US 2nd Fleet Tests New Command and Control Concept

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The commander of U.S. 2nd Fleet embarked USS Bataan (LHD 5), the designated 2nd Fleet flagship, Jan. 26 to test command and control of the Dwight D. Eisenhower (Ike) Carrier Strike Group (CSG) during the CSG’s final exercise before deployment.

Vice Adm. Mel William Jr. and his staff embarked Bataan which was pierside at Norfolk Naval Base.

During the previous week, 2nd Fleet information technology specialists set up a modular command and control system, the 2nd Fleet demonstrator (2FD), aboard Bataan to facilitate communications and collaboration with the Ike CSG and the 2nd Fleet Maritime Headquarters.

The 2FD is a distributed deployable command element which was jointly developed by Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet and the deployable joint command and control joint program office. The 2FD provides the afloat joint task force commander a command and control capability at the operational level of war that is able to rapidly deploy afloat.

Under normal circumstances, without this DDCE type capability, it could take weeks to establish the structure and programs necessary for a flag staff to “set up shop” aboard a ship, according to Capt. Jeff Link, 2nd Fleet’s director for C4I, Networks and Information Assurance.

“The 2FD allows the joint task force commander and his staff to embark a designated flagship and have mobile command and control capabilities that utilize systems identical to his maritime headquarters with only four days for notification and equipment installation.”

The 2nd Fleet commander used the Eisenhower Composite Unit Training Exercise (COMPTUEX) as an opportunity to reach out to the CSG via video teleconference (VTC). During the VTC, Williams was briefed by the Ike CSG commander and his warfare commanders on the exercise scenario and their actions against the notional opposing force.

“As a matter of routine, we will endeavor to include the fleet commander and staff’s operational level of war perspective with strike group’s tactical level of war training events,” Williams said.


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