Analysis of satellite communication as a method to meet information exchange requirements for the Enhanced Company concept
Turner, James D.
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In the Global War on Terrorism and future irregular battlefields, the Marine Corps will not only fight in large-scale conventional war against sizable military forces but it will also engage adversaries that utilize smaller sized units dispersed asymmetrically over vast geographical locations. To address this emerging threat, the Marine Corps is developing the Enhanced Company (EC) concept, with the aim of providing the company commander with the tools necessary to make isolated decisions in an increasingly complex battlefield. In order to make timely, independent decisions and maintain information superiority these widely dispersed units will require organic access to services normally provided by higher headquarters. The Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory is working to enhance the decision-making capabilities of the infantry company through the development of the Company Level Intelligence Center (CLIC) and the Company Level Operations Center (CLOC). Current Marine Corps communications capabilities cannot meet the data demands of widely dispersed lower echelon units. The communications equipment organic to these units is mostly Line of Sight (LOS) technology. These systems limit the geographic dispersion of the units and are limited in data throughput capability. To allow for wider dispersion on the battlefield while providing the connectivity required for isolated decision making, these units require communications assets that are capable of operating Beyond the Line of Sight (BLOS) such as Satellite Communications (SATCOM) equipment. This thesis will seek to analyze the use of SATCOM in support of the Enhanced Company Concept in a FOB environment. Using a Limited Objective Experiment, the authors will test if SATCOM technology is sufficient to support Information Exchange Requirements (IERs) developed in the laboratory and validated with experience. Based on the outcome of the experiments the thesis will provide recommendations regarding the use of such technology.
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