Nellis AFB Airmen uses bespoke software for ABMS> US Air Force> Article display


Nellis Air Base Airmen use modern software application WIDOW, or Web-based Information Dominant Warfare, to digitize the mission planning process at the tactical level.

The 100% government-owned code and designated as the official United States Air Force mission planning cell tool allows for real-time and distributed input, coordination and visualization of details of planning so that airmen, Guardians and joint partners can focus on tactics and lethality.

Mission commanders, mission planning cell leaders and their teams only need an internet connection and a browser to use WIDOW, which provides increased speed, organization and accuracy to planning tasks. .

Applications such as WIDOW will be able to live on the secure military digital network environment of the Advanced Combat Management System and distribute data to the edge, other applications and mission partners with speed and agility in order to achieve vision of joint command and control.

“What WIDOW offers the fighter right now is the ability to plan collaborative, cross-domain and tactical-level missions in a secure, cloud-hosted environment,” said Major William Short, member of the US Air Force and Blue Horizons, Strategy and Technology Center Air War College Chief of Staff, Maxwell AFB, Alabama.

WIDOW uses the Ministry of Defense Platform 1Continuing Operating Authority, or c-ATO, on the Unsecured Internet Protocol Router (Unclassified), Internet Protocol Secret Router (Secret), and Common Global Intelligence Communication System (Top Secret) networks.

“Think of Platform One as a road on which any DoD-approved applications or vehicles can operate. This road has built-in rules and safety measures i.e. red / green lights etc. The security measures allow DoD users with a Common Access Card to access the applications they need to perform their mission, at their respective security levels, ”said Short. .

“WIDOW is only successful because there is no barrier to entry to use it and the fact that you don’t have to install it directly on a computer like you do with so many software applications. inherited, ”said Short. “WIDOW fills a gap that has never been filled by the mission planning business. It allows users to complete the mission planning process defined in 3-3.IPE (Integrated Planning and Employment) in a distributed and collaborative manner, where everyone on that mission can easily access mission data.

Fighters use 3-3.IPE, which is a manual that describes Air Force tactics, techniques, and procedures for planning and employing missions. The manual details what data should be collected and what products should be generated with this data for each assignment.

“What planners have historically had to do is take multiple individual mission data and manually enter it into spreadsheets and other disconnected mission products as referred to as 3-3.IPE, then de save them to a shared drive or send them via email for distribution to the participating mission. If there is any missing or incorrect information, the process of saving, sharing and emailing is repeated This process is long, arduous and leaves a lot of room for error, ”said Short.

Platform One allows all tactical level planners and their teams to log into WIDOW at the same time and simultaneously update the mission dataset and products in real time.

Additionally, Platform One automates updates, security, and access to WIDOW through the best business software practice known as DevSecOps. The process allows applications like WIDOW to receive direct user feedback and implement it faster, as tactical level planners have direct access to application engineers.

This allows engineers to truly understand the challenges and end user needs, and then implement software updates as quickly as possible.

“With DevSecOps, we can fix bugs and deliver new functionality in a time frame that most DoD members have never seen before,” said Short.

“Using a common dataset, WIDOW also automatically produces common products needed to fly and execute missions in training exercises like Red Flag and Integration of the weapons school. Some examples are coordination maps, resupply plans, mission calendars, asset flows, etc. that keep all mission participants on the same page with what’s going on in the mission planning cycle, without the need to send updates to each individual. added.

“WIDOW has improved the access, accuracy and timeliness of information required for U-2 (Lady Dragon) pilot to effectively synchronize capabilities with the composite force, ”said Major John Mattson, former U-2 Weapons Instructor Course instructor and current Naval School graduate student.

“While the U-2 easily unraveled vertically by flying several kilometers above all the other actors in the air domain, the objective of WSINT is not to resolve the conflicts of capacities, but to integrate capabilities to achieve the desired effect. WIDOW improved the U-2 pilot’s access to mission planning information and their ability to capture timely improvements to mission planning information in a way that was just not practical with coordination maps paper for a pilot geographically or temporally dispersed in a suit space. This is why the 19 WPS U-2 WIC executives were the first to adopt and are continuing users of WIDOW, ”added Mattson.

The next step for WIDOW is to build the digital bridge between the tactical and operational levels by connecting it to Kessel raceThe family of applications that supports operational planning cycles in air operations centers.

This will allow operational and tactical planners to automatically share data back and forth and dramatically reduce the need for disk, email, and SharePoint sharing to disseminate critical planning data.

“Kessel Run has created several modern software applications that live in the cloud, which digitize and replace manual processes for planning at the operational level. WIDOW did it for planning at the tactical level, but those capabilities are not yet connected, ”said Short.

WIDOW is the result of Air Force leadership and support for Airmen innovation mission partners. WIDOW is an example of how fighters can directly accelerate change by identifying a need, building a vision, creating a prototype and developing it into operational capacity.

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