1.4.5 Complexities of Exercising Command and Control of Forces in Regional Conflict Environments
Smaller, more capable forces that are widely dispersed will have to depend on firepower from weapons that are not under their direct control. Command and control of these ground forces will be conducted by dispersed and often mobile command elements that also may perform their tasks from multiple locations. To survive and be effective in this environment, dispersed units will need timely, accurate, and common pictures of the combat environment and rapid exchange of target information. Ground line-of-sight communications will not be sufficient, nor will manned or time-consuming relay and switching equipment.
A basic requirement is mobile, agile command and control that can be transferred, for example, from shipboard to ground or from air to ground during the execution of an operation without degrading command and control. The C4I system must be capable of providing robust data, voice, and video communications suitable for collaborative planning. A fundamental and enduring C4I requirement is to facilitate rapid decision making so that the multiple military capabilities of the services can be appropriately integrated and exploited.
The conditions under which U.S. forces are deployed to support military operations other than war may well become more characteristic of some wartime operations in the future. Urban warfare in particular has many of the same characteristics as military operations other than war, e.g., an orientation toward individuals rather than platforms, and a difficulty in separating combatants from non-combatants. In other scenarios, smaller land forces--relying in part on C4I technologies--might be used to control larger expanses of territory, much as forces deployed in operations other than war today do.