http://www.pilotonline.com/military/ml0712inf.html By MATTHEW DOLAN The Virginian-Pilot July 12, 2002 VIRGINIA BEACH -- In future wars, the military hopes to integrate its battlefield information so seamlessly that sailors, Marines, airmen and soldiers will be able to watch events unfold as they happen. To that end, a top-level naval command officially opened Thursday to oversee the development and maintenance of critical information networks throughout the fleet. With the Naval Network Warfare Command at Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base, the Navy gives a high profile to a concept that calls for linking ships, aircraft and ground forces in elaborate electronic networks that allow them to share information about the enemy instantly. Adm. Robert J. Natter, commander of both U.S. Fleet Forces Command and the Atlantic Fleet, said in a speech Thursday that the command would be charged with providing ``reliable, fast and secure information'' to the nation's warfighters in battle. Vice Adm. Richard W. Mayo will serve as the command's first leader. He previously served on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations as director of the Navy's Space and Information Warfare Command and Control operation in Washington, D.C. In its charge, the new network warfare command will direct the Fleet Information Warfare Center, the Naval Network and Space Operations Command in Dahlgren and the Navy Component Task Force Computer Network Defense in Washington, D.C. NETWARCOM, as the new command will be called, will also become the naval component of U.S. Space Command. It will coordinate information operations and technology, as well as space requirements and operations within the Navy. The staff at the command will not exceed 60 people, Mayo said. But other reports indicate that the command will direct approximately 7,000 personnel worldwide. Mayo refused to say how much the annual budget for the command would be, but earlier reports to Congress said that command's starting budget will be $5.5 million. The total will increase to $14.8 million per year by 2004, according to a fact sheet the Navy distributed to members of Congress. The figure, though, pales in comparison to the billion-dollar budgets of the Navy's other type commands over air and ship operations. Mayo said that network warfare in Operation Enduring Freedom ``worked, but it's fragile.'' Other analysts have agreed, applauding technological advances that enabled almost instantaneous information from sensors manned by special forces on the ground to carrier-based jet fighters in the skies. ``But the conflict in Afghanistan only proves that the integration ``technically works in a nonhostile or low-threat environment,'' Milan Vego wrote in this month's edition of the Naval Institute magazine, Proceedings. ``It does not tell us,'' wrote Vego, a professor of operations at the Naval War College in Rhode Island, ``whether U.S. systems are robust enough to operate smoothly in the face of a determined physical and electronic attack by a resourceful and skillful enemy.'' Reach Matthew Dolan at mdolanat_private or 446-2322. - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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