News: Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific hosts NATO exercise
Story by Ashley Nekoui
SAN DIEGO -Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific was one of three locations throughout the world to host the Coalition Warrior Interoperability eXploration, eXperimentation, eXamination, (CWIX) Exercise, June 6-20.
CWIX is an annual North Atlantic Treaty Organization military committee approved event, designed to bring about continuous improvement in interoperability for the alliance. Coalition partners participating in the exercise included Finland, Poland, France, Sweden, Denmark, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and the United States. About 1,000 personnel participated in CWIX.
The CWIX program primarily focuses on testing and improving the interoperability of NATO and national command and control (C2) capabilities with a particular emphasis on those that would be deployed within a Combined Joint Task Force or NATO Response Force.
During the exercise, systems and network engineers worked alongside military personnel from various countries, solving interoperability issues while exploring and sharing potential solutions for future operations.
This year's CWIX scenario was located off of the Horn of Africa. Participants tested multiple technologies in support of maritime domain awareness, defense response, and threat response to determine operability among their respective systems.
Participating coalition partners tested five capabilities from San Diego with systems in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
Meteorology and oceanography (METOC) data from the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center (FNMOC) in Monterey, Calif., was passed through a data-diode in San Diego into a classified coalition environment and shared with coalition partners. The METOC capability allows users to view various weather situations in real time. This data is critical to air and sea operations and used as a major planning factor in land-based operations.
"Something like this has never been done before in military history," said Jay Iannacito, project manager for coalition interoperability at SSC Pacific.
Several versions of Global Command and Control System-Maritime were exchanged during CWIX, which allowed users to share command messages, a common operational picture, and to track data with various programs, including NATO's Maritime Command and Control System, Command and Control Personal Computer, the Baseline for Rapid Iterative Transformation Experiment, and the Web Information Service.
The Navy Automated Maritime Surveillance Systems (MEVAT), a Finnish global surveillance and C2 system, supports the exchange of specific data that is shared among the groups.
"It was good to be able to share information within the cloud and test MEVAT in this environment," said Finnish Cmdr. Juha Ravanti, who participated in the CWIX Exercise at SSC Pacific.
Service Oriented Infrastructure for Maritime Traffic Tracking, an Italian global surveillance system, was tested in an unclassified and classified environment and demonstrated the added capability of data exchange among several servers and capabilities.
Tactical data links, including Link 16 and 22 were also tested during CWIX. Link 16 is an exchange network that allows military aircraft, ships, and ground forces to exchange their tactical picture in near-real time. Link 22 is a secure digital radio link and used alongside Link 16. Both links provide data to the coalition command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, reconnaissance, and surveillance systems.
"The ultimate goal for coalition interoperability testing at SSC Pacific is to move from a distributed network environment to an operational exercise afloat in a radio-frequency environment in the Asian Pacific Rim theatre," said Iannacito.