The Navy plans to test its network integration capabilities — a key pillar of its modernization plan — at least four times this year, the chief of naval operations said Wednesday.
Adm. Mike Gilday described the tests as “big spirals” where siloed networks are combined into a “network-of-networks” operation to give the service an Internet of Things-like capability.
These tests — part of the wider military’s overarching Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) concept — won’t be the first the Navy has undertaken. But Gilday said they will allow the Navy to put more data through its systems and unify more platforms with new applications at a greater scale.
The tests will “allow us to bring more networks into that network-of-networks construct,” Gilday said during a Center for a New American Security event. “So that’s testing more data on more networks and introducing more battle management aids to put the end-user in a position where they can see the battlespace better.”
Network integration is one of four core pillars in the Navy’s approach to JADC2, along with agile software development, common data standards and battle management applications. All of these efforts are hosted under Project Overmatch, the Navy’s JADC2 implementation program.
“The reason why this is so important is, first off, we need to maintain decision advantage over the adversary,” he said of the tests and overall JADC2 strategy.
Announcing the tests beforehand is new for the Navy, which has been tighter-lipped about its progress with JADC2 implementation than the other military services. Previous major tests that the Navy hosted within the service and in joint operations with other parts of the military have come to light after the fact.
Another recent change is that Project Overmatch got a new boss, with Rear Adm. Douglas Small leading a “robust” team of “technically savvy” civilians, Gilday said. Part of a reorganization, this gives Small added authorities and more central control of implementing the highly technical changes to network operations and data standards.
The team recently launched a battle management application on the USS Carl Vinson that Gilday praised as the first of many to help commanders interact and see data more clearly.
“The applications that we are applying now are much like the applications in your phone,” he said.