Two combat command budgets omit funding for JADC2 International Cooperation Tools

Washington — According to the unfunded priority list obtained by C4ISRNET on Thursday, the U.S. Indo-Pacific Army and the U.S. European Army have combined to improve information sharing with their allies for the Pentagon’s joint combat initiative. I want $ 224 million.

The two combat commanders excluded funding to improve the Mission Partner Environment (MPE) from the budget request for fiscal year 2022 and asked lawmakers to consider the program to see if additional funding was available. The Pentagon is pushing for a base budget, but each year it provides a list of additional suggestions for funding as lawmakers discuss their priorities.

Military officials believe that the MPE collaboration platform, which allows the United States and coalition partners to share information, is a battlefield network that the Pentagon considers necessary for future conflicts with China and Russia. I have repeatedly stated that it is essential.

The Indo-Pacific Army, which leads the war with China, demanded about $ 84.5 million from MPE if Congress could find the money. According to the list, Command is demanding $ 30.5 million for procurement and $ 54 million for operation and maintenance. The MPE “strengthens” some of the environmental areas, such as data integration and cybersecurity, to build “theater-wide interoperable intelligence and command and control information sharing for all US and partner users.” I need the money to do it.

EUCOM MPE requests total $ 40.3 million and contain much more detailed information. The Russian-focused command states that MPE is the “primary means” of coordinated joint command and control with NATO allies.

Over half of these funds will go to the MPE infrastructure of major and forward operations bases in Europe. This effort is to “lay the foundation” for JADC2. It expands Command’s Air Force component combat network to support the US Air Force’s European Union C2, and Command is the “foundation of European JADC2” and will fund the support services of the Union network. The remaining funds will improve other information sharing with partners, upgrade networks to extend to the tactical edge, and strengthen the command and control of coalitions across the continent.

Earlier this year, Vice Admiral Dennis Crall, Chief Information Officer of the Joint Chiefs of Staff / J6 and Commander-in-Chief of the JADC2 initiative, said on the importance of a mission partner environment to develop a joint command and control network. Discussed.

Crall said in March at AFCEA TechNet Indo-Pacific: “We’re not going to fight alone, we know, and information sharing-and rapid information sharing-is very important, especially for the type of theater fighting we’re talking about.”

EUCOM has also notified Congress of its $ 55 million priority for modernizing its fighter IT infrastructure, which it plans to build for JADC2. The funding needed will fund “long-delayed” improvements in cyber and communications infrastructure. According to the request, the completed improvements are “ready for future data-centric operational requirements,” that is, enterprise IT, ISR, and JADC2 as services.

Defense News reporter Joe Gould contributed to this report.

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