The 805th Combat Training Squadron, also known as the Shadow Operations Center – Nellis, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., took part in the U.S. Army’s Project Convergence 2022 to experiment with speed, range, and decision dominance to achieve overmatch and inform the Joint Warfighting Concept and Joint All Domain Command and Control concept.
The Army led its first large-scale Project Convergence experiment in 2020 and has continued to grow the event’s scope, scale and complexity annually.
Project Convergence is an annual joint, and coalition field training experiment focused on leveraging a series of joint, multi-domain engagements to integrate artificial intelligence, robotics, and autonomy to improve battlefield situational awareness, connect sensors with shooters, and accelerate the decision-making timeline.
The multi-week air, land, sea, space, and cyberspace experiment enables real-world proficiency in training the joint force through detecting, locating, tracking, and engaging adversary targets. Project Convergence also blended real-world forces and technology of today with the advanced next-generation systems and simulated capabilities of tomorrow.
Planning and coordination for this experiment began well over a year ago with ShOC-N’s focus on collaborating with Headquarters Air Combat Command and its subordinates, as well as elements from the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps.
Elements external to the ShOC-N who participated in PC22 included a cyber mission defense team, or MDT, the 1st Multi-Domain Task Force, or MDTF, Tactical Operations Center – Light at March Air Reserve Base, and the Lower Echelon Analytic Platform, or LEAP, and the LEAP Tactical, or LTAC, which connected to the ShOC-N during the experiment to pass critical, timely, and precise targeting information amongst all units involved.
The ShOC-N hosted a cyber MDT for much of the event. “We were able to successfully operate remotely from the ShOC while defending the March AB TOC-L,” said Alexander Rowe, lead planner for the U.S. Air Force cyber effort. “We connected the ShOC LTAC to the March [ARB] LTAC and the Army LTAC and query data looking for cyber attacks across all networks, seamless to the operator. While defending the TOC-L, we successfully maintained bandwidth for mission operations by storing cyber data at the edge and only pulling back data requested by the operators.”
This live, virtual and constructive, or LVC, environment provided the framework during the experiment execution of passing data seamlessly between nodes disbursed globally at several locations within the continental U.S., with multiple and redundant network paths utilizing edge computing.
“ShOC-N hosted the LTAC capability and forwarded radar data to the TOC-L. The goal is to fold the lessons learned into our ongoing and iterative joint fires development effort,” said Don McKee, 805th CTS/ShOC-N PC22 lead network and application integrator.
The planning for Project Convergence 2023-2024 execution has already begun, incorporating lessons learned from PC 22 that will enhance the joint forces’ ability to develop the transformational concepts and capabilities required to fight and win.