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505th Command and Control Wing News

AFSOC initiative featured at JEFX '06

  • Published
  • By Capt. Nathan D. Broshear
  • 505th Command and Control Wing Public Affairs
Eight initiatives will be tested for possible use by U.S. forces during Joint Expeditionary Force Experiment, or JEFX, '06.

For the special operations community, one initiative is of particular interest. It will provide a greater ability to collaborate with other warfighters and manage their missions using software built into wearable computers and communication systems.

"The (special operations forces) warfighter process enhancements build on existing wireless communications networks to allow special forces teams to better plan and execute their missions," said Luis Tirado, the JEFX program manager for Air Force Special Operations Command.

The enhancements, known as SWIPE, aren't a stand-alone system. SWIPE is an umbrella term for four enhancements to the special operations toolkit -- the special operations tactical network, the remote sensor-iridium, the geographic suitability assessment tool and the command and control mission manager. Combined, they will give special operations teams enhanced mission planning and execution capabilities.

"At JEFX, we'll test the four components to validate how they'll be used by (special operations) teams in an actual combat situation," Mr. Tirado said. "If they work as we suspect, then they'll be integrated as soon as possible into the computers our teams use."

Using Windows-based software and secure wireless networks, the special operations tactical network portion of SWIPE brings new collaboration tools to small teams in the field. The software package has a "white-board" function so teams can share data and images, chat functions and video capability. Using a wireless network, team members located in remote areas can "daisy-chain" information from one person to the next, providing seamless command and control for team leaders.

Satellite-based communication may be the only way for geographically isolated teams to get information to and from a higher headquarters. The remote sensor-iridium portion of SWIPE is a sensor approximately the size of a shoe box. It can be hidden and then report data via the iridium satellites in near real-time. While unattended, it can automatically feed data back to mission planners or the combined air operations center.

Using a series of databases, the geographic suitability assessment tool graphically illustrates threats anywhere on the globe. Planners can look at a map of a particular region and easily discern key data such as chemical or biological threats, weather and soil types, as well as topology.

The command and control mission manager is a Web-based application that automates the process for special operations teams to request air support. It allows mission planners to work off-line (with no Internet or radio connection) and later upload their requests to coordinating authorities as needed.

"These four components of SWIPE aren't just nice features to have," Mr. Tirado said. "They're the next generation of capabilities for our special operations warfighters -- JEFX '06 will help us to refine and prepare these systems to employ worldwide."

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AFSOC initiative featured at JEFX '06

  • Published
  • By Capt. Nathan D. Broshear
  • 505th Command and Control Wing Public Affairs
Eight initiatives will be tested for possible use by U.S. forces during Joint Expeditionary Force Experiment, or JEFX, '06.

For the special operations community, one initiative is of particular interest. It will provide a greater ability to collaborate with other warfighters and manage their missions using software built into wearable computers and communication systems.

"The (special operations forces) warfighter process enhancements build on existing wireless communications networks to allow special forces teams to better plan and execute their missions," said Luis Tirado, the JEFX program manager for Air Force Special Operations Command.

The enhancements, known as SWIPE, aren't a stand-alone system. SWIPE is an umbrella term for four enhancements to the special operations toolkit -- the special operations tactical network, the remote sensor-iridium, the geographic suitability assessment tool and the command and control mission manager. Combined, they will give special operations teams enhanced mission planning and execution capabilities.

"At JEFX, we'll test the four components to validate how they'll be used by (special operations) teams in an actual combat situation," Mr. Tirado said. "If they work as we suspect, then they'll be integrated as soon as possible into the computers our teams use."

Using Windows-based software and secure wireless networks, the special operations tactical network portion of SWIPE brings new collaboration tools to small teams in the field. The software package has a "white-board" function so teams can share data and images, chat functions and video capability. Using a wireless network, team members located in remote areas can "daisy-chain" information from one person to the next, providing seamless command and control for team leaders.

Satellite-based communication may be the only way for geographically isolated teams to get information to and from a higher headquarters. The remote sensor-iridium portion of SWIPE is a sensor approximately the size of a shoe box. It can be hidden and then report data via the iridium satellites in near real-time. While unattended, it can automatically feed data back to mission planners or the combined air operations center.

Using a series of databases, the geographic suitability assessment tool graphically illustrates threats anywhere on the globe. Planners can look at a map of a particular region and easily discern key data such as chemical or biological threats, weather and soil types, as well as topology.

The command and control mission manager is a Web-based application that automates the process for special operations teams to request air support. It allows mission planners to work off-line (with no Internet or radio connection) and later upload their requests to coordinating authorities as needed.

"These four components of SWIPE aren't just nice features to have," Mr. Tirado said. "They're the next generation of capabilities for our special operations warfighters -- JEFX '06 will help us to refine and prepare these systems to employ worldwide."