Friday, June 18, 2010

Why Military C2 is being overlooked

A little over 40 years ago, my officemate, Maj. James Vincent Sullivan, USMC, informed me that he was an Officer and Gentleman by an act of Congress. “Jay” had returned from Vietnam where he had been in a Force Reconnaissance Company (I think, perhaps the commander of the unit) and was now the US Marine Corps Cost Effectiveness Analysis Officer. “Recon” was about as close to being a SEAL as a Marine could get without actually being one. Jay was ready for Happy Hour when 4:30 rolled around.

Over the years, I learned that Congress approves the commissions of all our Military and Naval Officers. I was somewhat surprised to learn that a Marine Major was commissioned as a Naval Officer and not as a Military Officer. All Military Officers should be US Army officers but Congress created the Air Force in 1947. Currently, the US Army and the US Air Force are acknowledged “military services”. Since the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security, there has been confusion with regard to naval services.

Sometimes the Navy is a military department and sometimes the Navy is a naval service. If you think things are confusing for the Navy, you should try to figure out the Coast Guard. When the Coast Guard is acting as a part of our Armed Forces, they report to the Navy. They become a part of our naval service(s).

A little less than 40 years ago, I was a part of the Systems Group of the US Army Communication-Electronics Computer Application Agency, a Class 2 activity under the Assistant Chief of Staff (Communications-Electronics) of the Department of Army. We were responsible for generating simulated deployments of C-E equipments.

In 1974, I became Program Manager of the contract to develop the Technical Interface Design Plan – Test Edition (TIDP-TE) for the Joint Interoperability Program for Tactical Command and Control Systems Used in Support of Ground and Amphibious Military Operations (Short Title: GAMO). Prior to that, I had been the lead analyst in contractor support in developing the Joint/Combined DT II/OT II Test Plan for the AN/TTC-39(V), the “TRI-TAC” switch. The GAMO and TRI-TAC programs were merged into the JINTACCS Program.

The original GAMO program described 52 “OPFACs”. An OPFAC (Operational Facility) was a generic tactical command and control node. The program goal was to design, test, and implement interoperable interfaces among these OPFACs in a generic Joint Task Force. I personally developed the description for the USAF Tactical Air Control Center (TACC). There were two other TACCs among the 52 OPFACs – a USMC Tactical Air Command Central (TACC) and a USN Tactical Air Control Center (TACC).

Within the USAF TACC, responsibilities were split between the Director of Current Operations and the Director of Current Plans. Things within the next 24 hours were under Current Operations. Things beyond 24 hours were under Current Plans.

I recently checked the current US Code Title 10 – Armed Forces to see how things are now compared to the old days. I memorized most of the current USC 10 – “Repealed.”

Poor Commander-in-Chief President Obama. His advisors are Incident Commander, Admiral Thad Allen, USCG, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, USN, and National Security Advisor, General James L. Jones, USMC (ret). Is there a military officer anywhere in the house?


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