John Stenbit, assistant secretary of defense for networks and information integration and chief information officer of the Department of Defense, announced today the successful completion of Quantum Leap I. The exercise demonstrated a concept of net-centric operations called "horizontal fusion " -- the ability to integrate data from several sources for rapid and effective decision-making.
The live demonstration of net-centric capabilities was carried out at a variety of military locations, including the Defense Information Systems Agency, Falls Church, Va.; the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, Charleston, S.C.; and the McKenna Military Operations in Urban Terrain Site at Fort Benning, Ga. Horizontal fusion portfolio initiatives -- a joint suite of military communication and intelligence capabilities in development by the armed services -- will use multiple Web-enabled portlets, on-line foreign language translation and leading edge computing services to provide a dynamic look at tactical operations for real-time collaboration, situational awareness and sense-making.
Stenbit pointed out that net-centric warfare adds flexibility in providing battlefield intelligence from pushing information from the intelligence analyst or commander to smart pull of information by the user according to user-determined preferences. "This transformation is critical if, in the future, the department will have the intelligence-sharing needed to fight emerging threats of asymmetric warfare and terrorism."
The horizontal fusion portfolio was launched Jan. 20, 2003, in response to Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld’s vision of transforming the department. The horizontal fusion portfolio is slated to continue through 2008, expanding and accelerating DoD’s net-centric capabilities. Speaking of these emerging capabilities, Mr. Rumsfeld said, "Possibly the single-most transforming thing in our force will not be a weapon system, but a set of interconnections and a substantially enhanced capability because of that awareness."
This year’s horizontal fusion portfolio is made up of 13 initiatives designed to provide improved intelligence and operations support for joint task forces and tactical units engaged in hostile action. Marian Cherry, the horizontal fusion portfolio manager, noted that, "The decision to include a specific program or initiative in the horizontal fusion portfolio is strategic. Each of these combat solutions must contribute to greater synergy, situational awareness and net-centricity for DoD."
John Osterholz, director for architecture and interoperability, said, "The horizontal fusion portfolio of new C3I capabilities will make our forces less vulnerable and more lethal. The assumption is that we no longer have hours or days to coordinate between the sensors, the shooters, the communicators and the logisticians. Today, they need visibility of their challenges, and they need it now. The way to deliver that vision is to make them each a node on the network -- and find ways for them to quickly make sense of what’s going on around them."