Joint Forces Seek Collaboration Tool

WASHINGTON (05/31/2000) - Looking toward future operations that will put a premium on being light and fast, the Joint Forces Command is seeking a collaborative planning tool to coordinate experiments among the military forces and coalition partners.

The command expects that a collaborative workspace suite would save time and money by allowing planners to cut travel time involved in coordinating upcoming experiments. The suite also is expected to enhance information sharing, allow for better decision-making and enable participants to coordinate mock warfighting efforts from remote locations, thereby reducing the command and control personnel and equipment in deployed areas.

"We will need a small, mobile, flexible command and control organization...to be responsive and to keep the headquarters out of harm's way," said Russ Richards, who leads the Joint Warfighting Experimentation Battle Lab's information superiority team.

Joint Forces Command's Joint Experimentation Directorate, Norfolk, Virginia, expects interested contractors to respond by June 5 to a request for information released May 22 that is designed to explore capabilities and prices for the system, which will be used primarily on unclassified networks.

The functions needed include audio conferencing, document storage, document version control, document and application sharing, text chat and virtual conference spaces.

Joint experiments "involve all four services and their battlelabs, which are extended all over the country. It's due to the high amount of planning and coordination it takes to get the experiments off the ground," said Jack Winger, integration and knowledge management division chief at the joint experimentation directorate. "We hope to save time and money in making those planning and coordination-type contacts take place and to do it from desk instead of having to travel all over the country."

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