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.