Jun 04, 2014

Promoting Joint Education

Joint Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence/Cyber Staff and Operations Course (JC4ICSOC):

What’s in your future? Will you soon be serving at a corps/theater level J2 or J6 staff in support of a Joint Task Force (JTF)? Will you be working with a JTF Joint Communications Control Center executing requirements associated with an information management plan? Is there a chance of you being assigned to one of the theater signal commands or to an Army Service Component Command headquarters where you are likely to find yourself involved in exercise planning conferences such as Lucky Sentinel, Ulchi Focus Lens, Combined Endeavor, or Grecian Firebolt?

If not, perhaps one of these situations applies to you: You’re now an action officer or senior NCO supporting signals intelligence, space operations, or theater missile defense command and control initiatives. Or you’re a TRADOC Systems Manager or Project Manager, action officer or DOD civilian who deals with myriad interoperability issues/key performance parameters in the C4ISR transformation arena? If any of these situations describe you and you’re an active duty or reserve component officer, senior NCO, or DOD civilian, then the faculty of the JC4ICSOC stands ready to support your joint C4I educational needs.

The JC4ICSOC is three weeks long, taught six times during the fiscal year (FY), and is sponsored by the Joint Staff J6. First established in January 1978 by the Deputy Secretary of Defense as a joint C3 systems course at the Armed Forces Staff College, it is now one of the resident courses under the Joint Command, Control, and Information Operations School (JC2IOS), Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) in Norfolk, Virginia. JC2IOS’s mission is to educate and train joint military staff officers, senior NCOs, and DOD civilian equivalents in the concepts, applications, and procedures associated with C4I/Cyber and Information Operations (IO) in a joint and multinational environment.

To support the warfighter’s needs in a network-centric, capabilities-based force, the JC4ICSOC curriculum takes a generalist approach. The program meets the Joint Staff J6’s objectives and supports the college’s mission by emphasizing a broad understanding of the joint C4I environment, including C2 structures and processes, cyber initiatives, and management of current joint C4I systems. It provides quality C4I instruction for the joint community on topics such as joint interoperability, space systems, DOD Information Network, information assurance, national agency perspectives, and cyberspace operations. The course also includes an overview of the joint operational planning process in order to enhance joint C4I planning skills.

Reviews from past students indicate the course’s value to their current and upcoming assignments: “I would have been 300 per cent more effective in the job (I had) if I had attended that (JC4ICSOC) course . . . yes, the information was that beneficial, especially that part about the C4IC points of contact!” (This from an Air Force O-6.)

An annual JC4ICSOC message is issued to MAJCOMs and joint agencies of all services announcing FY course dates and prerequisites. A separate message is disseminated a few weeks prior to the start of each class. The course accommodates a maximum of 18 students. Remaining available course dates for FY14 are:

Class 14-5 21 Apr – 9 May
Class 14-6 2 Jun – 20 Jun
Class 14-7 21 Jul – 8 Aug
Class 14-8 8 – 26 Sep

JC4ICSOC Summary:

The mission of the JC4ICSOC is to educate and train joint C4I decision makers in C4I and cyberspace concepts in the joint/interagency/multinational environments, the DOD’s organization and how it supports the C4I process, and the management and operation of current joint C4I systems. The JC4ICSOC aims to:

  • Provide students with a broad understanding of approved joint C4I/cyber doctrine and current policy guidance
  • Apply thinking of joint C4I concepts and organizations to the operational level of warfare (JTF action officer focused)
  • Apply skills/procedures for duty in joint or service C4I/cyber staff operations and planning assignments

The course’s primary focus areas include command and control, communications and computer systems, cyberspace operations, intelligence, space operations, joint interoperability, and application of joint C4I concepts. Furthermore, JC4ICSOC’s target audience is staff officers, both military and civilian (i.e. O3 – O6, GS11 – GS15 and E7 – E9) en route to C4I decision making positions requiring a broad understanding of joint C4I/cyber doctrine and operational level planning. The school categorizes its students in one of three audience tiers:

  • Tier 1: Unified Command staff, DOD staff supporting agencies, or Joint Field Operating Agencies
  • Tier 2: C/JTF HQs or service component HQs forming as a C/JTF (Corps, Marine Expeditionary Forces, Naval Carrier/Expeditionary Strike Groups, numbered Air Forces)
  • Tier 3: DOD components in C4I interoperability arena (C4I Program/Product Managers, systems integrators), or service specific C4I staff billets

As the DOD’s only JC4I Education and Training course taught at the TOP SECRET level, students attending the resident course must possess or be eligible for a TOP SECRET clearance with SCI access. Students who are currently not in an SCI billet but are eligible for indoctrination can be read in for the course upon arrival. Also, the command or unit to which a student is assigned must fund travel, per diem, and billeting, which includes traveling to the Washington D.C. area for a four-day field studies component in order to gain “up close and personal” experience with joint/national organizations and agencies.

Additional administrative information is available through the “Schools and Academic Programs” section of the JFSC web site at: http://www.jfsc.ndu.edu/ (click on the JC2IOS then C4I Division link). Faculty representatives are Maj Sean Camp, (757) 443-6330, or LCDR Brad Converse, (757) 443-6328 (DSN 646).