Joint All Domain Command and Control Comprehensive Live-Virtual-Constructive Operational Network Environment (JADC2 CLONE)

May 18, 2021 by Leslie Provenzano

What is Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2)?

Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) is the Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) concept to connect platforms and sensors from all of the military services—Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Space Force—into a single network. Traditionally, each of the military services developed its own tactical network that was incompatible with those of other services (i.e., Army networks were unable to interface with Navy or Air Force networks).  JADC2 envisions providing a cloud-like environment for the Joint force to share intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance data, transmitting across many communications networks, to enable faster decision-making as depicted in Figure 1. JADC2 intends to enable commanders to make better decisions by collecting data from numerous sensors, processing the data using artificial intelligence algorithms to identify targets, then recommending the optimal weapon—both kinetic and non-kinetic (e.g., cyber or electronic weapons)—to engage the target.

Figure 1.  JADC2 Vision

What’s the plan to achieve JADC2 and why does it need a CLONE?

Currently, each military service is working independently and collaborating together under the guidance of the Joint Staff to achieve the JADC2 vision.  The Air Force, designated as the executive agent for JADC2 technology development, has established the Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) program and conducted multiple demonstrations with their own networks as well as Army and Navy systems. Army has pursued JADC2 experimentation through its Project Convergence to demonstrate the ability to access and share targeting information using Joint and Coalition networks.  Similarly, Navy has kicked off Project Overmatch to develop a new fleet network architecture that aligns with the JADC2 concept and enables Distributed Maritime Operations. All of these Joint and Service efforts to define and develop the JADC2 concept rely on rapidly identifying and evaluating network innovations for better command and control (C2) in the most challenging communications environments, while under constant attack by capable adversaries, to identify best-of-breed solutions for future warfighter connectivity and enhanced decision-making. This creates an overarching need to leverage network digital twin technology and create a Comprehensive Live-Virtual-Constructive Operational Network Environment (CLONE) for JADC2 prototyping and experimentation.

What can a JADC2 CLONE do?

Creating a JADC2 CLONE using network digital twin technology can assist the Joint Staff and each Service in achieving their individual program and project goals and combined Joint objectives in three primary ways as follows:

  • Wargaming and Operational Analysis – Incorporates high fidelity cyber, communications and network simulation capability into wargaming and concept development activities to identify the most promising JADC2 solutions for investment and further development.
  • Network Analysis and Testing – Identifies detailed performance characteristics of capabilities under consideration to optimize configurations and deployments based on real-world conditions.
  • Cyber Resiliency and Survivability – Ensures thorough assessment of JADC2 network’s ability to provide connectivity in contested environments while under constant attack by determined adversaries.

How do you create a JADC2 CLONE?

SCALABLE Network Technologies (SCALABLE) has leveraged its innovative network digital twin capability to develop a JADC2 CLONE, providing advanced simulation and emulation solutions to support existing capability analysis and advanced capability development.  A network digital twin refers to a computer simulation model of the communication network together with its operating environment and the application traffic carried by it. It can be used to study the behavior of its physical counterpart in a low-cost and zero-risk environment, either in theater or in the laboratory. To do so effectively, the digital twin must have sufficient fidelity to accurately reflect the network dynamics due to the interplay between the communication protocol, device configurations, network topology, application traffic, the physical environment, and associated cyber attacks/defenses.  For instance, the location, intensity, and duration of a jamming or denial of service attack launched by an adversary will determine their impact on communications that are critical to the mission. The interference needed to disrupt streaming video may be very different from that needed to disrupt Position Location Information (PLI).  And the digital twin must have sufficient fidelity to capture the network dynamics and thus appropriately discriminate among cyber attacks that are a mere annoyance from those that have the potential to disrupt the mission timeline.

SCALABLE’s JADC2 CLONE consists of the following three primary components depicted in Figure 2:

Figure 2. JADC2 CLONE

  • JADC2 Network Model – Leverages a rich set of military and commercial network and communication models from SCALABLE’s EXata and Joint Network Emulator (JNE)
  • Real-Time Interfaces – Connects the JADC2 CLONE with other relevant live or simulated components (for example, tactical radios, sensors, and applications such as MIDS JTRS and/or mission simulators such as OneSAF, AFSIM, and NGTS).
  • Cyber/Electronic Warfare (EW) Models – Provides a comprehensive library of live or simulated models of relevant cyber and EW attacks and defenses (e.g., malware, man-in-the-middle, jamming, frequency hopping, LPI/LPD, etc.).

How has this CLONE approach been used to date?

SCALABLE is executing multiple projects with Defense Agencies and Military Services, applying network digital twin technology to develop Mission CLONEs for specific warfighting domains and programs. Specific examples include:

Each of these Mission CLONEs can be combined and extended to develop an overarching JADC2 CLONE that can be configured rapidly to emulate and test planned networking capabilities intended to enable the Joint force to share intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance data, transmitting across many communications networks to enable faster decision-making.

Conclusion

JADC2 fundamentally relies upon communications and networks to contain, extract, and disseminate time-sensitive, mission-relevant information to win decisively against opposing forces.  Future conflicts will involve attempts to disrupt information systems that are critical for JADC2 and assured operation of highly sophisticated weapons systems. Disruption is already a capability of potential adversary forces and will spread to secondary threats allied to them. This creates an urgent need for wargames, operational analyses, tests, and evaluations to incorporate real-world cyber, communications, and networking effects to support the development of effective operating concepts, capabilities, and plans. The complexity of a JADC2 combined cyber and kinetic battlefield requires the Joint Staff and Services to adequately account for potential impacts resulting from degraded network operations and/or exploitation of cyber vulnerabilities on overall mission outcomes. JADC2 CLONE can greatly enhance the planning and insights gained from wargames, operational analyses, and test and evaluation events in a low-cost and zero-risk environment.

References: Joint All Domain Command and Control Bulletin, Congressional Research Service, 18 March 2021.