Modern C4I systems are feeding huge amounts of
information into the tactical operating center (TOC) where such
information is processed, interpreted and displayed on maps and
status reports. Such situational presentations are generated by
computers, and displayed at the Command Posts (CP) on large screens
or relayed to remote subscribers, via high speed networks.
Unfortunately, such connectivity is not provided with existing
tactical radios. Therefore, tactical commanders are usually
disconnected from these vital information feeds when leaving the TOC
to deploy with their command vehicles.
This becomes most critical at brigade and division levels, where
many different operations are executed simultaneously over a large
area. To support commanders on the move and at forward deployments,
modern command vehicles are being upgraded designed to field
integrated data-communications and display systems, utilizing
wireless data networks and mobile satellite terminals, which
facilitate on-the-move communications, and enable the commander and
part of his staff to continue and exercise effective command and
control over the entire force under their command.
The latest trend in C2 tech is Command Post Of the Future (COPF), a
system currently deployed at the division level, enabling division
and brigade commanders to discuss and collaborate when processing
information, share ideas, and attend virtual meetings without being
at one place. Commanders attending the virtual meeting don't have to
be in the same room, or even the same country, to discuss and draw
on the same map. CPOF was developed as a technology demonstration by
DARPA. The prototype was deployed with the 1st Cavalry division and
is currently operating in Baghdad, connecting the division HQ and
five brigades. DARPA is expanded the system with the introduction of
advanced visualization tools that let brigade commanders
communicate, collaborate and share information. The first unit
scheduled to receive the enhanced CPOF is the 3rd Infantry Division.