DJC2: Connecting Dots in the Joint Warfighter Environment

  • Published
  • By Katherine C. Gandara
  • Headquarters Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center Chief of Public Affairs
Better communication in the battlefield can mean the difference between life and death decisions.

Commanders have effectively fought operations remotely but an important aspect that has been compromised in the past is collaboration with troops in the joint battlespace. Collaboration of information between the troop commander and the troops is essential in converting the information into knowledge and then into a decision.

The Deployable, Joint Command and Control system, commonly known as the DJC2, is a mission-control like system for the field providing joint force commanders with a full range of interoperable, robust, standardized, and scaleable systems and tools for planning, executing, and assessing operations. This system provides the integrated hardware and software suites used by joint task force commanders and allows the commander to exercise command and control over widely dispersed forces using multiple data sources and communication alternatives.

However, before the warfighter gets the system, it must pass operational testing. That is where the DJC2 test team members from the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Detachment 3 come into the picture. AFOTEC members led an Air Force effort along with other testers from all four services completing initial operational testing of DJC2 at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz. The testing scenario involved a simulated terrorist attack developed to stress and access all DJC2 systems in an operationally realistic environment.

"The command and control tools, applications, and connectivity DJC2 provides to the deployed commander is incredible," said Col. Denise Kloeppel, the AFOTEC Detachment 3 commander responsible for testing Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance programs. "Equally incredible were the efforts required to plan and realistically test so many systems and capabilities within one test event. The AFOTEC test team of operators, communicators, logisticians, and maintenance experts provided critical data to assist the Joint Forces Command with making an informed fielding decision."

The data and results from this operational test are currently being reviewed and assessed by all four services' operational test organizations and will culminate in a formal report later this year. This report will provide the acquisition authority with data and fielding recommendation.

DJC2 provides almost everything imaginable a joint headquarters warfighter could want or need to execute their mission and supports more than 60 users. The system has been likened to America Online for joint command and control with five networks that include the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System, Non-secure Internet Protocol Router Network, Secret Internet Protocol Router Network, Combined Enterprise Regional Information Exchange System, and Internet.

It also includes capability for secret and top secret intelligence processing suites, Global Broadcast Service for data and video feeds, multiple collaboration tools, secure and non-secure phones and video teleconferencing, common operational picture displays, tactical radios, Defense Message System Services, e-mail capability at all security levels, dual satellite communication systems, tactical communications and much more. In addition, DJC2 deploys autonomously with its own power generation, cooling, and tent structures. It is fully deployable on four C-17 aircraft and DJC2 can provide the deployed commander with these capabilities within six hours of arriving on-site.

DJC2 provides a common platform for all regional commanders-in-chiefs, component commanders, and designated joint task force commanders that achieves a seamless, shared-information environment supporting joint, multinational, and interagency operations during catastrophic events. It can be relocated as situations require and is adaptable to land, air, sea, and space operations.

The DJC2's dynamic and flexible nature was demonstrated when one of its elements was rapidly deployed to provide command and control support to the Department of Homeland Security during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The system allowed coordination among dozens of U.S. military commands, federal agencies, state and local governments and private relief agencies over an area of devastation the size of England.

DJC2 allows for easy, networked collaboration and communication between the different services, inherently saving time on collaboration issues. In doing so, commanders are able to make quicker decisions while further assisting the concept of effects-based operations.