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FAS Project on Intelligence Reform

Joint Maritime Command Information System (JMCIS)

Joint Maritime Command Information System (JMCIS) Ashore, formerly the Operations Support System (OSS), is being developed and implemented using an Evolutionary Acquisition (EA) approach to facilitate fielding state-of-the-art command center support capabilities that keep pace with changing threats and evolving requirements. JMCIS Ashore provides a single integrated Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) system that receives, processes, displays, maintains and assesses the unit characteristics, employment scheduling, materiel condition, combat readiness, warfighting capabilities, positional information and disposition of own and Allied forces, and allows decision makers to optimize the allocation of resources. JMCIS Ashore provides current geolocational information on hostile and neutral land, sea and air forces integrated with intelligence and environmental information, and near real time weapons targeting data to submarines as part of the Shore Targeting Terminal (STT) replacement effort. JMCIS Ashore supports real time tasking of Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) assets in conjunction with the Force High Level Terminal (FHLT) replacement effort, force scheduling requirements of the Navy (from CNO to the squadron level), and Navy Status of Forces (NSOF) responsibilities as part of the Navy Worldwide Military Command and Control System (WWMCCS) Software Standardization (NWSS) replacement effort.

Intelligence support functions have been incorporated into the Joint Maritime Command Information System (JMCIS), the Navy's primary C2 system afloat. This includes those functions previously found in the Naval Intelligence Processing System (NIPS), and the JDISS functions now being fielded. For example, on an aircraft carrier the JDISS functions will be available on the SCI-level Navy Tactical Command System-Afloat workstation on a LAN linking the Carrier Intelligence Center (CVIC), the Ship Signal Exploitation Space (SSES), and the Supplementary Plot (SUPPLOT). The SUPPLOT is the SCI area to the Flag Command Center.

However, fleet units will still rely on support from centers ashore, especially the maritime JICs (Atlantic and Pacific), for processing high volume data from non-organic sensors, and for the picture of the battle space beyond the range of the afloat force's organic sensors. Shipboard JDISS, connected to the ship's SHF communications system, is extremely bandwidth limited and consequently slow. NISTs are increasingly deploying to JTFs embarked aboard command ships at sea and are bringing their own portable JDISS. Planning must also include reserved bandwidth, stabilized antennas, and a 360-degree field of view (FOV) of the COMSATs, because of a rolling sea state and heading changes of the ship.

Intelligence related JMICS Segments include:

The Joint Maritime Command Information System (JMCIS) implements a hardware and software architecture consistent with the Common Operating Environment (COE) specifications defined by the Global Command and Control System (GCCS). The hardware configuration for JMCIS systems aree a Navy standard desktop tactical-support computer, i.e., a Sun 4 series or a Hewlett Packard 700 series computer, each with one or more 19-inch color graphics monitors with 1280 x 1024-pixel resolution, a keyboard, and a pointing device (such as a mouse or trackball) with two or three buttons. JMCIS configurations may also include large-screen displays and laptop or personal computers with smaller monitors. The primary software configuration for JMCIS is the same as that defined in the user interface specifications for GCCS, i.e., a POSIX-compliant operating system such as UNIX, X Window as the windowing system, and Motif as the graphical user interface.

HARDWARE

SOFTWARE

The latest fleet version, applicable to the hardware suite, is always installed in conjunction with the hardware installation. To properly understand what JMCIS is, it is important to consider the viewpoint of the end user (sailor/soldier), the military program manager, and the system developer. To the end user, JMCIS represents a Command Information System which is distributed across a Local Area Network (LAN) of workstations. An operator is able to access all required functionality from any workstation, regardless of where the workstation is located and regardless of where the actual processing takes place on the LAN. Functionality which exists in the system but which is not useful for the operator's tasks is hidden so as to not overwhelm and confuse the operator with extraneous features. An operator with a different set of tasks, however, may see a different set of functionality but both operators will perceive that the system looks and operates in the same way. Moreover, both operators will perceive that JMCIS is the same Command Information System in use by military personnel in sister services with completely different mission objectives. This is increasingly important in the Joint community where joint exercises are performed to reassign command responsibilities, such as Joint Forces Air Command (JFAC), from one service to another.

From the perspective of a military program manager, JMCIS presents the opportunity for an umbrella program which encompasses several aspects of the program manager's problem domain. The ability to reduce the number of separate programs without a corresponding loss in functionality is key to performing with reduced development, training, and maintenance budgets.

For example, in the late 1980s, SPAWAR PD-60 Navy-Afloat program management supported the JOTS program for battlegroup track database management, NIPS (Naval Intelligence Processing System) for database management, TIMS (Tactical Information Management System) for automatic display of status information, FIST/FULCRUM for imagery acquisition, and a host of other related programs just to support the battlegroup commanders. Ashore program managers had similar programs to support Navy intelligence centers. JMCIS now provides Navy program management with an umbrella program which combines the requirements into a single consolidated, coordinated system. The associated cost savings are substantial.

SPAWAR PD-60 developed the JMCIS concept and system over a period of several years. It grew out of several C3I prototyping efforts, beginning in about 1986, that led to the development of the Joint Operational Tactical System (JOTS) Command and Control System. JOTS-derivative systems have since been installed onboard over 200 US Navy ships, at several US Navy ashore intelligence centers, onboard US Coast Guard vessels, onboard allied ships, and at various allied sites. These systems clearly demonstrated their value as key C2 systems for the United States and Allies during the recent Persian Gulf War.

As JOTS matured further and as other C3I systems were developed and deployed, it became apparent that there was much duplication of software and functionality across systems, and that this duplication led to increased development, maintenance, and training costs. Interoperability was practically nonexistent across systems even when systems followed the same set of standards. Perhaps the most serious impact, however, was that operators were often given conflicting information from multiple systems even when the systems were presented with identical data.

Based upon this observation and experience, PD-60 directed that the afloat software be abstracted into a common "core" set of software that could be used throughout the PD-60 afloat community as a basis for all of their systems. This effort led to a set of common software called GOTS (Government Off-The-Shelf) version 1.1. PD-60 next directed that this approach be extended to include not only the afloat community, but the ashore community as well so that both communities would share the same common set of software to reduce development costs and ensure interoperability. This effort resulted in a collection of software commonly referred to as the Unified Build (UB) version 2.0 and also referred to as GOTS 2.0. This software is now deployed both afloat, in a system called NTCS-A (Navy Tactical Command System - Afloat), and ashore, in a system referred to as OSS (Operations Support System) or NCCS-A (Navy Command and Control System - Ashore). The strength of these two systems is that they are built on top of a common set of functions so that advancements and improvements in one area are immediately translatable to advancements and improvements in the other area. The Unified Build software is presently the basis for numerous other efforts including systems for the Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, and increasingly, for the Joint community.

JMCIS represents the next logical step in this evolution. As will be elaborated on in a later section, the term JMCIS really refers to two things:

Thus, JMCIS refers both to a collection of software and to an actual fielded system. When it is necessary to avoid confusion and to be precise, the phrase JMCIS Superset Software is used to refer to the collection of software modules.

With the JMCIS approach, not only is the same software used by participating communities as building blocks, but the same system (JMCIS) is deployed to participating communities. The advantages are obvious:

JMCIS as a fieldable system and as the embodiment of an architectural concept offers the opportunity to leverage a mature, proven, field tested software base for a wide variety of applications for the US Navy and the Joint community. As budgets shrink and as budgetary priorities shift, the ability to continue to respond rapidly with systems that satisfy the information needs of United States and Allied Armed Forces is crucial. JMCIS is a significant advancement in fulfilling this ongoing need.

Sources and Resources



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http://www.fas.org/irp/program/core/jmcis.htm
Created by John Pike
Maintained by Steven Aftergood

Updated Monday, September 28, 1998 1:52:38 PM