Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1980
Intelligence, Automation, and Communications
Revolutionary breakthroughs in transportation, computers, and communications have drastically reduced barriers of time and distance. In the context of a dynamic and shrunken world, American military planners must rely increasingly upon sophisticated and automated systems in intelligence and communications. Dependence upon technological superiority has become more pronounced now that we can no longer assume numerical superiority of men or weapons to the members of the Warsaw Pact. Even possession of more sophisticated equipment does not guarantee qualitative supremacy for the West unless the information collected can be rapidly processed and transmitted between national leaders and tactical commanders. Toward the objective of achieving greater “interface” between strategic and tactical echelons, Army planners must constantly develop, test, and deploy new organizations and new systems.
Two years after completion of the Intelligence Organization and Stationing Study of 1975, the Army merged its special intelligence agency, the U.S. Army Security Agency (USASA) with its intelligence agency (USAINTA) to form the Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM). At echelons above corps (EAC), INSCOM worked to achieve greater collaboration and coordination between the separately managed disciplines of signals, imagery, and human intelligence. As a major subordinate command of INSCOM, the Intelligence Threat Analysis Center (ITAC) produces multidiscipline, intelligence, counterintelligence, and threat analysis in support of national and Army level consumers.
Absorption of the Army’s Special Security Group (USASSG) by INSCOM marked further progress toward centralizing intelligence functions at EAC level within a single command. At the end of the fiscal year, USASSG assumed a status of equality with the numbered military intelligence groups already within INSCOM. Although the Group’s functions remain unchanged, INSCOM has reduced the responsibilities of that agency’s headquarters and subordinated its personnel to INSCOM’s headquarters. In anticipation of future collocation with INSCOM headquarters at Arlington Hall Station, Virginia, the Group has consolidated headquarters elements into a special security detachment in support of the Army staff.
At the level of corps and below, multidisciplined combat military intelligence organizations continued to be activated in support of the tactical commander. At the corps level these units will have access to national level intelligence data. What is needed in addition is one or more systems that continuously monitor the battlefield, instantly transmit useful information to the tactical commander, and enable him to request timely intelligence from component organizations of the U.S. intelligence community. In late September 1980, the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence (ACSI) sponsored a Senior Intelligence Officers Conference to update discussion of various tactical intelligence programs capable of meeting such requirements.
Included among the intelligence programs discussed at the Conference was the Tactical Exploitation of National Capabilities (TENCAP). Under TENCAP, national level systems would pass information collected by imagery and signals intelligence sensors to battlefield commanders in time to be of maximum use. The Interim Tactical Elint Processor (ITEP) and the Tactical Imagery Exploitation System (TACIES) represent two related programs. Already operational, the first provides all-source electronic intelligence to units in Europe and in the United States. When fielded, TACIES will in time provide multisource imagery intelligence directly to tactical users.
Other programs being developed at the end of the year include the Intelligence, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition Program (ISTAP), the Battlefield Exploitation and Target Acquisition (BETA) program, the Joint Tactical Fusion Program which includes part of the Technical Control and Analysis Center (TCAC), the Mobile Army Ground Imagery Interpretation Center (MAGIIC), and the All Source Analysis System (ASAS). ASAS probably represents the most ambitious effort to tie tactical commanders directly into strategic intelligence sources. It is an automated processing system designed to integrate and report information from collection, location, and detection devices; to manage collection efforts; to develop targets; and to support both operations security (OPSEC) and electronic warfare. Deployed near tactical operations centers, ASAS would be manned by military intelligence battalions (CEWI) at division level and military intelligence groups (CEWI) at corps level. Once operational it would provide divisions, corps, armies, groups, and theaters a coordinated, integrated, interoperative and mutually supportive intelligence system. The Combined Arms Combat Development Activity (CACDA) plans to field an interim version of ASAS in the mid-1980s and a fully operational system toward the end of the decade.
Automated data constitutes a common element of most tactical-
strategic intelligence systems. In June 1979, the Army delivered to USAREUR a series of mobile computer complexes forming the Intelligence Information Subsystem (IISS). The IISS provides both intelligence analysts and field commanders with automated data support upon which to base decisions in a NATO battlefield environment. During the current fiscal year, the Department of the Army began equipping the mobile computer complexes with a capability to display both data and narrative messages transmitted by DOD’s Automatic Digital Network (AUTODIN). Despite successes with IISS in general and the AUTODIN modification in particular, lack of funding has cancelled plans in Europe to implement the IISS program at the corps and division levels.
The Army continued to move ahead with a second major intelligence data handling project, the Army System for Standard Support Terminals (ASSIST). By achieving compatability with DOD computerized command and control systems; internetting ASSIST-supported computers, linking them to national intelligence data bases; and standardizing ASSIST computers and programs, ASSIST will improve computer terminal intelligence analyst services and telecommunications capabilities.
During 1980, the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence (ACSI) distributed one ASSIST software package, prepared another, and contracted with private firms for the development of two more. The first program linked up Army terminals with an advanced telecommunication program developed by Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). Soon to be released, a second software package will simplify the interaction between intelligence analysts and large data bases on remote host computers. ACSI also awarded multiyear contracts for the production of two new computer programs, one to improve support for intelligence analysts and one to improve the accuracy and timeliness of ground forces order of battle in Europe. In addition, ACSI upgraded such items of computer hardware as graphics-capable terminals and additional computer memory, and installed new computers at several ASSIST sites throughout the world.
Commenting on the growing tendency to rely on ADPSs and Systems Analysis to provide intelligence, Maj. David T. Twining, an instructor at the Army Command and General Staff College, observed that “automated analytical aids and electronic information systems cannot replace the judgement, expertise, and intuition of the analyst. . . .” Major Twining’s observation was made in an article in the April-June 1980 issue of Military Intelligence titled “Strategic Intelligence in the 1980’s: Reflections on a Dynamic World.”
A severe shortage of highly trained intelligence personnel—collectors and analysts—constitutes a weak link in the chain connecting
strategic intelligence producers to tactical commanders. The shortage of area intelligence specialists (MOS 97 C) was especially acute with only 45 percent of authorized slots filled in 1980. To fill the vacancies the Human Intelligence (HUMINT) Division of OACSI recommended broadened entry level requirements and began reorganizing the career field to lower entry qualifications for MOS 97 C and to accomplish administrative and support duties in the field. The HUMINT Division was also studying a proposal to recruit more area intelligence specialists by offering the incentive of career progression up through E-9. In another activity, HUMINT officials briefed thirty-five Army and Defense attaches or assistant attaches on various programs for which they may overtly obtain foreign intelligence information while at their posts.
Area intelligence specialists and attaches provide useful information regarding the strength and intentions of an enemy, while terrain and weather analysts inform commanders about the physical setting upon which the drama of combat may ultimately unfold. In recent years, terrain analysts have proven so valuable that theater topographic battalions have begun preparations to deploy five-man terrain analysis teams to Army divisions. Each team will consist of one terrain analysis technician, two terrain analysts, and two cartographers. After intensive training in terrain and weather analysis, the first class of warrant officers (terrain analysis technicians—MOS 841 A) will graduate from the Defense Mapping School early in 1981. Meanwhile, the Deputy Chief of Staff for Research and Development is studying a proposal by Materiel Development and Readiness Command (DARCOM) to replace weather analysts with artillery ballistic observers instead of civilians as proposed earlier by the Army Audit Agency and a special meteorological task force. Pending resolution of the conflicting proposals, a recently rewritten meteorological plan for action will be forwarded to the Office of the Vice Chief of Staff.
Early in 1980, ACSI carried out the Technical Evaluation of Army Tactical Signals Intelligence (TEATAC) to ascertain the proficiency of signal intelligence (SIGINT) units and to help them overcome weaknesses. At the close of the fiscal year, the Army staff was reviewing the results of the evaluation.
Intelligence analysts, especially in the more technical disciplines, require frequent refresher training on the evolving state of their art. When ACSI severed the direct organizational link between the Army’s Special Security Group and the special security officers (SSOs) assigned to the tactical commands, Group officials feared loss of opportunities to provide SSOs frequent and uniform training. The U.S. Army Intelligence Center and School (USAICS) has devised a series of training video cassettes to remedy the situation and shows them
quarterly to all SSOs attending USAICS. Primarily tactical in orientation, the video cassettes also cover such nontactical subjects as contractor support. After validation of the cassettes by TRADOC, USAICS will distribute the video cassettes to each of the eight subordinate special security commands for training those enlisted personnel and officers coming into the SSO system without prior schooling at USAICS.
Under Project HOMEFARER, an Army readiness training program, ACSI will provide refresher training at Fort Hood, Texas, to electronic intelligence analysts in the collection, reporting, and processing of electronic intelligence data. Other intelligence personnel continue to receive training in foreign languages. Under the sponsorship of FORSCOM, instructors from the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center assigned to various posts throughout the country will provide military intelligence linguists refresher training in Russian, German, Korean, and Chinese.
In the wake of the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal, public attention has focused on perceived misuse of intelligence collection techniques against citizens and organizations in the United States. Since 1978, Executive Order 12036 and implementing directives have sought to curtail domestic intelligence targeting, and restrict Army participation only to situations requiring coordination with the CIA and the FBI, and only then under procedures established by the Secretary of Defense and the Attorney General to protect the citizens’ right to privacy.
From 1974 to 1980, Army guidance governing the use of such electronic surveillance techniques as wiretapping, monitoring, and eavesdropping—collectively known as WIMEA—had failed to discriminate between the collection of intelligence information and the use of items such as extension telephones and tape recorders in an Army office environment to monitor conversations between previously warned individuals. Because this ambiguity occasionally hampered the clandestine use of WIMEA in bona fide intelligence or counterintelligence operations, the Army subsequently published distinct and separate guidelines governing each activity.
The 1978 Presidential executive order reflected not only concern for citizens’ right to privacy, but also citizens’ right to know. Since 1978, the trend toward granting greater public access to government defense information has encouraged similar openness within the defense community itself. DOD officials are seeking realistic alternatives to the extraordinarily stringent protection customarily afforded “compartmented” or special security information. In May 1980 a DOD manual discussing the protection of SSO installations in the field called for controlled access consistent with the layout and
barrier desires of the commander or G-2 and the common sense dictates of combat realities. Video cassette programs explicating the new policy of common sense and flexibility prompted closer relations between SSOs and the tactical commanders they support. Similar guidelines call for more liberal and timely distribution of sanitized imagery and signals intelligence to aid tactical commanders in contingency planning, target intelligence, realistic tactical training, and better all-source intelligence analysis.
The Counterintelligence Directorate also enhanced public access to defense information by expediting the processing for classification reviews and security clearances. During fiscal year 1980, three security specialists processed over 7,500 requests to review documents for proper classification, an increase of 2,000 or 37 percent over the last fiscal year. The Counterintelligence Directorate also established a full-time position for a specialist to review Army information security procedures.
The inordinately large number of military personnel arriving in major commands overseas without proper clearances concerned ACSI. To improve this situation, clearance procedures were refined to shorten responses by the Central Personnel Security Clearance Facility. The Investigative Standards Working Group of the National Foreign Intelligence Board’s Security Committee, with the participation of the Counterintelligence Directorate, produced publications to ensure propriety and sufficiency of personnel security investigations. By accelerating processing of data into the Defense Central Index of Investigations/Joint Adjudication Clearance System (DCII/JACS), the Defense Investigative Service will make clearance information available to consumers several days earlier than under the present system.
The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan prompted President Carter to cut back high technology scientific exchanges with the Soviet Union, reducing the number of Soviet scientists entering the United States annually by half. With regard to friendly countries, the Army’s disclosure of defense information continued. This year the Foreign Liaison Directorate of OACSI received 9,442 visit requests, 1,618 of which were of a classified nature, and 1,605 requests for documents and information of which 731 were for classified material. Six hundred twenty-one foreign national personnel were accredited to conduct business directly with subordinate U.S. Army agencies and commands. There were 375 U.S. industrial requests for export of Army information under munition licenses.
In September, the Chief of Staff and his West German counterpart established a bilateral framework from which operational plans will be drafted to produce electronic warfare interoperability between
their two armies. In late 1979, the United States and the Saudi Arabian Government signed an agreement whereby the Army, in collaboration with the Air Force, would establish a Joint Intelligence School at Riyadh to teach Saudi military personnel various aspects of tactical intelligence and imagery interpretation. A technical assistance field team planned to inaugurate the first class of students in April 1981.
Under the Army Automation Security Program (AASP), promulgated by AR 380-380 in 1977, the Counterintelligence Directorate allotted to classified automated data the same priority of protection afforded to classified information produced by more conventional means. In an effort to enhance awareness of automation security at every level, ACSI has linked AASP to similar programs within the national intelligence community, DOD, and the Army’s major commands. Within the Army specifically, ACSI has incorporated the AASP in planning, programming, and budget cycles as well as into battlefield automated systems and regulations governing systems design development. Thus far, only lack of funding retards the optimum implementation of the Army’s automation security program.
While it is true that machines may never entirely supplant human analysts and decisionmakers, automation can enhance geometrically the speed and the capacity by which they collect, store, evaluate, retrieve, and disseminate information. For greatest utility automated systems must extend vertically between echelons and horizontally between commanders at the same echelon. In addition to interoperability, such systems must comprise standard, easy to replace components, so that the systems can withstand the shock of attack and the surge of wartime computer activity.
The Army meets most automation needs by contract with private industry. Through commercial and government publications, the Army’s Computer Systems Selection and Acquisition Agency (USACSSAA) advertises its requirements for new hardware and invites competing firms to bid. Economies of scale in computer mass production have lately permitted firms to offer significantly reduced prices to the Army. To facilitate the acquisition process, the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Automation and Communications (ACSAC) provided four seminars in fiscal year 1980, each offering step-by-step guidance to Army officials and representatives of the contracting firms. Combining good business with public service, the Army has tried whenever feasible to select the best offers from
minority-owned small businesses. In 1980 the USACSSAA paid out $2.2 million to such firms, a fourfold increase over fiscal year 1978.
Early in 1980 the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Logistics, and Financial Management tasked ACSAC with responsibility for developing and implementing a Combat Service Support Automation and Communications (CSS A/C) transition plan comprehensive enough to meet the CSS needs of every echelon from theater down to division for the next six years. He approved the resultant concept, and will use it as the master plan for future CSS A/C proposals and for improved interoperability of standard Army systems. In coordination with the Army staff and major commands, TRADOC will develop a comprehensive, integrated transition plan which an Army automation and communications steering committee will review annually before inclusion into the Army Command and Control Master Plan.
The Army has made significant progress toward the automation of several systems that implement interoperability between strategic and tactical echelons worldwide and between installations and agencies within the United States. In January 1980, the U.S. Army Communications and Research Command (CORADCOM) initiated a two-year pilot project, known as the Automated Tactical Frequency Engineering System (ATFES). Making use of the latest minicomputer technology available within the DOD’s Electromagnetic Compatibility Analysis Center (ECAC), ATFES will define, develop, and implement automation of spectrum management planning and engineering systems at every echelon. Field testing will be conducted before 1982 by 5th Signal Command, 7th Signal Brigade, and Signal Corps personnel of the VII Corps and the 3d Infantry Division.
In late 1979, as part of the Corps Interim Upgrade System (CIUS), ACSAC replaced the IBM 360/40 computers at four corps headquarters with the new van-mounted IBM 370-138 mobile computers. Replacement of the fifth system at Fort Lee, Virginia, followed in January 1980. The new computers have high reliability, multiprogramming capabilities, and greater capacity than the models they replaced, and will alleviate computer saturation caused by the surge of data input and information requests during wartime.
After extensive training, ACSAC classified the prototype Decentralized Automated Service Support System (DAS3) as standard, and authorized production of seventy-one systems to replace the NCR 500 systems in the Army’s inventory for direct and general support units since 1968.
The Army also employs computer systems in a non-tactical capacity to manage its real property inventories. The Integrated
Facilities System (IFS) will help Army managers to monitor the life cycle management of real property resources through design, construction, operation, maintenance, and disposal. The IFS encompasses three modules: the Facilities Engineering Management System, the Real Property Maintenance Activities System, and the Asset Accounting System. The Asset Accounting System combines physical inventory and technical reporting of facilities to aid facility inventory managers; the Facilities Engineering Management System supports the facilities engineer with daily operational information; and the Real Property Maintenance System covers reporting of installation level operation and maintenance requirements, status, and performance. With fifty-four systems operational and four more in production, the IFS was near completion and by the end of 1981, the systems will be operational in Japan, Korea, Europe, and the United States.
The Facilities Engineering Supply System (FESS), currently under development, will automate the requisitioning and control of facilities engineering supplies, and will interface with IFS by providing material cost, both by job and job phase. Installation of fourty-four FESS minicomputers will take place by 1982.
The Base Operating Information System (BASOPS) represents another outmoded non-tactical automated system scheduled for replacement. Designed to support installation management, BASOPS is a standardized, fixed-station, multi-functional computer with hardware that has become too old, too saturated, and too expensive to maintain. Operating at nearly total capacity, BASOPS cannot expand its workload two or threefold to absorb the surge of data processing that would result either from interface with newer systems or from mobilization. Under Project VIABLE (Vertical Installation Automation Baseline), ACSAC will eventually replace BASOPS hardware with a more versatile ADP resource of significantly larger workload capacity. Meanwhile, ACSAC has designated a task force to upgrade BASOPS temporarily by means of the following interim measures: reutilization of existing hardware, the addition of high speed tape drives and computer channels, and the possible use of commercial teleprocessing resources to siphon off certain work requirements.
In the rush to automate or upgrade existing systems, the Army recognizes the need for allowing field commanders and staff agency heads some flexibility in the development and operation of new systems. A new version of AR 18-1, Army Automation Management, along with thirteen supporting technical bulletins, emphasizes the need for commanders and managers to exercise such initiative, but only after extensive planning and full use of project management techniques to assure validity of requirements generated and full accountability for the systems developed.
From the strategic level of national command authorities, through the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the unified and specified commands, and ultimately to the Army’s tactical units, intelligence and command decisions must travel through a variety of communications systems. Such systems support day-to-day operations and, during periods of tension, provide early warning of impending hostilities. The ability of commanders to monitor the situation and allocate resources depends upon the survivability and interoperability of communications systems at every level.
At the joint strategic level, the WWMCCS, pronounced “Wimex,” has attracted considerable notoriety. In late 1979 two journalists wrote disturbing reports on the outcome of PRIME TARGET, an exercise designed to test WWMCCS computers under simulated wartime conditions. The exercise linked up computers in the U.S. Atlantic Command, European Command, Readiness Command, Tactical Air Command, and the National Military Command Center. During the test, computer shutdowns in each command frustrated attempts in a majority of instances to obtain or send information. The journalists attributed the massive failures to inability of the WWMCCS outmoded hardware to handle surges of “combat-related” message traffic, and seemed to indict the entire system for what was, in fact, the failure of one of its subsystems. A brief description of that subsystem may help to place the results of PRIME TARGET in perspective.
The WWMCCS information system consists of automated data processing equipment, interlinked computer networks, and message handling systems. Six percent of the WWMCCS budget, $140 million, is spent annually for the information system, mostly for operation and maintenance of existing systems, the rest for development of better systems for the 1980s and 1990s. The Automated Data Processing (ADP) program of the WWMCCS information system encompasses thirty-five Honeywell 6000 series computer systems and related equipment located in twenty-seven major command headquarters. Responsibility for overall use of the ADP system lies with the Communications, Command, Control, and Intelligence (C3I) Systems Directorate of the JCS.
The Honeywell computers primarily support the National Command Authority plus a wide range of military operations: contingency and integrated operations plans; military, air, ground, and sealift management; nuclear stockpile control; warning correlation; crisis and force deployment planning; and tactical air operations planning. Since the decision in the 1960s to use Honeywell 6000s, WWMCCS officials in the C3I Directorate have sought to improve
the exchange and processing of data among WWMCCS command centers by standardizing and improving both ADP hardware and software. WWMCCS officials realized that the ADP program could only support WWMCCS to the extent that ADP equipment at all command centers was compatible, that data communications links provided a direct connection (“real time”) relay whenever necessary, that computerized data formats were common, and that all components of the system’s configuration and operation were efficient.
In the wake of the journalistic exposes, the General Accounting Office (GAO) conducted a thorough analysis of the WWMCCS ADP program and found that, despite the cumulative expenditure to December 1979 of $1 billion on the ADP program, DOD had not and could not make the program operate efficiently without changing the program’s management, structure, and direction. GAO found the present management structure so complex and fragmented that no single organization or individual had a complete overview of the program or centralized responsibility for its funding, budgeting, and management. GAO thus blamed organizational flaws and mismanagement for development of incompatible software and the installation of hardware in sites that could not survive direct attacks. GAO specifically attributed ADP’s poor performance during PRIME TARGET to the selection of outmoded Honeywell computers.
Spokesmen for the C3I Directorate disputed the GAO’s findings on several points, especially the contention that the ADP program was the hub of the command and control system. Defense officials maintained that they had not devised the ADP program to generate execution orders for military operations nor to warn the President, directly, of impending crises. Although an ADP system at the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) does process missile warning data, alternate means to process and display such critical information exist at the National Military Communications Center, an alternate communications center, SAC Headquarters, and the Aerospace Defense Command headquarters.
Important though the ADP computers are to WWMCCS, they comprise only 6 percent of the system’s overall resources. Command centers and communications and missile warning sensors make up the other 94 percent. Nonautomated electrical and voice communications that link command with operational units remain the most important part of the system. Computers and data communications are important to WWMCCS, but they are not sufficient by themselves, nor are they the heart of the system.
Even before GAO issued its report, the Army staff took measures to centralize overall supervision of the Army’s portion of WWMCCS under one bureaucratic roof by transferring responsibility for
WWMCCS functions from DCSOPS to ACSAC. Among the functions for which the ACSAC now holds responsibility is the Army’s WWMCCS Intercomputer Network (ARWIN). The Army designed ARWIN to tie in with the WWMCCS Intercomputer Network in support of the Army’s intelligence, personnel, logistics, and operations systems. This provides Army decisionmakers with an integrated information and management system to support essential missions—contingency planning, readiness management, and mobilization, deployment, and sustainment of Army forces—with increased data accessibility, accuracy, relevancy, and timeliness.
Unlike WWMCCS, the Navstar Global Positioning System (GPS) represents a comparatively noncontroversial strategic communications system. Despite changing or adverse weather or lighting conditions, the Army must be able to navigate and position its weapons systems in battlefields anywhere in the world. By use of eighteen space satellites, several tracking stations, and ADP equipment, the Navstar GPS will provide accurate three dimensional position and velocity information to suitably equipped users anywhere on earth. Such information will facilitate strategic command and control, more timely maneuver of combat and support units, more accurate direction of firepower, and more efficient logistical support. The system should be fully operational in 1987.
Under the supervision of the Defense Communications Systems (DCS), the Army also contributes to another strategic communications project, the Digital European Backbone (DEB). The DEB is a multi-stage improvement effort to digitalize all DCS transmission links in Europe. DEB will provide terrestial wideband digital connectivity, including alternate routing transmission, restoral, and reconfiguration between subscriber locations and Defense Satellite Communication System (DSCS) terminals in Italy, West Germany, and the United Kingdom. Work in Italy has already been completed. Meanwhile the Army is developing new radio equipment to be integrated into the DEB links.
To save money and personnel, the ACSAC will collocate facilities of the Defense Special Security Communications System (DSSCS) and General Service Telecommunications Centers at forty-eight sites throughout the world. Four new consolidations were completed in fiscal year 1980 bringing the total up to twenty-two. When completed, the program will save the Army one hundred military spaces and $2.5 million annually.
In late December 1979 the United States sent a sixty-five man delegation, including one Army representative, to the Worldwide Administration Radio Conference in Geneva. Sponsored by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the conference enter-
tained proposals to revise ITU radio regulations governing the worldwide allocations of the radio frequency spectrum for the next two decades. As a result of thorough preparation and lobbying, the Army achieved its basic objectives at the conference, and will be able to meet all anticipated future requirements.
In the field of tactical communications, command, and control, potential adversaries are constantly modernizing and improving their capabilities. To offset such advances the services must develop, acquire, and deploy communications systems that allow for increased standardization and interoperability between tactical units of all services and our NATO allies. Within the DOD, three programs will enhance communications and command and control system interoperability and standardization: the Joint Interoperability of Tactical Command and Control Systems (JINTACCS), the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS), and the Army Data Distribution System (ADDS).
From July 1979 through September 1980, the services tested the compatibility and interoperability of their tactical intelligence communications systems using intelligence standards described in JINTACCS. Using leased communication circuits, the operators connected their test facilities to the Joint Interface Test Facility (JITF) at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey; and, by means of twenty separate message formats, successfully exchanged combat intelligence information. Subsequently, the intelligence standards were forwarded to Commander in Chief, Atlantic (CINCLANT) for use during the JINTACCS intelligence operational effectiveness demonstration held in conjunction with that command’s annual exercise, SOLID SHIELD.
Service representatives completed development of all five segments of the Technical Interface Design Plan-Test Edition (TIDP-TE): intelligence, amphibious and air operations, operations control, and fire support. Meanwhile, refinement of the JINTACCS Message Element Dictionary (MED) continues. The MED contains descriptions of over 5,000 data items to construct 122 messages within the five segments of the TIDP-TE.
Under the Joint Tactical Communication Program (TRI-TAC), each service is developing certain items of telecommunications equipment for use by all services in the 1980s. The Army is now preparing for production digital group multiplexers, a modular record traffic terminal, and two automatic switches—the AN/TTC-39 Circuit Switch and the AN/TYC-39 Message Switch. Once in distribution, the switches will facilitate speedy, secure, and reliable transmission of tactical command and control messages, data, and voice communications.
On January 24, 1980, the United States and the Federal Republic
of Germany signed an agreement for joint development of another piece of TRI-TAC equipment, mobile subscribers. While both governments sought to iron out the details of joint development in a memorandum of understanding, the government of the Netherlands asked permission to join the program. The mobile subscriber system comprises terminals to be installed in vehicles, aircraft, and communications shelters; access units connected to automatic digital switchboards; and centrals which will provide automatic retransmission for the system. Once developed, the mobile subscribers will replace most of the multichannel devices currently being used in the division area and will provide mobile, secure voice, and record communications for division and brigade operators.
Impressed by the Army’s contribution to the TRI-TAC program, the Secretary of Defense on September 17, 1980, designated the Army as executive agent for “post deployment configuration management and control of software” for all TRI-TAC equipment and also executive agent for communication within the Tactical Nuclear Weapons Forces in Europe. In the latter capacity, the Army will procure new high frequency radios and complete the European Command and Control Console System. The console system will include a secure record communication capability. By fiscal year 1981, the Army should complete the first of three phases for implementation of its new tasks on behalf of the Tactical Nuclear Weapons Force.
The proliferation of automated systems on the battlefield made it necessary to develop communications equipment capable of passing the information generated to command personnel for decisionmaking or to weapons systems operators for fire control. Some of the automated systems requiring such data distribution include the Man Portable Air Defense (MANPAD), Short Range Air Defense (SHORAD), High to Medium Air Defense (HIMAD), Tactical Fire Control (TACFIRE), and All Source Analysis Systems (ASAS).
An Army survey of various data distribution schemes revealed, however, that two communications systems well along in engineering development could be integrated into a single or “hybrid” system capable of supporting the automated battlefield system for a fraction of the cost needed to develop an entirely new system. Known as the Position Location Reporting System (PLRS), the first system was designed jointly by the Army and the Marine Corps to provide users at the division level with precise position location and navigation information, unique identification, and limited preassigned digital data message exchange. PLRS equipment includes a master unit which could be located in a van shelter and user units which could be employed in manpacks, surface vehicles, helicopter, or fixed wing aircraft. Comprising the second part of the hybrid system, the Joint
Tactical Information Distribution System provides airborne and ground station users with secure jam-resistant communications. More powerful than that of the PLRS user unit, the JTIDS terminal may be used throughout an army area, and is suitable for use aboard the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS).
In 1979 the DOD approved the Army’s proposal to integrate the PLRS and JTIDS into the Army Data Distribution System or PLRS-JTIDS hybrid (PJH). Following field testing of the hybrid system, the Army plans to issue an ADDS set to each division. Once operational, ADDS will provide a secure, jam-resistant, mutual interference free data distribution system offering expanded data communications, identification, position location and navigation reporting, airspace management, and weapons control features to tactical commanders.
In an age where satellites, sophisticated radios, and computers dominate both strategic and tactical communications, telephones still account for the bulk of the Army’s day-to-day administrative and logistical communications. Whether in cooperation with other governments or defense installations within major U.S. metropolitan areas, the Army seeks to upgrade and maintain existing telephone systems.
In 1978 the Department of Defense and the West German Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications signed a memorandum to upgrade the European Telephone System (ETS). The Army will procure 117 new electronic digital telephone switches. The Army has already purchased six of the advance design switches and plans to obtain eighteen more in the next year. In addition, the Army fielded 704 automatic telephone switchboards to all divisions, except those on duty in the Republic of Korea; and distributed touch-tone phones down to brigade level.
Within the United States problems of duplication and obsolesence characterize the defense telephone system. In a number of metropolitan areas where large concentrations of DOD installations exist, each installation normally operates its own telephone system and uses obsolete 1950-vintage switching equipment. Since telecommunications are essentially the same for all services, the DOD has established the Defense Metropolitan Area Telephone System (DMATS) to consolidate, standardize, and automate wherever possible. Analyzing the situations in New York, Boston, San Diego, and Norfolk, DOD study groups have concluded that consolidation and modernization will ultimately net DOD annual savings in each area of up to $1 million.
Under DOD direction, the Army will implement the DMATS program in Boston, Salt Lake City, Atlanta, Detroit, and Carlisle. In the Boston area, the Army has awarded a ten-year lease for consolidated
service to the New England Telephone Company. Consolidated service will embrace Fort Devens, Hanscom Field, South Weymouth Naval Air Station, and the majority of defense-related activities within the area encircled by Boston’s “beltway,” Interstate Highway 495. For the Boston area alone, DMATS is expected to save DOD $439,000 per year.
During the past fiscal year, the Army has joined the other services and our NATO allies in a concerted effort to expand combat power by means of improved intelligence, automation, and communications programs, equipment, and personnel training. In an age when potential adversaries can draw upon seemingly limitless stocks of men and conventional weaponry, Army commanders must anticipate enemy moves and counter those moves with all the speed and precision our technology will allow. The ongoing technological revolution in computers and communications systems on land, sea, air, and in space, requires constant modernization and automation. Whenever possible, the Army tries to conserve money and manpower by upgrading and consolidating existing facilities and organizations. In many cases, however, the Army must work with private contractors to develop new systems and new hardware.
The last two decades represented a learning period in which the Army experimented with a plethora of systems, computers, and communications devices in various commands and at different echelons. The last two or more fiscal years heralded a decade of consolidation and standardization. Military organizations and units do not operate in a vacuum. Wars of the future will require instant communication of vital information between strategic and tactical commands throughout the world. Improved interface between organizations and interoperability of their data processing and communications systems can attain fruition only when all organizations and echelons literally communicate on the same wavelengths. The most sophisticated communications devices and computers, however, serve only to “aggregate ignorance with precision” when left to insufficient or untrained hands. Coping with a chronic shortage of highly-trained manpower, the Army diligently strives to update old skills and cross train its personnel in new ones.
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Last updated 17 September 2004