MCLEAN, Va.— The Pentagon’s implementation plan for its military communications and data-sharing overhaul is a “living document” that will be amended as advances are made and the spectrum of threats worldwide changes, according to an acquisitions official.
The classified plan for Joint All-Domain Command and Control, signed by Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks in March, will be updated as needed to reflect successes and failures, said Arsenio “Bong” Gumahad, director of the command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance division in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment.
“The document will evolve, it’s a living document,” Gumahad said July 11 at the National Defense Industrial Association JADC2: All-Domain Warfare Symposium.
“Over its lifetime,” he added, “it will be updated to include lessons we’ve learned from both our developmental efforts as well as from those of our adversaries” and more.
The comments come after the House Armed Services cyber and innovative technologies subcommittee requested a review of JADC2 and inventories of related efforts, goals and potential shortfalls. The oversight will inform future support and is not meant to be punitive, panel staff said last month.
The implementation framework informed the Pentagon’s fiscal 2023 budget request, officials said in March. No overall price for JADC2 was formulated at the time. The effort spans many programs, agencies and classifications, making public estimates difficult.
JADC2 is meant to give the U.S. an advantage over technologically savvy and large-scale opponents, such as China, in a fight for the Pacific, and Russia, in a fight for Europe. By linking forces that previously could not communicate, or do so quickly, across land, air, sea, space and cyber, the hope is to provide more-informed responses to threats.
The concept also considers how opponents will attempt to interfere with critical data and the increasingly long paths they travel.
“After years of focusing on operations conducted in support of the war on terrorism and violent extremist organizations,” Gumahad said, “we now face a more complex security environment.”
The implementation plan defines avenues of action, milestones and resource requirements for JADC2. The plan is separate from the strategy, an eight-page summary of which was released this year. The implementation plan focuses on who delivers what and by when, whereas the strategy lays out a broader vision or philosophy.
Gumahad said he expects a newer version of the classified implementation plan will be available once more updates are made.
Colin Demarest is a reporter at C4ISRNET, where he covers military networks, cyber and IT. Colin previously covered the Department of Energy and its National Nuclear Security Administration — namely Cold War cleanup and nuclear weapons development — for a daily newspaper in South Carolina. Colin is also an award-winning photographer.