DOD’s emerging tech experiments will continue to support CJADC2, official says

Global Information Dominance Experiments (GIDE 3) at North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command Headquarters in July 2021

Global Information Dominance Experiments (GIDE 3) at North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command Headquarters in July 2021 DOD photo

The Pentagon’s ongoing Global Information Dominance Experiment will build upon the department’s minimum-viable interoperable information-sharing network announced la

The Pentagon’s Global information Dominance Experiment — or GIDE — series last year paved the way for the department to roll out the initial version of its effort to streamline communication between combatant commands, a Department of Defense official said on Tuesday. 

During a discussion hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank on Tuesday, Colonel Matthew Strohmeyer — experiment director for GIDE — said DOD’s push to develop a new approach to “warfighting for the 21st century” was made possible by the series’ experimentation with artificial intelligence, machine learning capabilities and other technologies to enhance communication and streamline data sharing. 

DOD held GIDEs five through eight last year, which were the first series of experiments to be conducted across the entire Pentagon, including all of the combatant commands and allied partners. They proved integral for the Pentagon’s development of its combined joint all-domain command and control — or CJADC2 — capability, which is meant to enhance information sharing for personnel across disparate military domains. 

Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks announced at the Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office’s  — or CDAO’s  — defense data and AI symposium last month that the office had delivered “the minimum viable capability for CJADC2,” which she called “real and ready.” CDAO runs the GIDE series and has taken a leading role in DOD’s CJADC2 effort.

“We essentially go from lessons observed, lessons learned and lessons applied, not only within a 24 hour cycle during a GIDE, but then every 90 days outside of those GIDEs,” Strohmeyer said about the series of experiments. “So it's a new way for the department to be able to rapidly learn lessons and turn those lessons into fielded capabilities.”

Strohmeyer called GIDE eight “our delivery event” for a viable CJADC2 effort, but said the other experiments in last year’s series helped the department understand how to conduct joint force experimentation and then refine its networking capabilities.

“It's not a single thing we buy, but it's a way of warfighting where we connect the entire joint force together — connect the data across the joint force, connect the decisionmaking systems across the joint force — so that we can make better faster, more risk- and data-informed decisions essentially,” Strohmeyer said about the initiative as a whole. 

The minimum viable version of CJADC2 is not the final iteration of the effort, with CDAO continuing to experiment with AI technologies to better hone the capability moving forward. Strohmeyer said this will continue to be “an ongoing, iterative effort.”

DOD just wrapped up GIDE nine last week, Strohmeyer said, adding that this involved “a single blind test with multiple combatant commands of an AI capability to be able to take logistics warfighting workflows that we have to go through,” which included “analyzing what a good vehicle or means might be to be able to get some sustainment capability from one location to another location.”