraphs are projected onto a screen in front
of the CCTV camera for presentation in the ready
rooms. Element briefs are typically conducted in the
ready rooms and use overhead projection of acetate
viewgraphs.
O’GRADY REVISITED
At 0500 on 8 June 1995, three CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters, three AH-1W Cobra attack helicopters,
and four AV-8B Harriers lifted off the USS Kearsarge.6
Other Navy, Air Force, and Marine aircraft flying from
Aviano, Italy, would join NATO aircraft to support the
mission. A key component of the equipment package
was a NATO Airborne Warning and Control System
(AWACS) aircraft that had sufficient radar and communications capabilities to coordinate the mission and
alert forces to impending threats.
CH-53Es were used instead of CH-46s because of
their greater range capability. (O’Grady was believed to
be 100 nmi inland.) EA-6B aircraft would detect active
SAM sites and communicate with F/A-18s, which
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THE NAVY’S TACTICAL AIRCRAFT STRIKE PLANNING PROCESS
would engage the sites with HARM missiles. The
Harriers would suppress other air defenses (e.g., antiair
artillery) as well as ground threats. The Super Stallions
and Cobras would fly to O’Grady under this protection
using terrain to mask their route as much as possible.
This equipment package would only be capable of
handling small Serbian ground forces. Thus, any
mechanized force within 30 minutes of O’Grady was a
criterion for “no go.” In case of excessive trouble, a
company-sized Sparrowhawk and a second complete
TRAP (tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel)
force were prepared and staged aboard the Kearsarge.
Call signs, frequencies, rules of engagement, ingress and
egress routes, intelligence pictures, and return-to-force
procedures were explained in a briefing before launch
to raise everyone’s situational awareness. A night rescue
would have been preferred, but uncertainties about
O’Grady’s physical state, ground threats, and survival
rations necessitated immediate action.
Unanticipated help came from O’Grady, who had
chosen a perfect landing zone that was away from roads
and the local populace and large enough for two
CH-53Es. O’Grady also vectored the helicopters to his
position using his survival radio and, in the final stage,
a smoke canister. Almost as soon as the CH-53Es landed
and Marines disembarked to establish perimeter security
and prepare for their search, O’Grady, wet and caked
with mud, came running from the tree line waving his
9-mm Beretta pistol. He was promptly helped aboard
a CH-53E. The Marines quickly withdrew their positions, reboarded the helicopters, conducted a routine
head count, and lifted off heading directly for the
coastline. Total time in the landing zone was 5 minutes.
On egress, the helicopters used evasive maneuvers to
avoid small arms fire, antiair artillery, and SAMs; all
efforts were successful and no losses were suffered.
During postmission debriefing and press conferences,
O’Grady was quick to deflect his new-found hero status,
indicating that the real heroes were the members of the
rescue mission, a mission that began with a need for
data and a disciplined approach to planning.
THE CHANGING NATURE
OF WARFIGHTING
By all accounts, the O’Grady rescue was a success.
In its aftermath, however, questions have arisen regarding the nature of the rescue.6 What was the most appropriate position for the commander of the marine
expeditionary unit (MEU) during the rescue? Was the
rescue force too extensive, posing undue risks to more
troops than necessary? Did the rescue mission pose
unacceptable risks to the Clinton administration’s policy
on Bosnia?
This line of questioning is not meant to disparage
the efforts of the Marine Corps 24th MEU, who
performed heroically and commendably, having learned
to make the best of the existing process and equipment.
Rather, the questions are part of a broader inquiry into
the ways in which the strike planning process can be
improved and updated. The motivation for this inquiry
comes, in part, from experience regarding the effort
required to keep procedures and equipment in sync
with the ever-changing nature of warfighting.
The fundamental problem solved by Navy strike
planning involves the accurate placement of ordnance
on target. In recent years, however, the solution has
been complicated by changes in the political world,
which have shifted the focus of warfighting efforts on
preventing loss of life and reducing collateral damage.
Warfighting has also been affected by reduced weapon
inventories and personnel. Threats have changed as
well; weapons are more mobile and relocatable. In
addition, warfighting doctrine now emphasizes littoral
regional conflicts and the nonlinear battlefield (i.e., no
forward-edge-of-battle area), which is a change from
the previous emphasis on blue water conflicts and Cold
War–era air–land engagements.
In response to political changes, new precisionguided munitions are being developed (e.g., the Joint
Direct Attack Munition and Joint Stand Off Weapon)
to provide quick response, stand-off operation, and inflight retargeting. Investments are also being made in
new sensors and platforms such as the Joint Services
Tactical Airborne Reconnaissance System, UAVs, and
advanced tactical aircraft (e.g., Joint Strike Fighter).
Similar developments in response to changing threats
and warfighting doctrine are also needed. For example,
no satisfactory method exists for obtaining fire-control–
quality coordinates to successfully employ precisionguided munitions against relocatable or mobile targets.
Foremost among the needs created by this lack is a
mechanism for timely dissemination of accurate data.
To satisfy such needs, strike planners have typically
relied on technology to produce automated systems for
streamlining the warfighting process. The following
section offers insights into possible technological improvements to enhance the strike planning process.
IMPROVEMENT INITIATIVES FOR
THE STRIKE PLANNING PROCESS
In addition to the need to keep procedures and
equipment in sync with the changing face of warfighting,
attention must focus on improving the strike planning
process to improve observed deficiencies. The following summarizes key improvement issues for the four
primary components of the process.
The Strike Planning Cycle
Three issues significantly affect the strike planning
cycle: joint and multinational coordination, expanded
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W. A. MENNER
strike teams, and quick BDA feedback. To efficiently
project greater power in regional conflicts throughout
the world, more emphasis will be placed on coordination of joint and multinational forces. Today, such
forces function relatively independently of one another. Greater levels of coordination will require continued
investments in the military’s C4I infrastructure.
Some targets may be destroyed most appropriately by
means other than tactical aircraft. Thus, strike teams
can benefit from the expertise of additional elements
such as Naval surface fire support and cruise missiles.
Also, UAVs can provide intelligence and support targeting without some of the risks associated with other
(manned) systems such as TARPS and FLIR. Integration of these elements into the strike plan can be accomplished by placing knowledgeable staff aboard the
CV or by communicating with such staff via the C4I
infrastructure.
Quick BDA feedback is crucial input for restrike
decisions and the efficient use of weapons. Currently,
in cyclic operations, BDA from one strike is not commonly available for the immediately following strike.
Efforts required to achieve quicker BDA feedback include improving sensors, sensor coverage, and data distribution mechanisms.
The networking of technologies is key to satisfying
and resolving these issues. Wide-area network technology such as Challenge Athena can be used to connect
disparate command centers. Local-area network technology such as Fast Ethernet and the Fiber Distributed
Data Interface, which support data transmission at
100 Mbps, is available today for high-speed, faulttolerant data sharing. Asynchronous Transfer Mode is
an emerging local-area network technology with options for data transmission at 155 and 622 Mbps. Future
technologies such as Gigabit Ethernet and Fibre Channel will support data transmission at speeds of 1 Gbps
and higher.
Strike Planning Functions
The efficient execution of strike planning functions
is hampered by missing tools and time-consuming
manual methods. Automated support tools are needed
for strike coordination, management, and deconfliction
—in intra-Navy multistrike environments as well as in
joint and multinational efforts—to plan strategy and
tactics and to avoid friendly-on-friendly conflicts. Risks
must also be minimized by planning alternative courses
of action. Strike team leaders need tools to streamline
the consistent performance of these activities and communicate the big picture to all strike participants. Tight
time lines and the increasing amount of data that influence these activities indicate that continued automated
system development is needed to support these efforts.
Automated algorithms are essential for the necessary
102
calculations, and displays (perhaps large screens with a
telestrator capability i.e., capability to remotely draw or
write electronically over a displayed image) are required
to maximize strike plan comprehension.
The manual methods used for targeteering (TSA
publications), weaponeering (hard copy version of
JMEMs), kneeboard preparation (photocopies and paper
cutters), briefing preparation (acetate, grease pencils,
and shredders), and Special Activities Office (SAO)
package and target folder storage (physical folders with
no consistent standard organization technique) are timeand resource-intensive and are prone to omission. Automation via computer systems is already helping targeteering and weaponeering efforts on some platforms.
Other computer systems are being developed to improve
target data storage. Briefings could be streamlined by
directly connecting presentation systems to the CCTV
or at least via direct projection from such systems.
Technology can also streamline strike planning and
execution. For instance, a voice-controlled electronic
kneeboard could be connected to the aviator’s head-up
display. This kneeboard—as a node on a wireless network—could be remotely and quickly updated with the
latest intelligence or BDA data. Aircraft data loaders
might also benefit from standard technology such as PC
Cards, which could dramatically reduce the size of data
loaders and potentially improve their capacity. Alternatively, strike data could be downloaded to aircraft
avionics systems via wireless networks, thereby eliminating the need for the physical transport device.
The CVIC, Intelligence Gathering,
and Support Functions
Of particular importance to the efficient execution
of intelligence and support functions are CVIC layout
and data acquisition. Each CVIC is unique. The newest
one is being designed for use on the USS Ronald Reagan
(CVN 76), which is scheduled for completion in 2003.
Clearly, from the earlier discussion of strike planning
and support functions, requirements for a new CVIC
design must address efficient flow of people and data,
reconfigurable spaces, secure spaces, virtual spaces, strike
team–sized planning spaces, support team spaces, data
storage, and coherent displays. The merits of extending
CVIC functionality to the squadron ready rooms via
communications networking must also be considered.
Server personnel in the CVIC must keep their clients’ needs (e.g., quick access to intelligence data, particularly imagery) in mind so that all materials required
by strike planners can be assembled quickly. Connectivity to all intelligence sources must also be highly
reliable.
To keep up with the ever-increasing amount of intelligence data, the throughput requirements for effective strike planning must be continually analyzed and
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THE NAVY’S TACTICAL AIRCRAFT STRIKE PLANNING PROCESS
the communications infrastructure must be regularly
updated. Moore’s Law postulates that microprocessor
performance doubles every 18 months or so, yet many
strike planners are using equipment that is at least 8
years old.
Automated Support Systems
Unfortunately, most of today’s mission planning systems were independently developed to assist narrow
aspects of the planning process. A similar situation exists
in mission planning database systems and human–
computer interfaces. The result is a collection of systems
that communicate poorly, represent the same data differently, and are difficult to operate. These development
practices have created a great need for a unified system
that will manage the use and continued development of
command support systems, including those for strike
planning.
In constructing such a unified system, several issues
such as database updating and redundant system capabilities, compatibility, interoperability, and connectivity are vital. Many important databases are only updated
quarterly and must therefore be updated manually by
CV and CVW staff. Ongoing work is aimed at automatic and more frequent updates, with an on-demand database pull capability. As the amount of data grows,
search engines will also be needed to accelerate the data
acquisition process.
Within the Navy, systems such as TAMPS and
TEAMS contain similar functions like route planning,
geographic mapping displays, and access to intelligence
databases. Some Air Force systems are similar to Navy
systems (e.g., the Air Force Mission Support System and
TAMPS, PowerScene and TOPScene, Constant Source
and JMCIS, etc.). The joint services are working hard to
develop sets of standards that will eventually allow most
of their respective systems to interoperate. Additional
collaboration on development efforts could help reduce
redundancy and foster efficiency.
CONCLUSION
The effort to construct a unified command support
and strike planning system has already begun, but it will
take considerable discipline to overcome the inertia of
previous development strategies. To guide the construction of such a unified system, a vision is also
needed in which the operator is responsible for making
decisions, not for data entry. The mission planning
system should provide operators with the tools and
interfaces to make decisions while relieving users of
mundane and time-consuming activities that distract
them from the decision-making process.
Realizing this vision will require a thorough understanding of operational and functional requirements, a
thorough knowledge of end-user environments and
needs, and creative use of innovative technologies in
fields such as networking, communications, client/
server systems, security, software, hardware, and human–
computer interfaces. Wide-area network connectivity
must provide fast and reliable access to worldwide data
sources. High-capacity interoperable communications
are needed to support the increasing use of imagery and
video in a timely manner. Multilevel security systems
are needed to provide efficient, yet secure, access to
classified data. Computer visualization and virtual reality can improve information representation and thus
increase the decision makers’ level of understanding.
The consistent adherence to standards in all areas of
development will play an important role in achieving
a unified, scalable, interoperable, plug-and-play strike
planning system. This system must ensure the continued success of the Navy’s strike planning efforts.
REFERENCES
1 http://www-personal.umich.edu/~dhaller/hornet.html.
2 Gunther, C. J., “Fortune Favors the Bold: What a Few Good Men Can Do—
The O’Grady Rescue,” Armed Forces J. Int., 20–23 (Dec 1995).
3 Command and Control for Joint Air Operations, Joint Publication 3-56.1, Joint
Chiefs of Staff, Washington, DC (14 Nov 1994).
4 Joint Tactics, Techniques and Procedures for Intelligence Support to Targeting,
Joint Publication 2-01.1, Defense Intelligence Agency, Washington, DC (1
Feb 1995).
5 Naval Intelligence, NDP-2, Department of the Navy, Washington, DC
(1994).
6 Jackson, T. J., “Analysis of the Rescue in Bosnia,” Marine Corps Gazette 23–
26 (Aug 1995).
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: The author wishes to thank Captain Ted Spilman,
USN, Commander Paul Young, USN, Edgar G. Jacques, James C. Mathers, Ann
F. Pollack, and Roger O. Weiss for their valuable contributions to the work
represented here. Appreciation is also expressed to the Navy personnel who were
consistently generous in educating the author regarding their planning process and
systems.
JOHNS HOPKINS APL TECHNICAL DIGEST, VOLUME 18, NUMBER 1 (1997)
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W. A. MENNER
THE AUTHOR
WILLIAM A. MENNER received a B.S. degree in 1979 from Michigan
Technological University and an M.S. degree in 1982 from Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute; both degrees are in applied mathematics. From 1979 to
1981, Mr. Menner worked at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft as a numerical analyst.
Since 1983, when he joined APL’s Fleet Systems Department, he has completed
modeling, analysis, simulation, and algorithm development tasks for the
Tomahawk Missile Program, the Army Battlefield Interface Concept, the SSN21
ELINT Correlation Program, the Marine Corps Expendable Drone Program, the
Cooperative Engagement Capability, the Satellite Communications Engineering
Program, and the CVIC Reconfiguration Program. Mr. Menner supervises an
advanced computer technologies section and is currently working on the Mission
Planning Improvement Initiative and the Arsenal Ship Concept. His e-mail
address is William.Menner@jhuapl.edu.
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