* Editor's note: The commander used a duplicate version March 10 for the House Armed Services Committee, the only difference is the initial paragaph.
Joint Operating Environment (JOE) and Capstone Concept for Joint Operations (CCJO)
First published in 2008, the JOE was updated and will be re-released later this month. This new edition of the JOE continues to be historically informed and forward looking, and this year the JOE includes a new section that looks at the world's tenuous financial stability, a growing U.S. national debt, and what this all might mean for future national security and defense planning. By considering how global trends will drive change, we draw general conclusions about the military implications. Those implications set the framework for our concept development.
If the JOE is the "problem statement" for the future joint force, then the Capstone Concept for Joint Operations (CCJO) is the "solution." The CCJO is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff's statement for how the joint force will operate in the future threat environment described in the JOE. As the Capstone Concept, it was drafted with active engagement of the Joint Chiefs and Combatant Commanders under the guidance of the Chairman. This past summer a series of war games tested the CCJO and found it conceptually sufficient. The games also highlighted several key areas that require focus and improvement for the joint force and informed the Quadrennial Defense Review.
Throughout history every military organization that has successfully adapted has done so by clearly articulating the problem as we have in the JOE, and then resolving the problem as the Chairman has outlined in the CCJO. With the QDR, JOE and the CCJO providing our backdrop, Joint Forces Command remains focused this year on prevailing in the current conflict, preparing for a wide range of future contingencies, and preserving and enhancing the joint force, including its ability to work harmoniously with other elements of the U.S. Government and allies.
Prevail in Today's Conflicts
As the joint force provider, Joint Forces Command is responsible for providing trained and ready forces to combatant commanders in support of current operations and global contingencies. This mission area has the most immediate and visible impact on current joint operations. During the past year, we responded to more than 390 rotational and emergent requests for forces from combatant commanders resulting in the sourcing of more than 398,000 personnel supporting numerous global missions. Key among these is the troop increase in Afghanistan, while continuing to satisfy requirements in Iraq and other regions.
In reserve, as a shock absorber for unpredictable events like the surprises outlined in the JOE, Joint Forces Command maintains the Global Response Force ready to respond to unforeseen crises at home or abroad. This force, most recently deployed in support of Haiti, provides the Commander-in-Chief with flexible options to respond to a variety of crises while we simultaneously fulfill our commitments in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, and elsewhere around the world.
The character of ongoing operations has resulted in unusual stress on "high-demand, low density" assets and requires accelerated force structure changes. In some cases the demand requires new capabilities be developed. The work associated with the QDR resulted in considerable gains in identifying shortfalls and validating the need to balance the force. Although the services are continuing to increase these capabilities, persistent shortfalls exist in electronic warfare, civil affairs, engineering, military intelligence, military police, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.
While we cannot accurately predict the type warfare in which we must be ready to engage in the future, we recognize that we cannot adopt a single, preclusive view of war. Balance is key. Our forces must be tailored to provide the maximum flexibility to deal with a wide range of conflicts and contingencies, because today's strategic and operational environment is characterized by the constants of rapid change and complexity. Today, we recognize that the force must be balanced to effectively meet various challenges to U.S. interests and an irregular threat, without compromising our nuclear deterrent or conventional capabilities and at a time when the distinctions between types of warfare are blurring. Our military leaders and our forces will need to be the most versatile in our nation's history.
In support of this line of thinking, in March of 2009 Joint Forces Command published a vision for Irregular Warfare (IW) and established a set of goals and objectives to advance counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, and stability operations capabilities as a core competency within the General Purpose Forces. Our Joint Irregular Warfare Center (JIWC) is the command's catalyst and driving force behind establishing IW as a core competency for the joint force. This team is building bridges across the services, Service labs, industry, academia, civilian partners, and with allies to harvest the best ideas on how to address this challenging form of warfare and steal a march on our enemy.
As you know, the non-state, insurgent and terrorist adversaries we face today in the Middle East and elsewhere have chosen approaches to warfare that avoids our conventional strengths. We have adapted to these changing approaches to war and will continue to do so across the joint force. The asymmetric approach of our enemy has in some cases negated our technologically superior, iconic weapon systems, putting the preponderance of enemy engagements in the hands of our ground troops in close quarters combat. In this unforgiving environment, our ground units are employed every day, and this is where over 80 percentof our casualties occur, often in the initial firefights.
Across all warfighting communities, training advances have been significant, yet the use of advanced simulation technology has not yet achieved for infantry training what we take as routine for aviation, armor or maritime simulation training. While there are a host of reasons, and the different combat training regimes pose notably different simulation challenges, dramatic advances in immersive simulation, artificial intelligence, and gaming technology must now be harnessed to bring state-of-the-art simulation to small infantry units. Though the rudimentary simulation designed for close combat currently affords units some level of challenge, it does not yet approach the level of sophistication deemed essential in other disciplines.
The Deputy Secretary of Defense has directed funding to the services and Joint Forces Command to support the urgent development of infantry immersive training simulators as part of a broader national effort for small unit excellence. As our troops are engaged around the world and assigned a variety of missions confronting insurgents on the ground, the development of a close combat/infantry immersive training simulator is a national priority in terms of creating top-performing small units able to take advantage of joint surveillance and fire support. Our immediate task is to create prototype immersive training simulators as a means to enhance warfighter survivability, amplify exposure to joint and combined assets, improve the employment of our joint-asymmetric capabilities, and increase the overall effectiveness of our close combat/infantry small unit performance to defeat the enemy while protecting the innocent intentionally jeopardized by our enemies' tactics.
Focusing efforts to enable small units to combine initiative, critical thinking, and joint warfighting experience will allow for brilliance in combat skill basics and agile responses to the enemies we face. Casualty reduction, fewer ethical missteps, psychological resilience and enhanced mission success rates are the goals. We will remain responsive and innovative to confront the challenges our close combat and small infantry units encounter today and tomorrow. Other communities have demonstrated that simulator training is an effective tool to increase operational effectiveness. America's close combat/infantry forces will get our best effort to provide them every advantage and prepare them fully to achieve success in battle.
In addition to improved simulation training capabilities, Joint Forces Command continues its efforts to enhance small unit effectiveness. We have brought together the trainers, coaches, educators, social and human scientists, academia, and technical and cognitive assessment experts to form a community of interest that will improve the combat effectiveness of our small units. Paramount to this effort is the development of leaders who are capable of operating against a broad spectrum of threats, while retaining and enhancing their ability to lead in a more conventional environment. The complex and dynamic security environment demands that we have small units and leaders that are able to take advantage of fleeting opportunities on the battlefield. These small units and leaders must be able to operate independently, possessing the full knowledge and ability to employ joint and combined capabilities, and subsequently be empowered to make critical decisions under stressful conditions - the same attributes we anticipate will be required on future battlefields, conventional or otherwise.
Working with the services, Joint Forces Command has developed a Concept for Joint Distributed Operations in support of experimentation to be conducted this summer. This concept describes how joint enabling capabilities can be made more effectively and efficiently available to smaller distributed units and that these joint capabilities can be pushed to lower echelons. Current operations demonstrate that distributed operations are becoming more the norm, and this experiment will draw on lessons learned and best practices from recent experience to determine what solutions should be incorporated into future joint force capabilities.
In Afghanistan, U.S. airpower represents one of our joint force's greatest asymmetric advantages over the enemy. The employment of air-based joint fires, used properly, will wreak havoc on enemy forces. In the fluid environment of a counter-insurgency fight, the decision to employ these joint air-based fires will come from leaders who understand that to be effective these fires must be employed rapidly and precisely against the enemy while avoiding civilian casualties. Effective employment often requires persistent observation, integrated intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), and shortened approval procedures. Our airpower is unmatched in the world, however today's approach of loitering multi-million dollar aircraft and using a system-of-systems procedure for the approval and employment of airpower is not the most effective use of aviation fires in this irregular fight. A Light Attack Armed Reconnaissance (LAAR) aircraft capability has the potential to shift air support from a reactive threat response, to a more proactive approach that reduces sensor-to-shooter timelines, with immediate and accurate fires, providing surveillance and reconnaissance throughout a mission, while providing communication and navigation support to troops on the ground. Additionally, a LAAR capability can provide a means to build partner capacity with effective, relevant air support. This year Joint Forces Command will closely follow a project called Imminent Fury where the Navy and Air Force will employ a LAAR capability to reinforce our asymmetric advantage over the enemy.
Presently, one of the enemy's most effective weapons is the Improvised Explosive Device (IED). Joint Forces Command is collaborating closely with the Joint IED Defeat Organization to defeat this enemy capability, sharing lessons learned and adapting our operating concept and training efforts. Joint Forces Command continues to prepare the joint force to conduct operations in urban environments to defeat adversaries who are embedded and diffused within a population without causing catastrophic damage to the functioning society. In collaboration with the services and international partners, we will strive to leverage relevant efforts that address gaps in our ability to effectively operate within cities and complex terrain.
The joint force has learned and adapted to counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, and required stability operations conducted in a complex environment. Recently, the services and Joint Forces Command completed an initial assessment of U.S. General Purpose Forces (GPF) readiness and proficiency for irregular warfare. This first effort provides a primarily qualitative assessment of proficiency and readiness, and will serve as a baseline for future work. As we incorporate IW - relevant tasks, skills, and experiences into our tracking mechanisms and further institutionalize the enduring lessons learned from Iraq and Afghanistan, subsequent assessments will provide a more quantitative and focused picture of the GPF's proficiency and readiness for IW.
The complex series of coincident challenges continues to demand highly educated warriors and leaders. Joint Forces Command continues to provide a robust Mission Rehearsal Exercise (MRX) program to support the training of deploying headquarters elements to Afghanistan. These have included the 101st Airborne Division and the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force Forward. These exercises are continually improved to stress cultural awareness and the decision making skills required in the irregular warfare environment, including interagency, coalition and Afghan Security Force representatives in attendance. During 2009, the exercise support to Central Command's Combined Transition Command-Afghanistan helped prepare that staff to assist the Afghan National Army to assume national responsibilities. The exercises remained tightly linked to our joint and NATO lessons learned processes, and feedback from the field continues to shape the scenarios and operational problems within which we train and evaluate deploying commanders and their staffs.
Through Joint Knowledge Development & Delivery Capability (JKDDC) and Joint Knowledge Online (JKO), Joint Forces Command continues to provide virtual classroom training to cover a wide array of training topics. The JKO Portal hosts more than 330 courses, including many developed by coalition partner nations to build partner capacity through sharing information and security related training. The portal also offers basic language training and tailored pre-deployment training for Individual Augmentees (IAs) and coalition partners participating in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many resources found on the JKO Portal also are available to interagency, international and non-governmental organizations. To date, JKO reports over 100,000 registered users and 230,000 course completions. In 2009 JKDDC invested in research and development for advanced technology capabilities that targeted specific training gaps. These fielded and available applications include the Virtual Cultural Awareness Trainer (VCAT) and the Small Group Scenario Trainer (SGST), specifically addressing operations, tailored cultural awareness training, and small group training capability needs. These applications provide some rudimentary capabilities to satisfy basic warfighter training needs.
The Joint Forces Command led Multi-National Experiment (MNE) 6 is a two-year, multinational and interagency effort to improve coalition capabilities against enemies employing a mix of irregular operational methods, adaptive technologies, and hybrid approaches to warfare through a whole-of-government approach. Participants include military and civilian sectors of 18 NATO and non-NATO nations, NATO's Allied Command Transformation, and U.S. Special Operations Command. MNE 6 produced draft products on the assessment of operational progress and cross-cultural awareness in the first year. The remainder of the experiment is focused on developing and implementing at national and international levels solutions for coordination of partner efforts to solve a crisis, assess campaign progress with valid metrics, and develop a strategy for information sharing and situational understanding.
A common, often daunting task for the geographic combatant commander is strengthening indigenous security forces. As articulated in the QDR report, Security Force Assistance (SFA) is a cornerstone for establishing regional security. Effective indigenous security forces can preclude or minimize conflict and thereby strengthen the collective security against threats and security challenges, reducing the potential demand for U.S forces. While Security Force Assistance expertise traditionally resides within special operations forces (SOF), some aspects of SFA are well suited to general purpose forces (GPF). Transitioning portions of these responsibilities will relieve pressure on our over-extended SOF. The GPF possesses robust capability that can be used more effectively to provide full spectrum SFA support. For example, a maritime SFA possesses the expertise to support everything from low-end opportunities such as small boat engine maintenance, to ballistic missile defense, one of the most complex aspects of modern warfare.
Presently, the joint force is not optimally trained and organized to advise and assist with building partnerships, although real progress has been demonstrated. As the provider of the majority of the GPF to the combatant commanders, we remain fully engaged with Special Operations Command to expand these capabilities, particularly the emerging role of SFA. We envision selected SFA executed by GPF in small units, task organized for the mission, operating in a distributed manner and building partner security capability in support of theater campaign plans. This vision includes SFA support within the ground, air and maritime domains. Our maritime forces are uniquely positioned to support this mission, by providing SFA from the sea, thereby sustaining U.S. influence while minimizing the U.S. footprint ashore, and maintaining the security of the global commons. To support this vision of an expanded GPF role, we have adapted the global force management process to account for SFA, and are addressing this capability in joint concept development and experimentation like the Joint Distributed Operations experiment, ensuring the services have a model for these operations and highlighting Service strengths, such as our asymmetric naval capabilities.
Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) is the means to develop our future leaders for the complexity of the threat environment in which those leaders will find themselves. Viewed broadly, JPME is a strategic asset for our nation that shapes the understanding of not just American officers, but also for preparing and building personal relationships and trust with our allied or partner nations whose officers also attend our schools. Today, JPME is essential to understanding the multiplicity of state and non-state actors, the nature of warfare, and building partner capacity to operate in an era of persistent engagement. The complexities of today's complex security environment demand the most innovative and versatile leaders to execute a strategy that demands melding military, civil and cultural factors. A trained warfighter must perform acceptably against a range of threats and in dynamic security environments, which demand highly-educated warriors who can adapt opportunistically in order to prevail. A critical thinker/warrior will know how to acquire knowledge, process information from multiple sources, and make timely, accurate decisions in complex, ethically challenging and ever-changing environments. We now place greater emphasis on the study of history, culture and language beyond their broad incorporation into training and exercise scenarios, including efforts employing the latest modeling and simulation technology.
We are taking concrete steps to translate battlefield adaptations into rapid institutional change. Our maturing relationship with the National Defense University (NDU) is one effort to improve JPME and ensure it is aligned properly with the current realities and future challenges that we pick up in lessons learned, mission rehearsal exercises, and concept development. Results from the ongoing House Armed services Committee Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, National Defense University, and Service school evaluations of the entire JPME program can provide insights to transform JPME, making it more effective and relevant to meet the demands of both the present and future operating environments. In conjunction with Special Operations Command and NDU, we will stand-up an Irregular Warfare Academic Center of Excellence to provide a capability which harnesses the work of the many academic institutions studying counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, stability operations, unconventional operational methods, and hybrid approaches to warfare and to make their lessons relevant and available to the joint force. I strongly urge your continued support of our efforts to expand allied and partner access to our educational institutions to further build trust and interoperability among our forces, while broadly sharing our ethical grounding. We are also swiftly incorporating battlefield lessons learned into rehearsal exercises and senior leader education programs like the Pinnacle, Capstone and Keystone courses. Participants' surveys consistently note the relevance of both lessons learned and interaction with senior level warfighters who bring a wealth of experience to bear.
As a means to promote the necessary cognitive approaches, the application of 'operational design' will help leaders understand the problem, understand the environment, design an approach to solve the problem, and reframe the problem when circumstances change. Joint Forces Command has initiated a program to move operational design forward at the tactical, operational and strategic levels; focused on a cognitive approach vice procedural approach; built with the best of breed; developed in a joint context; and in collaboration with all the services, while leveraging the Army's mature work along these lines.
During the past year, Joint Forces Command examined the adequacy of the joint force to execute the precepts outlined in the Capstone Concept for Joint Operations. Through wargaming activity, and drawing on the extensive experience and broad perspective of participants who included seven ambassadors; four former combatant commanders; active flag and general officers from the United States, United Kingdom and Australia; subject matter experts from all services and combatant commands; and representatives from relevant U.S. Government departments and the National Security Council, this examination identified risk areas where the joint force's ability to achieve its mission are most vulnerable, and evaluated potential mitigating actions.
The CCJO wargame identified force development implications in order to address the changing nuclear landscape, gaining and maintaining access around the globe, interagency integration, situational understanding, and overcoming digital dependence. Detailed insights and recommendations from the experiment were provided to joint and Service policy and decision makers and helped inform the QDR. The CCJO and related experimentation are also shaping the development of supporting concepts focused on combat, security, engagement, and relief and reconstruction, which in turn will update our guiding doctrine.
We have no sense of complacency. The enemy doesn't rest, nor will we as we move to check his capabilities. With the proliferation of inexpensive and capable technology, our enemies are gaining precision capability, and this is no longer an exclusive advantage of U.S./NATO forces. This precision capability will allow modestly funded states or non-state actors to acquire long-range precision munitions, project power from farther out, and with greater accuracy. We are just now scratching the surface on how best to defend against and defeat this threat and overcome the anti-access threat they constitute.
During the 2006 Israeli-Hezbollah conflict, Hezbollah employed unmanned aerial vehicles on several occasions. This use of low cost, tactical unmanned aerial vehicles demonstrated that sophistication is not the sole realm of developed states. Again, the proliferation of relatively cheap and capable technology is creating threats we must be prepared to reckon with. Presently, our Joint Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Center of Excellence, in conjunction with the Joint Integrated Air and Missile Defense Office, is developing a concept of operations to address challenges and evaluate capabilities associated with countering adversary unmanned aerial systems.
With almost a decade of fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, it is inevitable that some currently unused capabilities may atrophy. In many cases, there are now joint warfighters who have never assaulted a beach or hit a drop-zone by parachute. Because of this, we are seeing a decline in our ability to conduct forcible entry operations, operations that can reassure our friends and temper our adversaries' designs. Additionally, the continued development and proliferation of longer range, precision guided munitions challenge our ability to perform these operations in the contested littorals around the globe. The battle for access may prove not only the most important, but the most difficult, requiring forcible entry capabilities and sustainment capabilities. Couple this readiness issue with aging ships, aerial tankers and strategic bombers, and our ability to gain access and influence actions over strategic distances needs to receive increased attention. Seabasing is a highly relevant supporting effort as we look toward our asymmetric strengths to create cost-imposing dilemmas on future enemies.
Joint force commanders require robust Command & Control (C2) capabilities that enable agile decision-making and information flow from the operational to tactical level across today's global domain. This domain encompasses cyberspace, all wired and wireless communications, and fixed and mobile warfighting customers, to include the networks that support them down to the tactical edge. Robust C2 implies a degree of reliability, redundancy, and agility necessary to effectively operate, both independently and with our coalition partners and allies, in degraded and/or austere conditions. Developing enhanced, robust C2 capabilities in the near-term requires adoption of an integrated C2 triad network approach; specifically the blending of surface (including maritime), air and space systems into a resilient network. We are working to develop an operational context for objective joint analysis, assessment and training, and common standards to verify operational effectiveness of information exchanges and interoperability.
As the Command and Control capability portfolio manager, Joint Forces Command is responsible for leading a number of efforts across the C2 Joint Capability Area which directly supports the establishment of an integrated C2 triad network. These integration efforts will enhance our wired and wireless cyberspace capabilities, while leveraging and creating cyberspace opportunities. To better enable our small units operating at the wireless tactical edge in austere and/or hostile environments, we are working in coordination with Special Operations Command, Strategic Command, the Joint Staff and the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Networks and Information Integration to develop C2 On-the-Move (C2OTM) and Joint Aerial Layer Network (JALN) capabilities. Central to this effort is the stand-up of the Joint Systems Integration and Interoperability Lab (JSIIL) to conduct full-spectrum C2 capability analyses and up-front Joint Systems Engineering (JSE) to improve joint interoperability and integration. Finally, we continue to advocate on behalf of the warfighter ensuring the sustainment and synchronization of our C2 legacy systems as we migrate to objective joint C2 capabilities, including an Adaptive Planning and Execution (APEX) capability that strives to reduce the time required for warfighter plan development to under a year, and accelerate plan execution to near real time.
In Iraq and Afghanistan our opponents have displayed considerable capacity to learn and adapt in both the political and tactical arenas. We anticipate we will see more of this in the future; more sophisticated opponents of U.S. military forces will certainly attack perceived American vulnerabilities. It is highly likely that attacks on our computers, space and communications systems will severely degrade command and control of U.S. forces. Thus, those forces must possess the ability to operate effectively against denial operations and in degraded conditions.
For this reason our leaders must understand that, first and foremost, C2 is a human endeavor. C2 must be leader-centric and network-enabled to facilitate initiative and decision-making at the lowest level possible. While materiel solutions, processes, and engineering can enable decision making, command and control is not synonymous with network operations nor the employment of advanced technology. The joint force must have the flexibility to exploit both. Commanders must be skilled at crafting and articulating their intent, enabling junior leaders to exercise initiative and take advantage of fleeting opportunities in the decentralized operations we anticipate, vice centralizing decision-making at high levels. This is vital in both conventional force-on-force warfare and decentralized operations that we observe in the combat zone.
Our guiding principle is balance as we craft our approach to countering any specific threat or scenario while protecting against the surprises that are sure to come. Our force must be designed with the aim of having the fewest regrets when surprises strike. From applying lessons learned to our current efforts, to guiding sound concept development and experimentation to build future combat power, with your support, Joint Forces Command will continue to press ahead in our efforts.
On behalf of the men and women of U.S. Joint Forces Command, I thank you for the opportunity to report. I look forward to working with you to ensure the continued security of America.