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    Upgrading C2: Common Aviation Command and Control (CAC2S) Phase 1, achieves Full Operating Capability With Fielding to Marine Air Control Squadron 24

    Upgrading C2: Common Aviation Command and Control (CAC2S) Phase 1, achieves Full Operating Capability With Fielding to Marine Air Control Squadron 24

    Photo By Gunnery Sgt. Scott McAdam | Nathan Poole, chief operations instructor for the Common Aviation Command Control...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    Fleet Marine Force Atlantic, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command

    Virginia Beach, Va. – Marine Air Control Squadron 24 (MACS-24), 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve, is the final recipient of the first phase of the Common Aviation Command Control System (CAC2S). CAC2S is a coordinated modernization effort to replace the existing aviation command and control equipment of the Marine Air Command and Control System (MACCS) and provide the Aviation Combat Element (ACE) with the necessary hardware, software, equipment, and facilities to effectively command, control, and coordinate aviation operations. CAC2S will be accomplished through a two phased approach. Phase 1 accommodates fielding of operational relevant capabilities by upgrading fielded MACCS equipment with mature, ready technologies and will establish an initial product baseline Processing and Display System (PDS) and Communications System (CS). Phase 2 is structured to accommodate the integration of technologies necessary for the CAC2S Sensor Data System (SDS) to meet remaining ACE Battle Management and Command & Control requirements. With the delivery of the Phase 1 CAC2S in early September at MACS-24, the first installment of two phases constitutes Full Operating Capability (FOC) for the initial phase of the system.

    For Phase 1, there are two systems that define CAC2S: the Processing and Display System (PDS) and the Communications System. The PDS AN/TSQ-273 V (1) is the infrastructure that provides the Operational Facility (OPFAC) and the Operations Trailer (OT). The OPFAC provides the physical command post facilities; the BASE-X tents, tables, chairs, computers, and peripheral equipment to support 16 operator positions, expandable to 20 positions. The OT provides the networking and computing hardware to provide the operators with the necessary network configurations to execute the mission of the MACCS. The OT includes a Joint Range Extension (JRE) Server and Client, JRE Application Protocol (JREAP) A, B, C, a track manager to process JRE and Joint Tactical COP Work Station (JTCW) tracks, and various switches, routers and components to provide the operator a secure separated voice and data network. The Communications System (CS) consists of the AN/MRQ-13 (V) 1 which provides VHF/UHF/HF/SATCOM radios based in a S/788 Lightweight Multipurpose Shelter (LMS) mounted on a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV). The S/788 LMS provides the housing, interface and environmental protection for the CS equipment. The first phase the CAC2S capability is being fielded to the Marine Air Support Squadron (MASS) that provides the Direct Air Support Center (DASC) and the Marine Air Control Squadron (MACS) that provides the Tactical Air Operations Center (TAOC) and Early Warning Control (EWC) detachment. The Phase 1 CAC2S provides the operators a common tactical operational display combining air and ground tracks on one display called the Tactical Display Framework (TDF) to provide the operator a “fused” picture to enhance decision making. The TDF provides the MACCS operator the information necessary to support the Marine Air –Ground Task Force (MAGTF), Joint and coalition forces with near- real time and non-real time information.

    “Before CAC2S, there were multiple stove piped C2 systems that provided the operator specialized information, leaving the operator to process data separately,” said Maj. Robert St. Croix, Phase 1 Fielding Officer, Program Executive Officer Land Systems, (PEO LS), Marine Corps Systems Command, Marine Corps Base Quantico. “CAC2S combines this information into the TDF Common Operational Display, providing the operator the ability to filter information as required to enhance their decision making ability.”

    The system is designed to be expeditionary, scaleable, and provide common hardware across the MACCS.

    “CAC2S provides the MACCS the ability to provide aviation command and control in an austere environment with the ability to tailor the size of the PDS and CS assets to the required mission. It enables the Marine to work in the BASE-X tents or remote the OPFAC to an existing structure like we have seen in OIF and OEF,” said Maj. Robert St. Croix.

    The classroom training and practical application the Marines received during the fielding of CAC2S enable the Marines to quickly set up and be operational.

    “Currently, their legacy systems can take up to a day, or half a day best case scenario to get a complete system up and operational,” said Nathan Poole, chief operations instructor for CAC2S. “This system allows the Marines to set up quicker; in fact, with a proficient maintainer and a proficient operator community, the system could be set up and ready to operate in 2 ½ hours.”

    Providing the MACCS with common C2 hardware adds advantages the new system brings to the fight.

    “We’re all going to be working on the same system, so that’s going to make passing that information to other agencies much smoother,” said Sgt. Matthew Baldwin, a tactical air defense controller with MACS-24. “Having the same system is going to make the communication flow much easier and make all of the units much more effective.”

    Phase 2 of the CAC2S program will eventually replace the remaining legacy and Phase 1 equipment at the MASS and MACS agencies, as well as provide the Tactical Air Command Center (TACC) CAC2S equipment. CAC2S Phase 2 will provide continued improvements due to technological changes and the experience and feedback from the fleet Marines.

    CAC2S achieved a Limited Deployment Capability (LDC) milestone in February of 2012 when it was initially fielded to the formal learning center at Marine Corps Communications-Electronics School (MCCES) and the first operational unit equipped, which is MASS- 3, part of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing at Camp Pendleton, Calif. It was later fielded to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing at Cherry Point, N.C., to Marine Air Support Squadron 1 (MASS 1), Marine Air Control Squadron 2 (MACS 2), and Marine Tactical Air Command Squadron 28 (MTACS 28) and finally, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing units MASS-2 and MACS-4 in Okinawa, Japan.

    The success of the new CAC2S technology was publicly highlighted on June 15, 2012, when former Under Secretary of the Navy Robert O. Work and Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition Sean Stackley recognized the CAC2S program as one of the Department of the Navy’s Major Acquisition Activity Awards for their “creative and effective practices that lead to lower costs and better technical performance.”



    Date Taken: 09.23.2013
    Date Posted: 09.23.2013 13:01
    Story ID: 114108
    Location: VIRGINIA BEACH, VA, US 

    Web Views: 1,243
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