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Automated information system improves command and control capabilities

  • Published
  • By Stephen W. Hurst
  • 754th Electronic Systems Group Public Affairs
An automated information system managed by the 554th Electronic Systems Group at nearby Gunter Annex is supporting deployment operations by providing users the capability to electronically direct, monitor, and document authorized movement of forces and materiel to areas of operations, and manage changes to established movement schedules.

Known as Deliberate and Crisis Action Planning and Execution Segments, or DCAPES, it serves as the Air Force's single command and control, or C2, system to present, plan, source, mobilize, deploy, account for, sustain, and redeploy and reconstitute combatant commander requirements supporting major combat operations, stability operations, strategic deterrence and homeland security.

Air Force officials say effective C2 is central to delivering Air Force capabilities to the joint team. It enables the Air Force to deploy trained and equipped forces, organized in effects-based operational capability packages, to deliver effective aerospace capabilities to the joint warfighter.

"DCAPES allows the war planner real-time access to both personnel and equipment requirements in a single database," said Gordon Muckenfuss, who is with the Air and Space Expeditionary Force Operation at Langley AFB, Va.

The Air Force plans to field the latest version, DCAPES 4.1, in December. This release will provide the initial fielding of web-enabled functionality in Manpower/Personnel, or MANPER, reports, and user account management. It will build upon the current DCAPES by integrating the Personnel Support for Contingency Operations, or PERSCO, function.

As a result, DCAPES 4.1 will provide the deployed personnel specialists with "online" access to information required to account for deployed manning, perform manpower strength accountability assessments and provide end-to-end visibility of forward deployments through return to home station. In addition, DCAPES 4.1 will also feature the ability to import scanned common access card files and produce bar-coded contingency exercise deployment orders.

DCAPES 4.1 also will include the initial delivery of the enhanced scheduling tool, which will integrate the AEF Center's enhanced contingency/rotational AEF scheduling tool. Consolidation of these tools into DCAPES provides a single user interface by reducing the number of stand-alone systems and increases the timeliness of information exchange.

As part of the Net-Enabled Command Capability construct, DCAPES will support seamless information exchange to allow commanders and their staffs to analyze shared data and make time-sensitive decisions. This information exchange will provide commanders enhanced capability to plan accurately and efficiently, substantially reduce decision making times, and increase the quality of decisions. Future releases of DCAPES will facilitate migration to a Net-Centric Service Oriented Architecture.