ARRC Agile C2 Experimentation

Brigadier Kev Copsey OBE
Head Future Force Development- British Army

In support of the UK’s Land Warfare Centre- Warfare S&T,  Cervus Defence have conducted a data capture and analysis during Ex ARRCADE FUSION 17, to gather evidence to inform the concept of a Corps Forward Command Post.

This included the capture of objective and subjective data to investigate the C2 architecture required to support the proposed concept of a Forward CP.

01. Problem

Recent operational experience for both NATO and the British Army has been centred around counter insurgency and stabilisation operations.  The nature of the threat and fixed areas of opportunities have contributed to the growth in Headquarters size at every level of command.  This has been associated with the employment of fixed infrastructure/high band width CIS to enable rich situational awareness, however in its very nature does not support delivering the commander to the right area at the right time to best understand the situation and influence the operation.  This was recognised following COMARRC’s direction to experiment with a forward Command Post that:

  • Comprises a small, agile core staff
  • Uses opportunities which lower both visible and thermal signatures.
  • Minimises physical and electromagnetic signature
  • Plans on repositioning every few days
  • Minimises enablers
  • Requires minimum physical camouflage
  • Provides persistent and continuous staff support to the commander

02. Approach

With little practical experience in designing and executing such an activity, the ARRC were fortunate to have the support of Field Army’s Warfare Branch S&T. Through an existing Fd Army Contract Cervus were tasked to provide technical support and to develop a live capture and analysis plan that would generate evidenced findings that would support both Warfare and Capability development.  Using techniques adapted from Cervus’ Training Data Exploitation (TDx) services, an experimentation plan was rapidly developed which exploited the capture of OpCIS C2 information flows and merged the data captured.  The data was subsequently merged, and a detailed analysis was conducted resulting in a series of recommendations to ARRC.

03. Relevance

The ARRC supported by Field Army has growing confidence in undertaking Analysis and Experimentation activity.

04. Conclusion

This is the first time that experimental data has been gathered at Corps HQ to support the development of agile C2. The evidence suggests that;

  • Whilst there is a perception that the required situational awareness requires a large staff to ‘feed the beast’ the data captured on this empirical study shows that a lighter and distributed Fwd CP is a viable option. It allows a Commander greater flexibility in where they situate themselves to influence the campaign.  The CIS architecture employed was both sufficient to support COMARRC and his Forward Command Post Staff to provide this SA as well as being agile and deployable and able to hide in plain sight.
  • The employment of various civilian networks enabled the Corps HQ to hide in the wider noise and thus improve electronic concealment.
  • Removing COMARRC from ARRC MAIN appears to have also provided COMRRC increased thinking time, whilst maintaining connectivity to enable key dynamic decisions as they present themselves. This approach should be considered by other OpCIS enabled formations as a method of reducing the enemy threat to formation HQs and their staff as well as allowing the commander time to think.
  • The decisions which COMARRC is required to make do not occur routinely and frequently, however will often have significant political impact and associated legal complications. It is therefore vital that he has face to face access to his senior legal and political advisors.

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