Printer Friendly

Turf battles: Strategic Command's expanded portfolio prompts skepticism.

OMAHA, Neb. -- Missile defense, space systems, psychological operations, nuclear strike, weapons of mass destruction, the global information grid, intelligence gathering and network warfare. It all now comes under the U.S. Strategic Command umbrella at Offutt Air Force Base.

Stratcom is wrapping up a four-year process where it has reinvented itself under the leadership of its commander, Marine Corps Gen. James E. Cartwright, and taken eight missions into its fold.

"I do not anticipate a ninth," said Army Maj. Gen. Kevin T. Campbell, Stratcom chief of staff, speaking at the Strategic Space and Defense conference.

Now comes the hard part: proving to the rest of the U.S. defense community, particularly the regional commands, that it can effectively deliver its services. There are skeptics.

"We have a fundamental problem of convincing our regional combatant commanders that space sensors on the service side will be there when they need them. And that they'll have a say" in what they do, Cartwright said. And while he was addressing Stratcom's space portfolio, officers under his command in charge of the other seven components said they have the same credibility challenge. To the other eight commands, Stratcom can be seen as a nuisance--a globally tasked organization seeking to invade their turf. To others, they may be a blessing, providing them a service they couldn't otherwise attain, officers said.

We have got to change that trust equation, Cartwright said. "Because right now, it is not on our side."

Some of the eight components are more established in the defense community than others. Five have been designated joint functional component commands (JFCCs).

The eight are:

Global Strike and Integration. Headquartered at Offutt Air Force Base, Stratcom's legacy component plans global strike missions, as it did in its previous incarnation as the Air Force Strategic Command, but it also serves as the lead integrator of the other seven missions.

Campbell said it is wrong to assume that a combatant commander must first go to Global Strike and Integration seeking a service, then the request filters down to one of the seven others.

"It's anything but that," he said. "The notion being that any combatant commander ... can enter into one of the these JFCC's or centers for what they need from Stratcom."

Campbell likened the structure to a molecule. All the components should be connected and interdependent. That model is in the early stages, he admitted.

"That's been a tough cultural shift for components, but over time, we will get there," Campbell said.

Air Force Brig. Gen. Howard N. Thompson, mobilization assistant to the commander, said global strike "is not just a bomber and a bomb." It may include nonkinetic effects, such as electronic warfare. The most effective global strike "might be the one where the target never even knew that it had occurred," Thompson said.

The Special Operations Command, which also has a global reach, has had a stronger working relationship with Stratcom, but there are still tensions between Stratcom and the regional commands, he said.

"The business rules of how one can reach into the others' areas of responsibility and execute missions are something that have to be very carefully thought out," Thompson said.

Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance. Air Force Maj. Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, ISR's deputy commander, said the command keeps a "global perspective on ISR issues" as opposed to other commands with regional or incident specific focuses.

ISR's challenge is one that has long plagued the intelligence gathering community. That is how to integrate the many so-called stovepipes of unconnected information.

"It's not just how do you integrate sensors--it's how you integrate across lines," Welsh said. Whether it is ally to ally, regional command to regional command or service to combatant command, "it's not an easy problem," he said.

To serve that end, staff members are embedded at the Defense Intelligence Agency. Army Maj. Gen. Michael D. Maples also serves as both head of the DIA and the JFCC. Having a leader who wears two hats contributes to a JFCC's credibility in the defense community, Stratcom officers said.

Space. Once a separate command within the Air Force, then moved to a Stratcom JFFC with Global Strike, Space will become its own component effective next July. It recently transferred its headquarters to Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

Cartwright said the ability to deliver space products to regional commanders has met with a good deal of skepticism. "From sensing something to actually getting it to somebody who can act on it is too long," Cartwright said.

Systems are set up to send data to be analyzed by appropriate experts, then be moved forward. "They are not user friendly. And they don't get there in the time line that is actionable," he said.

Air Force Maj. Gen. William Shelton, JFCC-Space and 14th Air Force commander, said his goal is to make his component "the one-stop shop for space effects."

"We want [combatant commanders] to be able to integrate space in everything they do."

Integrated Missile Defense. The JFCC's main challenge will be to work closely with the Missile Defense Agency to decrease the time it takes to field systems, said Navy Capt. Michael Viland, deputy director of operations.

Unlike some of the other commands, IMD "started from zero" with regional commanders running their own programs, he said.

Lt. Gen. Larry Dodgen serves both as commander of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, headquartered in Arlington, Va., and the JFCC.

North Korea's Taepodong-2 missile launch last summer was one of the first tests of the new command structure, although Viland declined to share details.

"We have a lot of capability, but the proof is always in the pudding."

Network Warfare. "We intend to be at the forefront of the cyber-warfare transformation," said Army Col. Rudolph Haynie, director of plans, policy, doctrine and training at the command.

The network warfare command will concentrate on offensive use of the Internet as requested by combatant commanders rather than defense of the global information grid (GIG) and will be physically co-located with the National Security Agency at Fort Meade, Md. It will have to coordinate carefully with government agencies outside the Defense Department to be successful, Haynie said. There will have to be close cooperation with intelligence agencies to "isolate, identify and characterize" adversaries, he said.

Joint Task Force-Global Network Operations. The mission of Global Network Operations is to direct and defend the GIG across more than 50 Defense Department organizations on a daily basis in near real-time speed, said Air Force Col. Gary McAlum, director of operations at the command. "The threats we face on a day-to-day basis are continuous, unrelenting, and they're adapting," he said.

Prior to forming the task force, those managing the GIG and those defending it were at different ends of the hallway and rarely talked, McAlum said. The last 18 months have been spent synchronizing those efforts.

Thompson said the issue of whether Global Network Operations and Network Warfare should be two separate JFCCs "is something we're still examining to see if that is the best construct," he told National Defense.

Meanwhile, McAlum said the task force is gaining immediate acceptance in the Defense Department because it has been around in various forms since 1998. "People are glad someone is in charge and telling them what to do."

Joint Information Operations Warfare Command. Robert Butler, associate director of the command, said the JIOWC's challenge is to determine how the global war of information fits into the global war on terror.

The JIOWC is under the command of Air Force Maj. Gen. John C. Koziol, and located at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

It works closely with the Special Operations Command on psychological warfare efforts. Electronic warfare, military deception and operations security also falls under its purview.

Strategic communications "allows us to project an image of what is going on from the shores of America," Butler said.

Thompson said the command coordinates closely with the White House, as well as combatant commanders.

"We require a congruity between the words that we speak and the effects that we take, kinetic and non-kinetic, and that must be part of the overall plan from the outset," he said.

In gaining acceptance from combatant commanders, JIOWC has an advantage because it supplied them with services for 25 years before falling under the Stratcom umbrella, Butler said.

"We've had time to develop these relationships," he said.

Center for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction. Stood up August 2005, the center sees itself as a bridge between the Defense Department and other federal agencies involved in combating nuclear, chemical or biological threats, said Army Col. Randle Scott, chief forward element at the center.

James Tagnelia serves as its director, and the head of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency at Fort Belvoir, Va. Aside from some integration staff at Offutt, the command is "virtual," with members spread out in the Washington, D.C., area to coordinate its efforts with other federal agencies.

"This is an ideal structure to meet the requirements for today for combating WMD," Scott said. The center can coordinate with the other seven commands and use the expertise of DTRA.

The eight Stratcom components have made progress during the past year to prove their capabilities to the other commands, officers said.

"It is our job--each of the JFCC's--to become credible, to produce credible products people want to integrate into the way they do business. If we can do that, this construct will be accepted universally," Thompson said.
COPYRIGHT 2006 National Defense Industrial Association
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2006, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Magnuson, Stew
Publication:National Defense
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2006
Words:1579
Previous Article:Latest Pentagon 'roadmap' reveals serious frustration.
Next Article:Strategic command pushing divisive 'conventional trident' plan.
Topics:


Related Articles
Editor's corner.
Special Operations Command faces personnel shortages.
Commander unveils plans for new readiness command: key leaders assemble for conference.
Army chat-rooms gain semi-official status.
London calling.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2020 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters