Communication literally translates into the exchange of ideas, messages, or information, all of which are critical to any successful operation. Yet it is the term communications, a system for communicating, which aptly applies to the Navys FORCEnet exercise, Trident Warrior 06. FORCEnet is the key enabler of Expeditionary Maneuver Warfare that integrates Navy and Marine Corps capabilities through exploitation of network-centric warfare.
Previously Trident Warrior exercises have focused primarily on optimizing military communications available to the fleet and provide communications interoperability capability for coalition forces on multiple networks. However, this years TW 06 also demonstrated a FORCEnet Information Bridge (Up/ Across/Down) that allowed Naval and Interagency Emergency First Responders to exchange ideas, messages and information, on a near real-time basis.
“The benefits to our nations capability to organize and respond to a crisis will be immediate from the work done during the exercise, said CDR Tony Parrillo, director of Trident Warrior 06. We have already been tasked to integrate several of our procedures and technologies to help the East Coast prepare for the 2006 Hurricane Season.
Participants in this First Responder command and control team included Navy, Department of Homeland Security along with California Office of Emergency Services, California Office of Homeland Security, County of San Diego, and the cities of San Diego and Chula Vista. TW 06 provided processes and tools for all the participants to utilize and coordinate data sharing with federal, state and local command and control nodes, a capability deficiency revealed during Hurricane Katrina.
“Documented processes on howwe exchange information with Interagency teams will inform decision makers on what the Navy needs to provide in the form of people, process and technology to execute the Presidents Nationa lResponse Plan, said TW 06deputy director Brad Poeltler.The National Response Plan wasfinalized December 2004. Its intentis to fully mobilize the resources of the entire federal government tosupport relief and recovery effortsby state and local authorities particularly in catastrophic events like Hurricane Katrina.
The primary method forinformation sharing is the (national maritime Common Operational Picture) which is a near-real time,dynamically tailorable, net-centricvirtual information grid shared by all U.S. federal, state, and localagencies with maritime interestsand responsibilities. FORCEnet experts examined and integrated command and control tools with the newly established Maritime Homeland Security Operational Planning System. The aim of this planning process wasto maximize operational effectiveness by providing better cooperation between agencies to assess threats, prioritize missions, and optimize resource allocation while improving communications during coordinated crisis response.
Organizations within the Department of Homeland Security were major participants in this years exercise conducted off the southern coast of California and in the Pacific Operating Area aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6). Various U.S.ships participated in the exercise, as well as other supporting platforms from Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.
The exercise tested new web-based communications technologies and how they interact in a real-world environment. This process was tested through simulated emergency situations such as aterrorist attack and a hazardous chemical spill, to see how quickly and efficiently information could be shared between local, state and federal agencies.
During the hazardous chemical spill simulation, live video and information such as heart rate, respiration and the exact location of the victim was linked from the incident site to the civilian and military agencies. The goal of the experiment was to show the current capabilities of civilian software and how they can tie in with the military, homeland security and public safety systems.
“Trident Warrior 06’s successwill rest on both the concept and implementation of FORCEnet as a warfare enabler and COP user, concluded Parrillo. The intended result is ensuring unity of purpose and unity of effort through a process that will establish a chronological and repetitive rhythm that integrates, synchronizes, and sequences information flow and tasking.”