SMC’s critical role in Air Force’s Advanced Battle Management System: Innovation for the Joint Warfighter

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The Space and Missile Systems Center recently hosted teams from across the Air Force soliciting innovative ideas and new technologies to enhance the fielding of the Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) at a two-day event themed “Flip the Script.”

As Air Force space acquisitions professionals continue to make great strides in delivering dominant, war-winning capabilities with increased speed and efficiency, ABMS is interweaving these capabilities to deliver the Department of Defense’s Joint All Domain operations.

ABMS is currently a concept that is transforming how our nation defends itself and preserves our way of life.  It is the future for Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) operations.  This family of systems consists of six product categories and 28 specific product lines that involves developing concepts of operations for how command and control relationships will work across various military services and domains.  

“SMC’s role in enabling multi-domain operations consists of foundational and emerging roles,” said Col. Thomas Rock, deputy director, Capabilities Integration for SMC’s Portfolio Architect. “One of those roles being how the underlying data architecture for fighting across all domains is being heavily influenced by the success of our Unified Data Library construct which has been featured in the recent AF Fall Corona event, the ABMS Demo #1 in Dec 2019 and a second demo schedule in April 2020.” 

SMC is involved in four major focus areas within the ABMS system: Tactical Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance, Military Satellite Communications, Space Common Operating Picture and the Unified Data Library. These teams are vying for a chance to lead the future of ABMS. These focus areas will directly influence and architect the product lines. dataONE is one of the 28 product lines featured under ABMS.  Its purpose is to collect all domain sensor information and disseminate it to any operations center, anywhere, and at any time.

“SMC is providing teams that are the cream of the crop,” said Rock. “What we’ve looked for are individuals who exemplify entrepreneurial zeal, competency and cognizance. This event helps us identify those individuals who will lead the program areas of ABMS. 

These team members are held to the highest military standards. They are expected to bring the tenacity and passion for solving problems and having a strong interest for the product line. Their competency level was graded on the ability to manage and execute across complex teams while also being able to articulate the technical nuances of proposed subject matter. Their knowledge must be related to the understanding of the operational environment, identifying activities that are ongoing that impact the product, the product line development efforts and what is occurring in commercial ecosystems.     

In a recent joint service demonstration of ABMS, SMC’s Unified Data Library connected 75 percent of all data feeds, serving as the data hub and successfully brought three new sensor types online with a notable inclusion of a Navy destroyer. This marked the successful integration of space, air, maritime, and ground data from multiple sources, fully demonstrating the power of rapid data integration to accelerate a desired outcome.

“As ABMS continues to be developed over the next few months, we’re excited at what this could mean across the joint services,” said Rock. “New capabilities can mean new commercial opportunities that are faster, smarter and deliver real time lifesaving capabilities to not only our war fighters, but also the commercial industry.”

Editor’s note: This article is Part 1 of a 3-part series. Part 2 of the series will describe the successes and challenges demonstrated at the ABMS Demo #2 in April.  These demos are the epitome of the ABMS construct of continuous improvement/continuous deployment of capability and help develop tactics, techniques and procedures while exposing warfighters to new concepts and ideas.