071030Z APR97
SUBJ: ARMY RESPONSE TO NIMA REDUCTIONS PROPOSED BY THE QUADRENNIAL DEFENSE REVIEW

  1. REF NIMA CO MSG DTG 252055Z MAR 97, SUBJ: NIMA REDUCTIONS IN ANSWER TO QUADRENNIAL DEFENSE REVIEW.
  2. IN ANSWER TO THE QUESTIONS POSED BY THE REFERENCED MESSAGE ABOVE, THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS PROVIDED:
    1. THE ARMY RECENTLY CONDUCTED A WARFIGHTING EXPERIMENT IN WHICH A BRIGADE-SIZED TASK FORCE WAS HEAVILY DIGITIZED, AND PLANS ARE NOW BEING MADE TO DIGITIZE AN ARMY DIVISION. HOWEVER, NEITHER THE WARFIGHTING EXPERIMENT NOR THE PLANNING FOR THE FIRST DIGITAL DIVISION ALLOWS THE COMPLETE REPLACEMENT OF PAPER MAPS AND CHARTS WITH DIGITAL TERRAIN DATA. CURRENTLY, OUR INTENT IS FOR DIGITAL INFORMATION TO BE USED AS A SUPPLEMENT TO, NOT A REPLACEMENT FOR, PAPER PRODUCTS. WHILE THE ARMY OF THE FUTURE MAY BE ABLE TO TRANSITION AWAY FROM AN EXTENSIVE NEED OF PAPER MAPS AND CHARTS, IT IS UNLIKELY THAT THIS CAPABILITY WILL EXIST IN THE TOTAL FORCE FOR THE NEXT 10-15 YEARS. CURRENT ARMY DOCTRINE AND FIELDED TOPOGRAPHIC SYSTEMS REQUIRE THAT THE STANDARD 1:50,000 TOPOGRAPHIC LINE MAP (TLM) AND TACTICAL TERRAIN DATA (TTD) BE PRODUCED FOR OPERATIONAL AREAS AND TRAINING SITES. THE REQUIREMENT FOR THESE BASIC PRODUCTS HAS BEEN REVALIDATED BY A RECENT TOPOGRAPHIC ENGINEERING CENTER STUDY.
    2. AS STATED ABOVE, THE ARMY IS IN THE INITIAL STAGES OF DIGITIZATION. WHILE RESULTS TO DATE HAVE BEEN ENCOURAGING, AND STEPS ARE, BEING TAKEN TO MOVE FROM EXPERIMENTATION TO A FIELDED CAPABILITY, DIGITIZING THE FORCE WILL REQUIRE TIME AND RESOURCES. THE CURRENT INTENT IS FOR A TOTAL DIGITAL DIVISION BY 2001, FOLLOWED BY A DIGITAL CORPS BY 2006. BASED UPON THE SUCCESS (AND EXPENSE) OF THESE EFFORTS, THE ARMY WILL THEN DETERMINE HOW FAST TO COMPLETELY DIGITIZE THE TOTAL FORCE. AFTER 2006, THERE WILL STILL BE 5-7 ACTIVE ARMY DIVISIONS AS WELL AS RESERVE AND NATIONAL GUARD FORCES WHICH WILLNOT HAVE FULL DIGITAL CAPABILITY.
    3. ALL ARMY MISSIONS REQUIRE ACCURATE, HIGH RESOLUTION TERRAIN DATA FOR SUCCESS. IN THE PAST, THIS REQUIREMENT HAS BEEN PRIMARILY MET WITH PAPER 1:50,000 TLMS, INTERIM TERRAIN DATA (ITD), DIGITAL TERRAIN ELEVATION DATA (DTED) LEVEL 1 AND 2, CITY GRAPHICS, AND JOINT OPERATION GRAPHICS (JOGS). THE ARMY'S FORCE XXI VISION IMPLIES A NEED FOR GREATER RESOLUTION AND ACCURACY. THE CURRENT PRODUCT SUITES SUCH AS TLMS, ITD, AND 5 METER CONTROLLED IMAGE BASE (CIB) CAN FULLY SATISFY ONLY SOME MISSION REQUIREMENTS. IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT NIMA BEGIN PRODUCTION OF TTD AND ACCEPT EMERGING REQUIREMENTS FOR HIGHER RESOLUTIONS OF DTED, CIB, AND VECTOR DATA. THIS PRODUCTION CAPABILITY MUST BE ABLE TO RAPIDLY RESPOND TO CRISES.
    4. THE VALUE OF GEOSPATIAL INFORMATION IS INCREASING. FORCE XXI AND ARMY VISION 2010 RELY ON THE TENETS OF DOMINANT MANEUVER, PRECISION ENGAGEMENT, AND INFORMATION SUPERIORITY. THESE CONCEPTS REQUIRE MORE ACCURATE AND MORE FEATURE RICH TERRAIN INFORMATION THAN IS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE. AT THIS TIME, THERE ARE NO DATA TO SUPPORT THE THEORY THAT GREATER GEOSPATIAL ACCURACY CAN OFFSET THE NUMBER OF ARMY WEAPONS PLATFORMS.
    5. ARMY REQUIRES THAT THE CURRENT NIMA SUITE OF GEOSPATIAL PRODUCTS, BOTH PAPER AND DIGITAL, BE CONTINUED UNTIL THERE IS NO LONGER A SERVICE REQUIREMENT FOR THESE PRODUCTS. ARMY, AS WELL AS THE OTHER SERVICES, IS ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN DEVISING A STRATEGIC PLAN FOR THE FUTURE TRANSITION TO DIGITAL INFORMATION THROUGH THE EFFORTS OF THE DEFENSE SCIENCE BOARD MANDATED DOD GEOSPATIAL INFORMATION INTEGRATED PRODUCT TEAM (GI IPT) . IT IS OUR IMPRESSION THAT THIS IPT IS SHAPING THE TOTAL DOD STRATEGY FOR THE PRODUCTION, DISSEMINATION, AND USE OF DIGITAL GEOSPATIAL DATA. WE STRONGLY URGE THAT NIMA CONTINUE TO PROVIDE FULL SUPPORT TO THIS EFFORT. NIMA CAN ALSO ASSIST THE ARMY'S TRANSITION TO DIGITAL INFORMATION BY EXPEDITING FULL SUPPORT TO THE ARMY'S REQUIREMENT FOR A STAND-ALONE VERSION OF THE JOINT MAPPING TOOLKIT.
    6. NIMA HAS FAILED TO PROVIDE METRICS TO SUBSTANTIATE CLAIMS THAT REDUCED PRODUCTION SUPPORT CAN SAVE MONEY WITHOUT SERIOUS IMPACTS TO THE MILITARY'S ABILITY TO CONDUCT OPERATIONS WORLDWIDE. THE QDR MODERNIZATION PANEL HAS PROVIDED DETAILED METRICS ON A PLAN THAT COULD BE USED TO SAVE RESOURCES, WHILE ALLOWING NIMA TO PROVIDE NEEDED INFORMATION AND PRODUCTS. THIS PLAN CALLS FOR THE CANCELLATION OF THE DIGITAL PRODUCTION SYSTEM (DPS) MIGRATION IN FAVOR OF A TRANSITION TO COMMERCIAL OFF THE SHELF (COTS) HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE. THE PANEL IS ASSESSMENT INDICATES THAT AS MUCH AS $200 MILLION COULD BE SAVED OVER A FIVE YEAR PERIOD. BECAUSE DPS NOW ACCOUNTS FOR ONLY 17% OF THE TOTAL NIMA PRODUCTION OUTPUT WHILE EMPLOYING 35% OF THE WORKFORCE, THE MIGRATION TO COTS APPEARS ARRANTED. THE TRANSITION TO COTS, ALONG WITH AGGRESSIVE OUTSOURCING OF MORE PRODUCTION, COULD COMBINE TO SAVE EVEN MORE THAN THE $60 MILLION PER YEAR CUT PROPOSED BY THE QDR. THE TRANSITION TO COTS-BASED WORKSTATIONS, AGGRESSIVE OUTSOURCING, AND THE CREATION OF A DIGITAL GEOSPATIAL DATA WAREHOUSE (FROM WHICH PAPER PRODUCTS, AS WELL AS DIGITAL PRODUCTS MAY BE GENERATED) ALIGN CLOSELY WITH THE CONCEPTS PROPOSED IN THE DRAFT GI MASTER PLAN. ARMY IS WORKING CLOSELY WITH THE DOD GI IPT TO DEVELOP THESE CONCEPTS AND PRODUCE A STRATEGIC PLAN ON HOW THE ARMY MAY BEST TRANSITION TO USING MORE DIGITAL INFORMATION WITH LESS RELIANCE ON PAPER PRODUCTS.
    7. ARMY RECOMMENDS CANCELLATION OF THE VECTOR MAP (VMAP) PROGRAM IN FAVOR OF PRODUCTION RESOURCES GIVEN TO THE DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION OF A GLOBAL FOUNDATION FEATURE DATA (FFD) SET, AND HIGHER DENSITIES OF DATA (TO INCLUDE TTD) UNDER THE MISSION SPECIFIC DATA SET CONCEPT. THE VMAP PROGRAM DOES NOT PROVIDE THE GEOSPATIAL ACCURACY AND CURRENCY REQUIREMENTS NEEDED TO SUPPORT FORCE XXI AND ARMY AFTER NEXT.
    8. IT WAS STATED DURING THE DEFENSE SCIENCE BOARD 1995 STUDY THAT THE TOTAL RESOURCES NEEDED TO PRINT ALL PAPER PRODUCTS WAS LESS THAN $10 MILLION PER YEAR. THIS FIGURE COULD ALSO BE REDUCED IN THE FUTURE, AFTER THE COMPLETION OF THE $40 MILLION ARNOLD PRINTING AND DISTRIBUTION CENTER, ASSUMING THAT THE NEW FACILITY WILL BE ABLE TO PRINT PRODUCTS ON A JUST IN TIME BASIS. THE EXPENDITURE OF THESE RESOURCES CURRENTLY PROVIDES THE PAPER MAPS NEEDED MOST BY THE ARMY THROUGH THE NEXT DECADE. ARMY RELINQUISHED MAP PRODUCTION WITH THE STAND-UP OF THE DEFENSE MAPPING AGENCY IN 1972 AND HAS NEITHER THE PLANS NOR THE RESOURCES TO SATISFY THE TOTAL ARMY REQUIREMENT FOR PAPER MAPS AND CHARTS.