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Empire Challenge 06
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What is Empire Challenge 2006 (EC06)?

Empire Challenge 06 focuses on joint, coalition warfighting operations

U.S. Joint Forces Command and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency are demonstrating intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, techniques and procedures for joint and coalition warfighting operations in Empire Challenge 06.

By Robert Pursell
USJFCOM Public Affairs

(CHINA LAKE, Calif. - Sept. 15, 2006) - U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) are working together during Empire Challenge 06 (EC06) here to demonstrate and evaluate intelligence gathering techniques and procedures for joint and coalition warfighting operations.

USJFCOM's Intelligence Directorate (J2) is working in conjunction with Joint Systems Integration Command (JSIC) and the NGA until Sept. 28 to identify the baseline capability to support networked-enabled joint task force intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) operations.

Air Force Lt. Col. Anthony Lombardo, J2's ISR lead for the event, explained how USJFCOM is involved. "Empire Challenge is a series of NGA-sponsored ISR venues, demonstrations and events. This is the first year where we have USJFCOM taking ISR transformational and innovative efforts to the event and inserting some of our capabilities into a larger venue alongside a national agency."

Lombardo went on to talk about the importance of working with the NGA. "We're desperately trying to make more information available to more people all the time," he said. "NGA has more imagery and more strategic level focus, but by combining the two, we're hopeful that we can find and discover new ways of getting more information to more people. For example, we're trying to help warfighters on the move in unfriendly surroundings and special ops in contact with terrorists, insurgents and other hostile actors."

Lombardo added, "One of the things we're trying to do is create a common tactical picture that incorporates dissimilar assets and display those assets and information to allies and U.S. alike in a simple and easy-to-view way for enhanced battlespace awareness as well as command and control purposes."

He explained how important sharing this information can be in critical situations. "During operations, what we're trying to do is be able to show a display which depicts several different sensors, where they're at, what they're collecting and being able to see that all at once. So, when an emerging crisis situation comes about, everyone accessed to that common tactical picture knows what ISR can be brought to bear for that crisis development."

"What I think the best thing could be for this event is for people to hear what's going on at China Lake simply because there are an awful lot of good Americans and allies with good techniques, expertise and ideas doing live experimentation and demos of ISR capabilities. I think future Empire Challenge events might be a kind of DoD ISR venue for some good experimentation and discovery as well as joint ACTDs (Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrators) and proof of concept type of demos," according to Lombardo.

EC06 also serves as the operational venue for JSIC's Joint Systems Baseline Assessment 2006 (JSBA-06). JSBA-06 joins with NGA and USJFCOM's Extended Awareness 06-2 exercise to integrate a large array of ISR collection assets and respective C2 capabilities. These three concurrent events also gain operational fidelity via linkage to future exercises according to event organizers.


To learn more about Empire Challenge, visit the official United States Joint Forces Command Website (JFCOM).

 

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Empire Challenge 07.
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