BOX 1.4 Reducing the Cycle Time
for Striking Time-Critical Targets
Emergent targets are high-payoff land and maritime
platforms, force groupings, and geographic complexes that must be attacked
inside cycle times that are not consistently achievable by the current Joint
Targeting Process. The effective attack of such targets demands a seamless
flow of information across service, organization, and system boundaries if
they are to be consistently attacked within their short windows of
vulnerability (1 to 2 hours or less). Emergent targets operate inside the
Joint Targeting Cycle because information is decelerated as it crosses
organizational and system boundaries. Numerous studies have documented the
latency introduced into the targeting process when data has to be rekeyed, air
gapped, disseminated in hard copy, or otherwise transferred manually between
systems; and even when such impediments do not exist one component of the
force rarely has visibility into what strike assets the other has available
against what portions of the battlespace on a time-sensitive basis--so that
requests for other services' weapons are made inefficiently or not at all. The
warfighter is not receiving the full benefit of our massive investment in
information and weapons technology.
The Joint Continuous Strike Environment advanced concept technology demonstration seeks to improve the responsiveness of U.S. strike cycles against emergent, time-critical surface targets. The Joint Continuous Strike Environment functionality will encompass deep-strike assets from all services and selected allied assets. It will take advantage of existing but untapped potential for servicing emergent targets to shunt and accelerate information along the sensor-to-shooter pathways, thus enabling a joint force commander to hold emergent targets at risk without disrupting other aspects of his campaign plan. Whether a target pops up due to enemy action, or emerges because it is critical to accomplishing a joint force commander's plans in a temporally dominated battlespace, the Joint Continuous Strike Environment will provide the tools to put the right weapon on the right target at the right time.
Its goal is to reduce by at least one order of magnitude the latency associated with correlating command guidance, weapons, targets, and airspace deconfliction and launching attacks against emergent targets. The Joint Continuous Strike Environment provides to warfighters automated target prioritization based on a commander's guidance and objectives, continuous monitoring of weapon availability (resulting in visibility into all service weapons rather than today's service-centric view at execution nodes), optimized weapon target pairing in which actionable intelligence is matched to available strike assets, and near-real-time airspace deconfliction that avoids the need to constrain operations throughout the theater by altitude and volume.
SOURCES: Adapted from the description of the Joint Communications
Strike Environment program