Enabling enhanced company operations (ECO) an analysis of tactical communication requirements and solutions for a Marine Corps Company and below
McHuen, Jason A.
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This research evaluates and describes the optimal communications solution that will enable the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab's (MCWL) concept of Enhanced Company Operations (ECO). Formerly known as Distributed Operations (DO), ECO is a concept that is intended to maximize tactical flexibility through decentralized operations of Marine infantry units in a distributed environment. The ECO environment can be characterized by large geographic areas and unconventional operations that have the potential to pose unique challenges for tactical information system networks. Proposed current and emerging solutions are designed with proprietary protocols and interfaces as opposed to the development of modularity that enables common standards internetworking. An information systems model, defined by sense, decide, and act nodes, decoupled from the communications network, and the Buddenberg Interoperability Reference Model (BIRM), is employed to evaluate the suitability of current and emerging USMC communications systems for ECO. This thesis posits that the optimal communications solution is one that is designed to ensure interoperability across the internetwork and endpoint devices. The authors conclude that the optimal solution is a tactical mesh network that converges both IP-voice and data at the Layer-3 (ISO Model), and extends the Global Information Grid's (GIG) Convergence Layer to the individual Marine.
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