U.S. Joint Forces Command will partner with the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency to kick off Empire Challenge 2008 in China Lake, Calif., this week, a demonstration designed to enhance joint and coalition interoperability. Robert Pursell has the story.
Narrated by Robert Pursell, USJFCOM Public Affairs
Pursell: U.S. Joint Forces Command’s Joint Intelligence Directorate or J2 will partner with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency or NGA for a demonstration focused on improving joint and coalition interoperability at the Naval Air Warfare Center in China Lake, Calif. this week.
Empire Challenge 2008 or EC 08, which will run through Aug. 1, will look at the interoperability of systems and data of the services, as well as coalition partners. Army Col. Charles Mehle, who commands Joint Transformation Command - Intelligence explained the overall purpose.
Mehle: The Empire Challenge series, which started back in ‘04, was designed for their interoperability demonstrations. It’s one thing to say that we work well as a joint team or as a coalition but it’s another thing to actually, do it, perform it, demonstrate it, watching data, watching networks connected that aren’t routinely connected as a matter of daily operations.
Pursell: John Kittle, the USJFCOM lead for EC 08, said the demonstration will link up a number of data collection systems with each other and look at how they talk to one another.
Kittle: It remains, as in previous years, on systems and data interoperability. It’s still very much a data standards-driven event, where they are making sure the data in one service’s system can be transmitted to another system and received exactly how it was sent, then the same with our services to our coalition members. So it’s very much still a technically oriented activity.
Pursell: Kittle said foreign partners for EC 08 include the U.K., Canada and Australia, as well as other NATO countries. He said they’re using this as an opportunity to do some pre-deployment training and work the bugs out of their systems in a real desert environment.
Kittle also said he’d like to see EC 08 set the stage for EC 09. Recently, it was announced that USJFCOM will take the lead in Empire Challenge 2009. The focus will be on military operations.
For more information on this and other ways U.S. Joint Forces Command is supporting the warfighter, visit us on the web at www.jfcom.mil.
For U.S. Joint Forces Command, I’m Robert Pursell.