DCGS-A: Bringing It All Together for the Commander
US military commanders in the field want information and they want it now. The more information they can gather on enemy positions and movement, and the faster they can get it, the more chance of success they will have.
But there are so many information sources available to the commander, it is hard to sort through it all. That’s where the Distributed Ground System-Army (DCGS-A) comes in. The DCGS-A integrates intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) data within a single system to streamline the US Army’s ability to process and disseminate the data to commanders in the field.
Recently, Textron unit Overwatch received a contract, worth up to $48.5 million, to develop and maintain the DCGS-A Application Framework (DAF), the DAF Software Development Kit (SDK), and major system components such as the Tactical Entity Database, messaging/ interoperability, and visualization/ analysis tools…
DCGS-A capability provides US commanders and soldiers access to more than 200 databases and allows collaboration through shared data access. The DCGS-A also enables forward-deployed analysts to use analytical support from outside organizations such as the Army’s Intelligence and Security Command, combatant commands, and national level intelligence agencies.
The system performs multi-intelligence processing with information received from multiple sensors at the tactical, theater, and national levels, and publishes information through a service-oriented architecture.
The Army has invested in home station installation of DCGS-A capabilities. This makes it possible for soldiers to stay engaged with deployed activities before and after deployments, and supports units in the forward fight with tactical overwatch, which provides analytical capacity and situational awareness for deploying units. The latest version of DCGS-A is fielded to Brigade Combat Teams BCTs and battalions (US Army, US Marines, and US Special Operations Forces) in Iraq and Afghanistan.