During the Millennium Challenge’02, a large-scale joint training
exercise scheduled to begin next summer on the U.S. West Coast,
U.S. allies will participate in air and sea operations, said U.S.
Joint Forces Command officials. The JFCOM is responsible for developing
doctrine and procedures for joint warfare.
One of the priorities in coalition warfare with other nations is
to have secure communications, said Army Lt. Col. James D. Lee,
a targeting and intelligence planner for Millennium Challenge. Multi-level
security could be achieved for the Olympic Challenge’04, another
joint training exercise, he said.
For the Millennium Challenge 2002, military officers from Germany,
Belgium, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Canada will work with
JFCOM officials in the combined air operation center.
Representatives from JFCOM have been working with foreign allies
on concept development and experimentation.
“The U.S. train is leaving the station; you can either be
on board or not. It is obvious which decision we have made,”
said Lt. Col. Pat Sweetnam, the Canadian liaison to USJFCOM. He
said that the U.S.-Canadian military relationship is imbalanced,
because Canada’s force is much smaller and still is governed
by Cold War paradigms.
Canada is seeking to work more with USJFCOM, he said. “Pragmatically,
the U.S. experimentation efforts are so sophisticated and so well
funded that cooperation from our perspective is essential,”
said Sweetnam. “The real benefit of collaborating is to allow
the U.S. to benefit from niche areas where Canada may have some
expertise while simultaneously allowing us to understand areas of
U.S. emphasis that are simply beyond our ability.”
The United Kingdom, meanwhile, has “learned over the last
20 years that the capabilities of the services need to be integrated,”
said Lt. Col. Michael Montagu, the British liaison to JFCOM. “Conflicts
and contingency operations will almost always be undertaken alongside
allies and coalition partners.”
“We are interested in looking at how we can increase the
capability of a small combat force to operate in a complex environment,”
said Cmdr. Stuart Mayer, the Australian liaison to JFCOM. “The
knowledge-edge will be critical to the force.”
With a nation of 18 million people in a land-mass as large as the
United States and with offshore territories that extend across five
time zones, Australia’s interests cannot be met with a business-as-usual
approach, Mayer said.
“History has shown that our inability to work together effectively
has been a major hurdle in achieving a decisive result in quick
order,” said Mayer.
Australia has learned from past engagements that speed, shock and
precision remain critical to war fighting, but that the less glamorous
aspects of logistics and communications are going to be decisive
in combat operations, said Mayer.
“While we are interested in operating with traditional allies
and regional partners our tasks are significantly less demanding
than what the U.S. faces,” Mayer said. “The U.S. has
to take on collaboration across the world, a mammoth task that my
country does not have to face.”
Mayer praised the USJFCOM efforts in promoting interoperability
with allies, but also acknowledged that the command is “doing
so in a resource constrained environment and this makes rapid progress
Sweetnam also noted that the restrictions in U.S. communications
capabilities hamper allies’ ability to participate. Collaboration
seems to stall when it hits a backbone communications network that
is “U.S. only,” he said. “That is hardly conducive
Mayer said that the lack of trust and respect pose hurdles in his
country’s cooperation with the United States. “Trust
speaks to the difficulty in sharing information of a classified
nature, which seems to be a perennial problem without the immediacy
of conflict prompting resolution,” he said. “While a
lack of respect is not endemic, it is certainly evident amongst
some individuals who do not see the importance or value of including
“We do not want to be included in the transformation process
as an after-thought-or in the U.S. parlance ‘kluged in at
the end,’” said Mayer.
“We are trying to overcome the culture that says that everything
is classified U.S.-only,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Buck
Shawhan, of USJFCOM. “A lot of it is just, ‘well I will
be safe in classified, so later on I don’t get a tongue lashing,
because I did not classify something that should be.’”
U.S. Air Force Col. Bill Jackson said he worries about the U.S.
government’s reluctance to share information with key allies.
“If we do not have a knowledgeable partner, there is going
to be a problem, so what we are trying to do is to have knowledgeable
partners and share with them,” he said. “When you are
conducting operations, you would like everyone to have the knowledge
you do to conduct the task you are in.”
To facilitate more collaboration and to dampen some of the security
concerns, JFCOM is working on the tagging of data, which involves
using technology to classify the pieces of information on an electronic
targeting folder. Only the releasable information is being shared,
while all information beyond that requires authorized access, Shawhan
“When that database is being shared with clients or consumer
systems and workstations, you can actually implement single-level
security measures to filter specific tag data,” said Lee.
Peer-to-peer computing, Ozolek explained, allows each computer
to communicate point-to-point instead of using a common server,
which is often the source of information security problems. “With
an arrangement like that, we think to be able to put the right security
keys into the system that enable computers to exchange information
that is acceptable to both parties [collaborating],” Ozolek