Why interoperability matters

Definitions of interoperability

In Joint Publication 6, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) defines interoperability as

the condition achieved among communications-electronics systems or items of communications-electronics equipment when information or services can be exchanged directly and satisfactorily between them and/or their users.

In NATO Glossary of Terms and Definitions, NATO defines interoperability as

the ability of Alliance forces and, when appropriate, forces of Partner and other nations to train, exercise and operate effectively together in the execution of assigned missions and tasks.

 

What is interoperability?

We define interoperability as the mean of delivering tactical, strategic, and operational data, where and when it matters, helping military leaders and their staff to make critical decisions.

Why does it matter?

Large military organizations suffer from specialization. Commands use jargon, processes, and information systems that are tailored to support their specific functional domains (e.g., research, acquisition, operations, sustainment, and resource management). Non-standardized data models, terminology, reporting formats, siloed networks, and unique processes limit the sharing and reuse of data across domains within the Services, Joint commands, industry, and Multinational partners. This lack of access to accurate and relevant data has significant consequences on military organizations and their decisions and actions:

  • It limits the visibility of available Joint, industry, and Multinational resources
  • It reduces the effectiveness of current planning or decision support tools
  • It hinders the reach for advanced analytics such as Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

 

Nexus Joint Enterprise Data Interoperability

According to the CJCS in Joint Publication 3-16,

interoperability greatly enhances multinational operations through the ability to operate in the execution of assigned tasks. Nations whose forces are interoperable across materiel and nonmateriel capabilities can operate together effectively in numerous ways.

Interoperability is the core of Joint and Multinational Operations. The ability to shoot, move, communicate, protect, and sustain as a singular unit with partners improves the effectiveness of military organizations across the spectrum of operations. Using common processes, platforms and information systems is the highest level of interoperability, but this can be understandably difficult to achieve in complex Joint and Multinational operations. Being able to use common data for planning and decisions, with the ability to transact common resources while operating in one’s national or service systems and processes is a viable alternative when commonality is not possible.

Joint Enterprise Data Interoperability (JEDI-X) enables interoperability and has already been adopted by the US Army. By integrating processes and systems, JEDI-X enables systems to access and share data in a controlled environment, eliminating inefficient, error-prone, and redundant data manipulations across organizations. JEDI-X improves the velocity and quality of available data to technicians, planners, decision makers, and decision support tools by providing contextually accurate data for re-use across information systems and organizational boundaries.

Click on the link to see on the army.mil website how Steadfast Cobalt 18 introduced the 16th Sustainment Brigade to the Joint Enterprise Data Interoperability in the US Army.


What is LOGFAS

What is LOGFAS?

Logistics Functional Area Services (LOGFAS) is the suite of tools supporting NATO logistics processes for strategic movement and transportation, multinational deployment planning and execution, in-theatre movement scheduling, and sustainment planning. It is developed, maintained and supported by the Service Support and Business Application of NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA).

Why is LOGFAS important?

NATO LOGFAS is the cornerstone of multinational and joint interoperability. It integrates and manages logistics information at the enterprise level and across NATO Allies and Partners. It offers data management and analytics capabilities through modules that support planning and execution of logistics operations.

LOGFAS benefits are multifold:

  1. Enables multinational collaboration with NATO Allies and Partners in the planning and execution of Multinational logistics operations,
  2. Enables joint collaboration within the joint logistics enterprise,
  3. Works in degraded mode when connectivity is not available during operations,
  4. Access to a Common Operational Picture with different capabilities available in one click. For example: simulate the movement planning in LOGFAS, or access real-time and historical dashboard and map with JEDI MN LOG COP.

How LOGFAS supports the military logistics process

LOGFAS Process
LOGAS logistics processes

The main logistics process phases as captured in LOGFAS are described below:

  1. Force Profile and Holdings definition
    • Forces definition (including their attributes and organization)
    • Items definition (including their attributes and categories)
    • Force holdings definition
  2. Sustainment planning
    • Parameters configuration
    • Requirements simulation and prediction
  3. Deployment planning
    • Detailed Deployment Plan definition
    • Movements & Assets configuration
    • Planned cargo manifest definition
  4. Deployment execution
    • Execution mission times visualization
    • Actual cargo manifest retrieval
    • Movements tracking
  5. Logistics reporting
    • Operational level logistics assessment
    • Current state of items monitoring

What are the LOGFAS modules?

LOGFAS Process
The modules

Geographical Manager (GEOMAN)
GEOMAN is used to manage the maps, locations, and networks. GEOMAN locations include air and sea ports. The networks / routes include air, inland waterways, pipelines, rail, road, and sea. Additional infrastructure information such as runways and berths can also be included.

LOGFAS Data Management (LDM)
LDM is used for all data management and data reporting. This includes information about Forces, Items, Assets, and their relationships with one another.

Allied Deployment and Movement System (ADAMS)
ADAMS supports:

  • the planning and monitoring of strategic deployments within the desired area of responsibility
  • movement coordination and deconfliction
  • force and asset assignments and scheduling

Coalition Reception Staging Onward Movement (CORSOM)
Like ADAMS, CORSOM is used to improve reception, staging, and onward movement (RSOM) operations during deployments. CORSOM also includes planning, analysis and deconfliction activities as well as visibility and monitoring of RSOM activities during the deployment.

Effective Visible Execution (EVE)
EVE supports the deployment execution and provides visibility of movement and transportation of assets. EVE also supports the review, prioritization and coordination of movement and transportation.

Supply Distribution Model (SDM)
SDM is a decision-support tool used to test operation resupply and sustainment policies for different scenarios.

Sustainment Planning Model (SPM)
SPM handles Operation Sustainment Planning and packaging, Strategic Stockpile Planning for commodities, and Sustainability Analysis for forces.

How is a LOGFAS Training organized?

Our training is tailored to your needs, starting with a generic overview followed by additional module training of your choice. All training sessions are live and given by our qualified instructors, in-person or virtually through our online and secure e-learning center.

LOGFAS Training
Nexus LCM LOGFAS training agenda example

How to get the user guide and the tools?

Any NATO member can obtain LOGFAS through their appropriate channels.

Do you need help?

Check our LOGFAS Training and Consulting page.


JEDI-X DoD White Paper

The CJCS National Military Strategy identifies the need for interoperability in the Dynamic Force Employment (DFE). It states that

Building a strong, agile, and resilient force requires better interoperability and enhancing the combat lethality and survivability of our allies and partners.

In the US Army, Army Futures Command leads a continuous transformation of Army modernization in order to provide future warfighters with the concepts, capabilities and organizational structures they need to dominate a future battlefield. Joint Enterprise Data Interoperability (JEDI-X) is a capability initially developed by the US Joint Staff to ensure data interoperability that will enable DoD to improve lethality and enable similar logistics data interoperability in the Joint and Coalition space, while supporting the concept of DFE.

Lack of interoperability

DoD, like all large organizations suffers from specialization. Commands use jargon, processes and information systems that are tailored to support their specific functional domains such as research, acquisition, operations, sustainment, and resource management. Non-standardized data models, terminology, reporting formats, and siloed networks limit the sharing and reuse of data by other domains within the Services, Joint commands, industry and Multinational partners performing services for the DoD, or similar roles. This lack of access to accurate, relevant data limits the visibility of available Joint, industry and Multinational resources, the effectiveness of current planning or decision support tools, and hinders the reach for advanced analytics such as Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.

Data Interoperability using JEDI-X

Interoperability is the core of Joint and Multinational Operations. The ability to shoot, move, communicate, protect and sustain as a singular unit with partners improves the effectiveness of the DoD across the spectrum of operations. Using common processes, platforms and information systems is the highest level of interoperability. Being able to use common data for planning and decisions, with the ability to transact common resources while operating in national or service systems is a viable alternative when commonality is not possible. Joint Enterprise Data Interoperability (JEDI-X) enables both for the US Army today.

JEDI-X uses a systems engineering approach to identify and map data across current organizational and functional boundaries to unlock it with the necessary context for re-use. It uses non-proprietary information models to ascribe context in data mappings for ease of maintenance and extensibility of data from source to a myriad of target uses. JEDI-X also provides mediation and translation services across these information systems to support transactions, reporting, and visualization of data across systems that otherwise are isolated and opaque.

US Army JEDI-X Implementations

JEDI-X enables the Army and US European Command to re-use US force deployment data from various systems to populate US data in the NATO Logistics Functional Area Services (LOGFAS) suite of tools for coordinating deployment and sustainment of the combined forces. JEDI-X also re-uses LOGFAS data within a Recognized Logistics Picture (RLP) of the combined force, enabling cross-servicing of logistics resources and sustainment planning. Nexus LCM is working with US Army Europe and HQ, Army G4 to:

  1. Implement the JEDI MN LOG COP capability as an RLP in the Joint Warfighting Assessment series as an enabler for LOGFAS to support embedded multinational Brigades in US Army Divisions;
  2. Automate feeds of US Army in-theater movement requests to Multinational Movement Coordination Capabilities, while retaining linkages to the Army Resource Management system of record for payment;
  3. Enable data feeds from US Transportation Command and theater movements for an integrated view of movements of units and supplies during deployment and sustainment operations to improve coordination of infrastructure, material handling and transportation assets, ensuring prioritization and efficient initial operational capabilities to the Commander;
  4. Use JEDI-X to integrate an Artificial Intelligence-enabled transportation planning and resourcing tool into NATO operations;
  5. Continue assessment for a JEDI-X enabled capability for operational units to have visibility and transact multinational supplies and order digital/additive manufactured parts, all without leaving GCSS-Army.

Summary

By simply unlocking and linking existing data for re-use in other processes and systems, JEDI-X can eliminate inefficient searching, cleansing and re-entry of data common in today’s DoD. It can improve the velocity and quality of available data to planners, decision makers, advanced decision support tools of choice and technicians in support of their roles through providing contextually accurate data for re-use across information system and organizational boundaries.