07 - Initial Results
Empire Challenge 07 shows success of intelligence, surveillance
and reconnaissance integration
U.S. Joint Forces Commandís Intelligence Directorate and the
National Geospatial Intelligence Agency worked together recently
to test new intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance
technologies and concepts at Empire Challenge 07 in China Lake,
Calif. Event organizers have offered some of the initial results.
By Army Spc.
USJFCOM Public Affairs
(NORFOLK, Va. - Aug. 30, 2007) -- A recently
completed National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and U.S.
Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) demonstration helped examine new
and different ways to evaluate intelligence technology on how well
it can share information with U.S. and multinational partners.
USJFCOM officials recently discussed the initial
findings of Empire Challenge 07 (EC07), an intelligence,
surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) demonstration that wrapped
up in late July at the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, China
As a live demonstration primarily focused on ISR
integration, EC07 looked at the ability to fuse together
information from a variety of different sources to enhance a
commander's decision-making process.
NGA led EC07, with operational support from
Joint Intelligence Directorate's ISR Division.
The demonstration had more than 700
participants, including members of two USJFCOM subordinate
Joint Transformation Command for Intelligence (JTC-I) and
Joint Systems Integration Command.
Representatives from the United Kingdom, Canada
and Australia also participated, bringing their own technologies
and concepts to EC07.
Other organizations included the Distributed
Ground Station - Experimental at Langley Air Force Base, Va., and
NATO's Command and Control and Consultation Agency, which used the
information generated by EC07 to improve and assess information
sharing with coalition partners.
John Kittle, USJFCOM's chief of capability
assessment group for Intelligence Directorate/JTC-I integration,
said EC07 was a big success and helped improve ISR integration by
providing a testing ground for new ISR technologies.
Kittle said one demonstration that was very
effective was of the Adaptive Joint C4ISR Node, an advanced
concept technology demonstration (ACTD) that uses software to
bridge communication gaps between signals intelligence, electronic
warfare, and information operations.
"It provided the command and control and
communications backbone for the entire event, particularly at the
tactical level," said Kittle. "It provided comms [communications]
bridging from the internal to the range area itself and also
communications from the range back to the operations center in
China Lake. Everybody knew what was going on, especially in the
EC07 also provided a testbed for the ISR
integration capability of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). Kittle
said the Scan Eagle UAV, a small non-combat UAV currently deployed
with U.S. Marines in the Iraqi theater, tested very well.
He said Scan
Eagle worked in conjunction with the experimental Joint
Battlespace Awareness/ISR Integration Capability (J-BAIIC), a
Naval Postgraduate School-managed ISR testbed that provides video
for relay to individual convoy commanders. J-BAIIC also allowed
the transfer of data from the Scan Eagle into a data library for
"Scan Eagle did a lot of work. It was airborne
for several hours everyday and provided a lot of video that was
used during the event itself," said Kittle.
Kittle said that the Multi-sensor
Aerospace-ground Joint ISR Interoperability Coalition (MAJIIC), a
USJFCOM-managed ACTD that allows for easier information sharing
between the U.S. and its coalition partners, also proved a success
"We were able to extend MAJIIC into the NATO
realm as well, so folks working at the NATO headquarters in The
Hague were able to see the data that was collected and were able
to play with some of the data on their exploitation systems," said
Kittle said that planning for EC08 is currently
under way with the initial planning conference scheduled to begin
To learn more about Empire Challenge, visit the official United
States Joint Forces Command Website (JFCOM).
for information on
Empire Challenge 08.
for information on
Empire Challenge 07.
for information on Empire Challenge 07 Initial Results.
for information on
Empire Challenge 06.