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News Release


Release No: 552-96
September 26, 1996


The Global Command and Control System has now replaced the venerable Worldwide Military Command and Control System (WWMCCS) as the Department of Defense's computerized system of record for strategic command and control functions. With GCCS, joint commanders can coordinate widely dispersed units, receive accurate feedback, and execute more demanding, higher precision requirements in fast moving operations.

The new GCCS system provides combatant commanders one predominant source for generating, receiving, sharing and using information securely. It provides surveillance and reconnaissance information and access to global intelligence sources as well as data on the precise location of dispersed friendly forces.

With the Global Command and Control System, warfighters can plan, execute and manage military operations. The system helps joint force commanders synchronize the actions of air, land, sea, space, and special operations forces. It has the flexibility to be used in a range of operations: from actual combat to humanitarian assistance. The Joint Operational Planning and Execution System has been transferred into this new environment. The nation's military plans are kept and updated around the world using the JOPES system.

GCCS replaces the older WWMCCS network of large mainframe computers in use since the 1970s with a client server computer system built on modern information technology. The new technology, based on a common operating environment, allows greater software flexibility, reliability, and interoperability with other computer systems. For example, commanders can establish their own homepages at the secret level and communicate securely through e-mail with counterparts around the world. GCCS gives military personnel the same kind of plug and play available with Windows-type operating systems on home computers.

Prior to being declared the system of record, GCCS underwent thorough testing, including a rigorous two phase operational test. Test databases were evaluated operationally from late April to June 1996. In early July, databases containing real world plans were moved

from WWMCCS to GCCS. Final operational testing commenced. WWMCCS remained in a standby mode to provide back up capability in the unlikely event of failure while GCCS was used as the primary command and control system.

At the end of August 1996, the decision was made to declare GCCS as the single system of record. WWMCCS has now been terminated entirely for the day to day operations of strategic command and control. GCCS proved its use during recent U.S. military actions in Operation Desert Strike. The Joint Staff witnessed first hand an operational system providing a picture of the evolving battlespace in real time via GCCS workstations.

Implementation of GCCS is a major accomplishment. Nevertheless, it is still only an early phase of a larger, more ambitious effort known as C4I (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence) for the Warrior. The C4I for the Warrior vision is to bring together all command, control, communications and intelligence elements in order to speed information flow throughout the battlefield. The ultimate objective is to link U.S. forces, allowing them to communicate and trade information more rapidly than ever before. By putting in place the basic infrastructure to support such a network, GCCS represents a critical step in achieving this objective.

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