DoD 5G Strategy Enables JADC2 Connectivity

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The Pentagon is working closely together with industry and interagency partners to develop its DoD 5G strategy, which will provide lightning fast ubiquitous connectivity. JADC2 (Joint All-Domain Command and Control) will enable the military to seamlessly exchange and synchronize data across all domains, including air, land, and space, using 5G connectivity. The Defense Department will transition to all-domain operations by developing a joint warfighting doctrine and concept.
Where is 5G used in the military?
According to the Pentagon’s top official, 5G technology development will be crucial for the Defense Department’s vision of JADC2. 5G is the next generation of wireless networks and technologies. It will bring a significant improvement in data speed, volume, and latency over current 4G networks. 5G networks will be 20 times faster than 4G. This technology can be used to enhance things as simple as virtual reality training, or as complex as the connectivity of systems in JADC2.
5G in the Air Force
Similar to the hypersonic missile, 5G technology and JADC2 modernization are being led by the Air Force through its Advanced Battle Management System effort. This system is charged with creating a “internet of everything” for the military. The Air Force is leading the charge with a variety of 5G experiments that will improve aircraft mission readiness, spectrum sharing, and enable air, cyberspace, and lethal force. Numerous Air Force bases are currently conducting 5G prototyping and experimentation. The Pentagon announced that a second tranche was being built of military bases to host the testing, including Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma. Hill Air Force Base in Utah and Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada were the first tranches of bases.
Tinker Air Force Base will focus on bi-directional spectrum share between DoD and commercial communications. This is of great interest to both the military and the private sector. The Pentagon plans to pursue dynamic spectrum sharing between industry and military as 5G technology is developed. This includes the mid-band electromagnetic spectrum used by the Defense Department for radars and other system. Because the frequency allows for greater bandwidth and range, portions of the mid-band are more favorable to 5G. The DoD spectrum strategy team has been hard at it over the past few months developing a midband sharing solution that will facilitate 5G development in private sector, while also allowing Pentagon to use that spectrum for DoD cybersecurity policy and requirements.
DOD 5G Experimentation
Officials announced that the Pentagon has chosen seven new military installations for 5G testing and experimentation in various areas, including augmented reality, wireless connectivity and spectrum sharing. Naval Base Norfolk, Virginia will test ship-wide and shore connectivity. Joint Base Pearl Harbor–Hickam, Hawaii, will test aircraft mission readiness. Joint Base San Antonio in Texas will test augmented reality training.
Wireless connectivity will be tested at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Camp Pendleton in California, and Fort Hood (Texas). The National Training Center at Fort Irwin and Camp Pendleton in California, respectively, will solicit proposals. Plans are to set up new test sites for 5G this fall. The 12 sites are currently undergoing experiments over a three- to four-year period. However, it is possible for capabilities to be transferred around the two year mark.
Command and Control
All domains have the same thing: control and dominance over the electromagnetic spectrum are essential. Without control over the spectrum, satellites are nothing but space junk. Without command and control, communications, and proper communication with them, satellites are useless. Contested environments were also a problem for spectrum-based operations. This was a major issue during both the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, when an attempt to jam signals to stop improvised explosive devices casualties also halted U.S. military communications.
Incapable to communicate across services and across industries. These jammers were placed in the field to stop the bombs detonating. However, they also stopped us from communicating with each other because they all worked within the same frequency. The problem was that they all operated within the same spectrum and did not interfere with each other. It is crucial to find out the future. There is not enough spectrum available. The more people jump in on it, it becomes more congested and more difficult to work within it. We will all end-up interfering with one another.
Military 5G Spectrum Sharing
DoD’s increasing need for wireless connectivity is driving 5G to become a common standard. It is dependent on spectrum, which raises one major question: How can we share the airwaves and with 5G, 6G, 7G and 7G? The DoD is currently reviewing plans to build its 5G network and will explore other ways to share spectrum frequencies that are reserved for military and civilian use with businesses.
RFIs from the DOD 5g
DoD is seeking industry suggestions on how to implement dynamic spectrum sharing so that 5G development and deployment can be supported by military and commercial users in the same frequency band. The DoD believes that industry’s participation is essential in this highly technical and competitive field. A statement was released announcing the RFI. This effort will benefit the entire country and help to keep the U.S. afloat.

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