Tennessee ANG unit stands up new facility

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. -- On Nov. 22 U.S. Strategic Command officials announced the first distributive command and control facility completed its transformation and is successfully operating under the leadership of the Tennessee Air National Guard near Knoxville.

This facility is the first in a planned series of distributive communications sites designed to enhance the Department of Defense command and control capability. This capability will provide an assured means of effective communications during any natural, technological, man-made, terrorist or national security emergency in an Internet Protocol-based distributive architecture.

"Declaring this first distributive command and control site operational is a move into the 21st Century," said Gen. James Cartwright, Commander, USSTRATCOM. "We are dealing with 21st Century issues, so we need to have and use 21st Century technology. The men and women of the Tennessee Air National Guard can be proud of their contributions to this significant event." Leveraging new and emerging information technologies will better prepare us to respond to and recover from any challenge in a unified and integrated manner. In an effort to increase command and control capabilities during a natural disaster or national security emergency, the new system model will enable more sophisticated and diverse solutions for today's problems.

Distributive command and control moves from a circuit-based system, where data travels between points in a fixed, pre-established route, to an IP-based system, where each node has a unique address and data can move from one point to another through multiple routes, depending on availability.

This new IP-based system of geographically diverse and interdependent command and control operations centers meets a need to pursue high capacity, internet-like functionality and creates a reliable network as it extends the Global Information Grid to deployed and mobile users worldwide.

"The old circuit-based system was not up-to-date with today's technology," said Lt. Gen. C. Robert "Bob" Kehler, USSTRATCOM deputy commander. "The IP-based system is in line with modern command and control needs and provides leaders at various levels the flexibility they need in a crisis situation."

Officials plan to create and upgrade additional C2 sites as needed to provide appropriate levels of service, accessibility, reliability and survivability to support Department of Defense and national missions.