“How do you communicate with coalition and mission partners like Ukraine in an efficient manner—and also secure against classified data spillage and compromised intel that can be intercepted by an adversary?” says Heather Fortuna Bush, Booz Allen vice president and Joint Combatant Command (JCC) account leader.
Fulfilling this need is the goal of the Mission Partner Environment (MPE), a program to strengthen collaboration with coalition partners and allies by enabling secure sharing of information. Real-time communications are critical for staying ahead of the adversary: Combatant Commands (CCMDs) urgently require a “left-of-fight” collaboration capability allowing units to work together with foreign forces to share intel, coordinate, and get ready for the conflict.
“Here in the IndoPacific, a secure collaboration environment is extremely important—since our goals range from deterrence to conflict readiness throughout the region, we focus on training with multinational and intranational coalition partners,” says Ed Barnabas, Booz Allen vice president and IndoPacific chief technology officer. “Right now, it takes a long time to set up partner connections, with multiple legacy systems and incompatible networks.”
A task as seemingly simple as setting up a chat to discuss logistics and planning can take days. Allies and partners could be located in regions around the globe, each with their own systems and protocols. And in the future joint warfighting environment, partners would need to be able to add ad hoc groups that might not have a network at all.
To help DOD speed MPE development, we propose a secure, controlled environment that provides rapid and protective access to applications and systems among coalitions. This data-centric collaboration capability allows allies and partners to form flexible groups in minutes or hours—not weeks—and enables commanders to add and revoke access to data in seconds. This communication capability will save time connecting with allies, reduce costs spent on duplicative infrastructure, and increase security through data encryption and zero trust.