Domain range

Army Project Convergence Will Change Multi-Domain Combat Forever

The U.S. Army Convergence Project, which aims to ensure joint force interdependence on the modern battlefield, is scheduled to begin its final annual iteration this fall. The project has been a priority in the Army’s efforts to better integrate and network the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Space Force.

Beginning with groundbreaking breakthroughs in 2020, the Army Convergence Project learning campaign has evolved in 2021 to increasingly demonstrate multi-domain connectivity, meaning land, air and even sea nodes have been incorporated .

“We’ve really started to shine a light on the idea of ​​convergence across domains to include cyberspace, air, land and, to a lesser extent, maritime,” said Major General John Rafferty, director of long-range precision fires cross-functional team at Army Futures Command, the national interest in an interview.

The concept, as demonstrated in 2021, was not only to network mini army drones with helicopters, ground vehicles and AI-enabled command and control, but also to extend connectivity to Air Force and Navy nodes to enable joint warfare synergy. This tactical and strategic focus represents the Army’s contribution to the Pentagon’s All Domain Joint Command and Control (JADC2), which aims to enable air, land, maritime, cyber, and space synergy through analysis and real-time data transmission. The concept is to optimize joint, multi-domain attacks across otherwise disparate war zones, essentially creating a “mesh” combat network of interoperable nodes through which to truncate time from sensor to shooter, analyze variables one by one report to others and brief commanders. of the evolution of the fight.

Project Convergence 2022, Rafferty said, will expand even further beyond JADC2 to incorporate coalition partners, such as NATO allies. The Pentagon effort, which recently entered a key “implementation phase” described by Undersecretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, seeks to take the war to the “speed of relevance.” For example, perhaps an Air Force fighter, drone, or bomber could see an otherwise obscured target and have the ability to instantly network critical data to attack ground units without having the latency of needing to send details to a separately operated command and control. center. Much of the critical decision-making, which of course includes humans when lethal force is used, can now take place at the edge of combat as command and control is accelerated, decentralized and streamlined across departments and domains.

“The Convergence ’21 project has started involving common partners. Then, you know, this idea of ​​convergence is even more highlighted and also begins to illustrate the JADC2 concept. A jump in [Project Convergence] The 22 joint combat concept has matured and the functional concepts have matured, so we are able to expand our experimentation into joint combat concepts,” Rafferty explained.

Interestingly, demonstrations of multi-domain connectivity were also shown during the project’s initial convergence exercise in 2020. Marine Corps F-35Bs were able to share combat-relevant data, such as information from navigation and targeting, with army infantry operating on the ground. This is something that the Army and its joint partners continue to build on in future exercises and will likely play a major role in connecting allies to one another.

Kris Osborn is the defense editor for the national interest. Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a highly trained expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army – Acquisition, Logistics and Technology. Osborn also worked as an on-air military anchor and specialist on national television networks. He has appeared as a guest military pundit on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. He also holds an MA in Comparative Literature from Columbia University..

Image: Flickr/US Navy.