An investigation of communications architecture impact on combat effectiveness using the Naval simulation system
Hakewessell, Peter C.
Kemple, William G.
Pfeiffer, Karl D.
Boger, Dan C.
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This research study evaluates the ability of the Naval Simulation System (NSS) to model how changes in communication architecture for a given scenario contribute to combat effectiveness. The scenario used for this study models communication capability associated with the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab, Sea Viking 06 distributed operations scenario using the NSS. In addition, an evaluation of alternative system configurations in the communication structure is obtained in order to determine how bandwidth constraints on specific systems limit mission effectiveness. The NSS is a multi-warfare mission area tool designed to support operational commanders in developing and analyzing operational courses of action at the group/force level. Recent evolutionary changes now provide the NSS the ability to perform communication analysis of routed and circuit switched systems in addition to course of action analysis of modifiable assets in a programmed scenario. This capability makes the NSS unique among modeling and simulation tools. The simulation model experiment contains seven communication architectures with progressively reduced bandwidth capacity. Each architecture excursion has the same scenario timeline and measurement parameters. The results of each excursion are graphically compared and statistically analyzed to identify communication performance impacts at critical events throughout the scenario. A correlation is made with communication performance and combat effectiveness when the enemy force attrition is compared over each excursion to identify if a decrease in combat effectiveness can be seen as a result of reduced communication capability. The results show that the NSS can be used appropriately and accurately to represent communication system effectiveness within a distributed operation scenario supported by the ESG. The objective of this study directly supports the Network Centric Operations (NCO) framework at the information domain by demonstrating the ability of the NSS to measure quality of a communication plan and its value within a command and control system architecture as applied to force effectiveness.
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