Title: Evaluating digital targeting in a joint fires experiment

Authors: T. Andrew Au

Addresses: Joint and Operations Analysis Division, Defence Science and Technology Organisation, Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Abstract: The Coalition Attack Guidance Experiment (CAGE) aims to assess potential joint fires capabilities and operational impacts, which can be effective to meet challenges from new and evolving threats. An important objective is digital targeting focusing on target development and timely prosecution. The need to coordinate geographically distributed assets and personnel throughout a theatre of combat is constantly in tension with the need to prosecute quickly. This study provides an empirical comparison of digital targeting using baseline and potential future Command and Control (C2) systems as two experimental conditions. While CAGE IIIA demonstrated the benefits of a coalition human-in-the-loop experiment across multiple sites, we learned valuable lessons to improve this scientific endeavour. Technical failures and confounding factors have threatened the validity of this complex experiment, inevitably weakening our understanding of potential capabilities. For future work, we identify the need to consider the human dimension and extant processes for effective system integration.

Keywords: human-in-the-loop; HIL experiments; hypothesis testing; system integration; joint fires; digital targeting; joint fire capabilities; operational impact; command and control systems; human dimension; combat theatres; coalition operations; brigade headquarters; division headquarters; coalition task force; battlespace integration; systems interoperability; cross-boundary control; airspace control.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIDSS.2015.075475

International Journal of Intelligent Defence Support Systems, 2015 Vol.5 No.3, pp.186 - 204

Received: 20 Aug 2014
Accepted: 13 Jan 2015

Published online: 24 Mar 2016 *

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