Newest version of DCGS Integration Backbone improves intelligence sharing
By Patty Welsh, 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs
/ Published October 29, 2010
HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. --
The Oct. 15, 2010, release of version 2.0 of the Distributed Common Ground System Integration Backbone, or DIB, continues to improve on its current capabilities.
The DIB consists of a common set of services and standards that are used across the DCGS community to facilitate sharing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information.
"With this version of the DIB, the DCGS programs of record can query each other's holdings and find critical ISR information," said Marine Corps Maj. Tony Barrett, DCGS Multi-Service Execution Team deputy director. "Everyone is talking about the need for intelligence sharing, and this is a giant step forward."
The U.S. DCGS programs of record are Air Force-DCGS, DCGS-Army, DCGS-Navy, DCGS-Marine Corps, DCGS-Special Operations Forces, DCGS-Intelligence Community and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's National System for Geospatial Intelligence Expeditionary Architecture.
Each of the programs of record has its own metadata catalog, which Major Barrett describes as a technological version of a library card catalog that is populated with that service's ISR information.
DIB 2.0 puts the architecture in place to ensure all the different systems can interact by querying and retrieving information from each other's catalogs.
"We want to be the search capability that allows people to get back what they're looking for -- relevant intelligence for their problem," said Major Barrett.
This version also increases security capabilities. Information that was at a higher-level security classification will now also be able to be exchanged with others that have the correct security clearance.
"Our goal is for better intelligence sharing across the battlespace," said Major Barrett. "The DIB allows for that. We currently have the Army and Marine Corps sharing intelligence on Afghanistan through the DIB."
With the version 2.0 architecture in place, the multi-service team is already working toward version 3.0, planned for release in the June 2011 timeframe.
"With 3.0, we are looking to establish a more modular and flexible set of software services that can be integrated by the DCGS PoRs [programs of record]," said Major Barrett. "The PoRs can select the services they want to use from the DIB suite of software services and use those in whatever way best supports their mission. This will significantly enhance intelligence discoverability for the warfighter."
Sharing information with coalition partners is another goal being worked on for version 3.0.
"Currently, you may or may not be able to automatically access a coalition partner's information," said Major Barrett. "And they may or may not be able to access ours; this will ensure our automated combined interoperability."
The major emphasized that regardless of the type of information being shared, the ultimate goal for the DIB, and for the Multi-Service Execution Team, is to ensure warfighters have access to the intelligence they need.