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Information System Organization for Tactical Command and Control

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1 Author(s)

A command and control system is intended to provide a responsible authority the means to employ his weapons and forces to achieve certain objectives for an assigned mission. The overall organization and even the details of the information system design are intimately interwoven with the mission, the objectives to be achieved in pursuance of the mission, the degree of formalization of the requirements of the objectives, and probably to a large extent the image (or context) the system designers have of the system in its operational environment. In this discussion we have attempted to show that the military doctrine of centralized command and decentralized execution is, to a large extent, becoming more amenable to mechanization, viz., by the notion of the distributed data processor, which is for all practical purposes an interconnected set of computers that can share a common problem load. This kind of system configuration gives an added degree of freedom to the information system design but has not necessarily simplified the problems associated with command and control. It adds to the designer's repertoire another configuration for a system that could be advantageous under certain circumstances. It is also shown that the process of formalization of command and control systems can be literally as important as the resulting product. The necessity to define functions, tasks, objectives, and their interrelationships can disclose potential advantages or hazards in systems that might otherwise remain undetected.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Military Electronics  (Volume:9 ,  Issue: 2 )