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Mitchell Institute’s David Deptula on DoD’s Need for Efficient, Interoperable Joint C2 System

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David Deptula
David Deptula Retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant General

David Deptula, dean of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies and retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant general, said the U.S. military must “embrace a new approach” to effectively coordinate joint all-domain command and control (JADC2) operations.

Deptula wrote in an opinion piece published Thursday on C4ISRnet that the service branches need to harness information technology systems to “promote the rapid and seamless exchange” of data across networks and coalition partners.

According to Deptula, the Department of Defense’s (DoD) current organizational structures and cultures “do not align well” with the JADC2 program’s need for domain- and service-agnostic capabilities. The program is also at risk of putting too much emphasis on centralizing control of the Air Force’s Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) and overwhelming warfighters with tactical-edge data, he added.

In addition, Deptula said the services must work to transition away from legacy C2 systems and avoid reliance on “standalone” technology development that doesn’t prioritize interoperability with other agencies or allies.

“Although U.S. forces can presently conduct multi-domain operations, current practices are far from what will be required when facing advanced adversaries,” he said. “This top-down guidance is critical to help inform bottom-up technological development and experimentation.”