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It’s pitch black. You blink frantically, but still see nothing. You spin around, and all that fills your vision is a dark blanket of black. Suddenly, you hear gunfire and total chaos erupts. You’ve got to get out now. You reach out to feel for a wall or door, and touch nothing. You call out for help and get no response. Where’s your team?
And then—relief! The lights come back on. You can see a way out. Your unit pals are back by your side and, together, you quickly make your way to safety.
Our nation’s brave warfighters can’t do their job in the dark. They need information and situational awareness to succeed and survive.
The U.S. military’s Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems provide critical intelligence. Unfortunately, many of these legacy systems can be much like the first scenario—inefficient, susceptible to threats, and offering a less than complete view of the full picture. Stovepiped systems—systems that were individually engineered—produce isolated pieces of intelligence.
It’s challenging and sometimes even impossible to assess the battlefield environment and collect, analyze, and communicate critical threats. Military decision makers and operators must tap into multiple systems—each with separate logins and displays—while warfighters in the field toggle between radio systems.
That’s why warfighters—and the organizations that support them—need integrated C4ISR, “where the individual pieces are designed as part of an enterprise system from the start,” says Executive Vice President Greg Wenzel, lead of digital solutions/C4ISR within Booz Allen’s Strategic Innovation Group. Integrated C4ISR means bringing together expertise in engineering, operations, and acquisition. We call this approach Enterprise Integration.
Booz Allen helped the Army’s Distributed Common Ground System-Army (DCGS-A) program integrate C4ISR so it works as a fully interoperable family of systems. We developed the DCGS-A Standard Cloud—a system that brings together data sets from various sources to be analyzed and shared. With a user-friendly interface and massive processing power, the system can analyze hundreds of millions of textual intelligence products in less than a second.
The DCGS-A Standard Cloud was accredited, deployed, and fully operational in Afghanistan in record time. “Our technology approach connects threat information from every branch of the military, says Wenzel. “It delivers specific intelligence to those who need it most and need it now.”
“Booz Allen helped the Army’s Distributed Common Ground System-Army (DCGS-A) program integrate C4ISR so it works as a fully interoperable family of systems.”
Looking ahead, we’re working on a next-generation multi-service tactical cloud platform—the Tactical Cloud Reference Implementation (TCRI). Supporting both well-connected and disadvantaged users, TCRI is designed to move the services towards a fully interoperable architecture for tactical deployments. This new cloud-based ISR capability will improve operations planning, assessment, and execution by utilizing advanced analytics that collect, integrate, and fuse data from multiple sensor and ISR data systems. We want open architectures and platforms to remain just that—open. If the Air Force, for example, develops a new sensor, it will be able to plug it in and share information across the joint services (Army and Navy/Marine Corps). Keep the lights on!
Download the full PDF of the 2016 Impact Report.