Combat Support Command, Control, and Communications (CSC3)

Robust Methods to Mitigate Communications Disruptions

by H. Wayne Gustafson


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In contrast to the U.S. Air Force's traditional logistics doctrine of airbase self-sufficiency, a policy of mutual supply and maintenance support among similarly equipped combat bases introduces a need for a combat support command, control, and communications (CSC3) system as well as efficient inter-base transportation. This study investigates CSC3 requirements first by postulating an ideal system, then by examining the effect of communications delays and interruptions on combat capability. Workarounds to mitigate these degradations, such as daily exception reporting of only a few critical needs, are evaluated. Exception reporting, which only requires communications facilities of message caliber, proved almost as effective as full asset status reporting, which depends on data-grade, computer-to-computer communications. Consequently, CSC3 requirements for in-theater mutual support appear less demanding than was generally thought. The analysis also reconfirmed the importance of fast, assured inter-base transportation.

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