Communications in Multi-Domain Operations: What Does the BACN Bring?

Communications are an important element of any military operation. A lack of infrastructure and rough terrain have hindered U.S. military operations in Afghanistan (2001-Present) and Iraq (2003-Present). The difficulties encountered in both countries initially led to several different ad hoc solutions for overcoming poor communications. Eventually a long-term solution emerged, known as BACN (Battlefield Airborne Communications Node) with two dedicated platforms, an E-11A and EQ-4B. This article provides new insights on the BACN program and its history, and considers the importance of E-11s providing BACN for future multi-domain warfighting environments. Finally, it encourages new ways of thinking on how to operate in a contested environment, proposing a “BACN-mesh” concept as a way of overcoming such a vulnerability with an adversary jamming the electromagnetic spectrum.

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War is a Learning Competition: How a Culture of Debrief Can Improve Multi-Domain Operations

The Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) community continues to evolve and progress. MDO is, and will be the fundamental enabler for Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) and the way our nation fights future wars. As the maturing community integrates new concepts and processes, Multi-Domain Operators must identify and engrain the valuable lessons along the way. Creating a set of standards to capture feedback and drive improvement is vital for development in any organization. The debrief culture of the US Air Force fighter community, among others, is well known for its direct, highly effective feedback and learning methods. This type of focused feedback is important to the fighter community because the debrief is where the majority of learning takes place. The MDO community would benefit greatly by utilizing this debrief culture as a model from which to develop its own unique culture of consistent, iterative improvement. Because a standard day, or sortie-equivalent, is not yet fully fleshed out for Multi-Domain Operators, the purpose of this paper is to convey the necessity for debriefing lessons learned, and provide best practices in their current form. The ultimate objective is to create a foundation for the MDO community to adapt these practices as the details and nuance of its daily execution become more specific and clear.

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Defense Of The Homeland In A New Age, Part III

Editor’s note: The following article is the third of a three-part series discussing necessary advancements which will best enable the Department of Defense to continue to lead during current and future periods of competition. Part I focused on the history of the current threats, Part II outlined areas of defense and civilian research which must be pursued, and Part III delves into the path forward for cohesive, joint application of technology and research.

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Defense Of The Homeland In A New Age, Part II

Editor’s note: The following article is the second of a three-part series discussing necessary advancements which will best enable the Department of Defense to continue to lead during current and future periods of competition. Part I focused on the history of the current threats, Part II outlines areas of defense and civilian research which must be pursued, and Part III delves into the path forward for cohesive, joint application of technology and research.

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Defense Of The Homeland In A New Age, Part I

Editor’s note: The following article is the first of a three-part series discussing necessary advancements which will best enable the Department of Defense to continue to lead during current and future periods of competition. Part I briefly reviews threats America has faced thru history and those which it currently faces across all domains. Part II outlines areas of defense and civilian research which must be pursued, and Part III delves into the path forward for cohesive, joint application of technology and research.

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Command in Complexity: Scaling Trust for Effective Joint All Domain Operations

Complex environments necessitate a high level of trust for effective command and control. Special Operations Forces have leveraged their ability to form personal relationships to generate trust and achieve high performing teams. While they cannot rely on personal relationships, conventional forces must also find a way to forge trust to enable effective Joint All Domain Operations. They can do this through strategic education, rapid and relevant doctrine, and shared experiences, all of which require an institutional level focus at all levels of the joint force.

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Connect to Divide: Social Media in 21st Century Warfare

In 21st Century warfare, social media fuels influence through “likes,” “shares,” and “tweets” driving narratives that blur the lines of politics, law, war, peace, elections, and freedom of speech and press, creating an information crisis. The current lack of an adequate United States (US) response to this crisis threatens its democratic institutions and national security. Bolstering this emerging threat are social media platforms rewarding users for engaging as fast thinkers without regard for bias or manipulation that is being exploited by hostile state and non-state actors to create narratives resulting in the decay of truth. Compounding this problem is social media’s ability to transition influence from institutions and governments to the individual. Though social media-enabled information warfare alone may not be decisive in current and future conflicts, nations must prepare to counter its effects across all instruments of national power: diplomatic, information, military, and economic.

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Convergence within SOCOM – A Bottom-Up Approach to Multi Domain Operations

This paper argues the DoD should apply the SOF construct of earned trust and interpersonal relationships in order to be successful in future Multi Domain Operations. The author describes how intelligently and appropriately pushing decision making abilities to the lowest possible level will mitigate the communication challenges that will be prevalent in future conflict.

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Joint All Domain Effects Convergence: Evolving C2 Teams

 By: Ernest Nisperos Approximate Reading Time: 25 Minutes Abstract This paper aims to generate a tangible construct to complement the

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User-Centered Design is Critical to the Success of Multi-Domain Operations

By: Dr. Kristen K. Liggett and Dr. Gina F. Thomas Estimated Read Time: 11 minutes Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) is the

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Electromagnetic Pulse Threats to America’s Electric Grid: Counterpoints to Electric Power Research Institute Positions         

Editor’s note: This article is part of a supporting engagement with the Electromagnetic Defense Task Force’s efforts in order to

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OODA Point: The Requirement for an Airman’s Approach to Operational Design (Part II)

The ability to make and execute timely and effective decisions has been the foundation of military success for millennia. In the next decade, however, Combined Force Air Component Commanders (CFACC) planning, decision, and execution (PDE) cycles will be confronted by unprecedented challenges emerging in the constantly evolving digital ecosystem. The era of unrivaled access to the electromagnetic spectrum and dominance in multiple domains is rapidly coming to a close for the US airpower. As more and more state and non-state actors gain access to advanced technology, the CFACC’s PDE cycles will transition from an observe, orient, decide, act (OODA) loop to an OODA point. This phenomenon will also have a significant influence on the command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) measures necessary to shape and execute preplanned and emergent decisions in contested operational environments. One way of mitigating these nascent vulnerabilities is to develop a deliberate framework of operational design focused on airpower to provide a proactive form of vision for future CFACCs.

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OODA Point: The Requirement for an Airman’s Approach to Operational Design (Part I)

By: Dr. Jeffrey Reilly Approximate Reading Time: 15 Minutes Abstract: The ability to make and execute timely and effective decisions

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Multi-Domain Operations: Everyone’s Doing It, Just Not Together

The military services are continuing to forge the way in MDO, but what progress has been made and will they be able to achieve joint efficiency?

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An Approachable Look at the Human Domain and Why We Should Care

Within the context of multi-domain operations, the human domain is arguably the most important domain, but it is often the most overlooked. This article proposes implementation of the domain through the use of planning for desired behaviors prior to conflict. It also discusses how Russia views information warfare, their practices, and a case study of its importance in the Crimean Annexation.

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A Bomber for the Navy

Rather that sending the B-1 Lancer into early retirement, the Department of Defense could transfer it to the Navy for duty as a land-based ship-killer.

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Countering the NATO Threat: A Look at Russia’s Military Advancements and Challenges to Future Defense (Part 2)

Alarmed by Russia’s invasion into a sovereign nation in 2008 and again in 2014—coupled with a land-grab of the Crimean peninsula, NATO has moved to a heightened alert posture. Part 1 details the Russian build up to 2018 and Part 2 discusses NATO’s response.

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Countering the NATO Threat: A Look at Russia’s Military Advancements and Challenges to Future Defense (Part 1)

Alarmed by Russia’s invasion into a sovereign nation in 2008 and again in 2014—coupled with a land-grab of the Crimean peninsula, NATO has moved to a heightened alert posture. Part 1 details the Russian build up to 2018 and Part 2 discusses NATO’s response

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IO EFFECTIVENESS

In the latest installment of our Human Domain series, Louis L. Cook examines Information Operations effectiveness in multi-domain operations through a focused look at the offensive and defensive uses of Operations Security (OPSEC).

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***OTH Anniversary*** Looking Beyond Your Service for Multi-Domain Success

Editor’s Note: This is one of our favorite articles we wanted to re-post to keep the conversation moving. We will

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Future Wars: A Look at the Air Force’s Ability in a 21st Century Fight

The Air Force is not ready to deter or prevail against a near-peer adversary, to remain competitive in the 21st century fight the service must have a paradigm shift to give maneuverability back to the warfighter.

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Fight Tonight: A Look at the USAF’s Ability to Prevail

The Air Force is ready to deter, and if necessary prevail against a growing near-peer adversary willing to disrupt the international order.

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Modernizing C2 of ISR – Part 2: Breaking ISR’s Industrial Age Chains

Theater-level ISR C2 must be modernized to ensure the Joint Force is prepared for a complex future and can achieve multi-domain success.

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Modernizing ISR C2 Part I: Multi-Domain Maneuver as the Foundation

This is the first article in a multi-part series focused on modernizing Command and Control (C2) of Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR).

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Russian Military Reorganization: A Step Toward Multi-Domain Operations

Russia’s military reorganization and its operations in Ukraine indicate it is intentionally developing a multi-domain force.

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Observations on the Pursuit of Artificial Intelligence in the DoD

By: Ryan Hilger Reading Time: 9 Minutes In May 2018, President Donald Trump, following several years of fretting over Russian

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Over the Horizon: The Multi-Domain Operational Strategist (MDOS)

Dr. Jeff Reilly discusses the need for the Multi Doman Operational Strategist

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Maneuver at Lightspeed: Electromagnetic Spectrum as a Domain

Maneuver at Lightspeed: Electromagnetic Spectrum as a Domain

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Overview of Comments from the 2018 AFA Conference

This is an overview of the conversation on what multi domain operations and multi domain C2 continues to define what those terms mean as Airman.

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Command & Control of Tomorrow’s War: Why Decisive Mission Commanders are Key to Multi-Domain Operations

As tactical-level warfare evolves, the emerging security environment will likely drive a level of chaos and friction that has not happened in recent conflicts. To effectively execute MDO in a contested environment, preparing Mission Commanders to act decisively will be essential.

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The Undersea is a Discrete Operational Domain

The maritime domain as defined by joint doctrine is overly broad in concept and does not accurately capture the opportunities and vulnerabilities presented in the undersea.

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Defining the “Domain” in Multi-Domain

A domain is a “Critical macro maneuver space whose access or control is vital to the freedom of action and superiority required by the mission.”

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Multidomain Observing and Orienting: ISR to Meet the Emerging Battlespace: Part II

  Reading Time: 15 Minutes By: Sean A. Atkins Editor’s Note: Today we present part two of a two-part series.

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Multidomain Observing and Orienting: ISR to Meet the Emerging Battlespace

Multidomain Observing and Orienting: ISR to Meet the Emerging Battlespace

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Maneuver Warfare from the Air Domain (Part II)

Excerpt: Maneuver from the air domain enabled the ground campaign’s rapid advance during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Approximate reading time: 20

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Maneuver Warfare from the Air Domain (Part I)

The Air Domain’s utility in maneuver warfare is underappreciated but has great potential if planned and executed correctly.

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Fighting the Wrong Fight

The US has a problem on her hands, and the emerging answers fail to address the real problem. While military

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NATO Planning and Multi Domain Operations: A German Perspective

A German officer compares the NATO planning process with the ACSC Multi-domain approach.

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It’s time to take the human domain seriously. USCYBERCOM is our chance.

USCYBERCOM presents an opportunity to effectively implement human domain forces in a high-threat, resource constrained environment. Estimated Reading Time: 5

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Quanta of Competition: Quantum Mechanics, Multi-Domain Battle, and the Gray Zone (Part II)

The principles of quantum physics drive a deeper understanding of conflict through analysis of interactions of the elements of competition.

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Quanta of Competition: Quantum Mechanics, Multi-Domain Battle, and the Gray Zone (Part I)

Thinking about conflict in terms of quantum mechanics rather than Newtonian physics will produce more comprehensive grand strategy.

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The Cyber (EMS) Offset

Cognitive computing may have significant implications for future cyber and multi-domain operations.

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OTH Video: Beyond the Theory – A Framework for Multi-Domain Operations

In the future operating environment, to successfully deter and defeat our adversaries, we must better understand how the domains interact and their basic principles.

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Information Operations in a Multi-Domain Operations Battlespace

Emphasizing information operations in multi-domain operations elevates multi-domain ops and integrated warfare

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21st Century Strategic Deterrence: “Beyond Nuclear”

The U.S. needs to start writing the guidelines for 21st century strategic deterrence, focusing on methods beyond nuclear options.

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Multi-Domain Operations at the Strategic Level

The recent NSS and NDS elevate multi-domain ops to the forefront of US national strategy. The upcoming NMS must capitalize on this framework.

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Lt Gen Deptula Remarks – OTH Speaker Series – Aerospace Power in an Age of Uncertainty

Retired Lt Gen David Deptula shares his thoughts on the future of warfare-in particular, aerospace power in an age of uncertainty.

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Multi-Domain Operations Security

OPSEC is one of many information related capabilities that must evolve in the next few years to ensure our military protects its future critical information.

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***OTH Anniversary*** Multi-Domain Thinking and the Human Domain

Today’s editor’s pick was chosen by Julie Janson. In it, Tom Flounders makes a compelling argument that the Human Domain is the decisive domain.

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***OTH Anniversary*** Over the Horizon: The Multi-Domain Operational Strategist (MDOS)

As part of the OTH anniversary series, this article, by Dr. Jeffrey Reilly, forms a foundation for discussing multi-domain operations.

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