The Joint Vision manifestos: Future combat, future contracts

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Louis Ray of Matcom: "What has been clearly recognized in Joint Vision 2020 is the importance of extending our command and control into multinational operations."

If integrators want to look at the future of network-centric procurement, a good starting point is the Joint Vision 2010 and Joint Vision 2020 documents, said Louis Ray, president and chief executive officer of Matcom International Corp., an IT and engineering services provider in Alexandria, Va., that does work in military tactical data links.

Released in 1996 and overseen by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, JV 2010 was designed to offer high-level guidance in how the services should be equipped by 2010. It stressed the integration of the forces and reliance on information superiority. JV 2020 was released in 2000 and expanded on these same concepts.

For Ray, the two documents provide a clear road map of what the services will seek from IT contractors in the years to come.

One trend is an increased reliance on decision-making tools.

"The problem is that the commands are buried in more data than they know what to do with," Ray said. With increasing amounts of information coming in from different, newly networked sources, solutions are needed that take these torrents of data and turn them into actionable information.

Another trend JV 2020 stresses is that of interoperability beyond the services.

"What has been clearly recognized in 2020 is the importance of extending our command and control into multinational operations," Ray said. He noted operations in Kosovo, in which airspace had to be cleared for U.S. warfighters because control systems from other countries were not interoperable with those from the United States.

Such alliance integration work will be particularly demanding, because an ally in one conflict may eventually be an enemy in another, Ray said. So while systems should be interoperable with outside forces, they also have to be secured quickly from parties with working knowledge of the system.

As homeland security efforts ramp up, the Defense Department will also have to work with ways of trading information with civilian agencies as well, Ray said.

Joint Vision 2010 can be found at www.dtic.mil/jv2010/ jvpub.htm and Joint Vision 2020 at www.dtic.mil/jv2020/.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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