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[] USA-Irak: gesamter Luftkrieg erstmals computergestützt geplant,

Das Web-enabled Timeline Analysis System (WebTAS) dient erstmals zur
computergestützten Planung des gesamten Luftkrieges. Mit ihm wird der
Master Air Attack Plan erstellt, der die Grundlage für die Air Tasking
Orders, die konkreten Angriffsbefehle, bildet. Ergebnis: "The toolkit
allows users to watch the entire plan unfold like a film".
WebTAS ist eigentlich ein Analyse-Tool für Geheimdienste und andere
Datensammler, entwickelt wurde es vom Rüstungsgiganten Northrop-Grumman
zusammen mit der kleinen Firma Intelligent Software Solutions aus
Colorado Springs. Das Plugin für den Luftkrieg programmierte das Command
and Control Battlelab der US-Luftwaffe. Interessanter Fall von
Commercial off the Shelf (COTS), obwohl WebTAS nicht für jedermann
käuflich ist - es gehört der US-Regierung.
Mehr zu WebTAS:

[ PHOTO: Col. Jon Krenkel, commander of the Air Force's Command and
Control Battlelab, points out features of the master air attack plan
toolkit. The toolkit is a new suite of software tools designed to make
production of the MAAP and the subsequent air tasking order quicker and
less prone to error. The MAAP toolkit was used successfully at the 2002
Joint Expeditionary Forces Experiment at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
(Photo by Staff Sgt. Todd Lopez) ]

Air War Software to Debut in Southeast Asia, if-when US hits Iraq

Software improves accuracy, quickens air war planning

by Staff Sgt. C. Todd Lopez
Air Force Print News

02/07/03 - WASHINGTON -- A new technology designed to save time and
reduce errors in air warfare planning will make its debut in Southwest
Asia -- if the United States moves to disarm Iraq. 

The master air attack plan toolkit is a Web-based software application
developed to help war planners in an air operations center produce a
master air attack plan. The MAAP is the foundation for the air tasking
order -- essentially the marching orders for fighter, attack and bomber
aircraft in theater. 

In years past, computers have played a more extensive role in the
process of producing the MAAP. But largely, the process still involved a
lot of manual information shuffling -- grease pencils and
transparencies, paper maps and printouts. The process, said the
commander of the Air Force's Command and Control Battlelab at Hurlburt
Field, Fla., was daunting. 

"The idea for this started with the Persian Gulf War and with Bosnia
while preparing the master air attack plan," said Col. Jon Krenkel.
"That process was very manual and very labor intensive. You would have
to take a complete set of targets and a complete set of assets including
airplanes available, the munitions that they had, where they were coming
from, where they had to go to, and try to tie all that together in a
coherent logical manner." 

The battlelab is a small technical community responsible for finding
innovative ways to improve Air Force command and control support of
joint operations. According to Krenkel, the lab developed the MAAP
toolkit in response to the difficulties of creating it manually. 

"What we have done is take a software tool called the Web Enabled
Temporal Analysis System and added some business rules," Krenkel said.
"That enabled us to do everything that used to be done by hand and with
yellow 'stickies,' and do it instead with a computer." 

The toolkit looks into existing real-time databases provided by other
AOC cells. Those include, among other things, weather information,
theater maps, lists of available aircraft, lists of available munitions
and lists of potential targets provided by the intelligence,
surveillance and reconnaissance communities. These databases are updated
continuously and the MAAP toolkit produces a near real-time visual
representation of them on screen. 

In a typical scenario, Krenkel said, the toolkit might display a map of
the theater. Using a list of coordinates provided by the ISR community,
the toolkit would highlight those targets on the map. To the side would
be separate windows containing lists of available aircraft and available
munitions. Beneath the map would be another window displaying "packages"
-- pairings of multiple aircraft with select munitions. 

Planners use the MAAP toolkit to build packages by dragging and dropping
assets, aircraft and munitions from one menu to the other, Krenkel
explained. Then they can assign packages, a time and a target. As a
target is assigned to a package, its color changes on the map. As
aircraft are assigned to a package, their numbers are deducted from the
availability lists. 

One benefit of the MAAP toolkit is that it eliminates the potential for
errors, said Lt. Col. Douglas Combs, chief of concepts execution
division for the battlelab. 

"You are basically taking the human out of the loop," Combs said. "You
don't have the opportunity for error, you are just manipulating (data),
putting it into a different package and sending it on its way. If it is
correct in the database, then it is correct on the other end." 
Besides reducing errors, the speed at which the MAAP can be completed is
also improved, Combs said. 

"That's what we realized at 2002 Joint Expeditionary Forces Experiment
at Nellis Air Force Base, (Nev.)," Combs said. "We were able to take a
24-hour cycle, 12 hours for MAAP and 12 hours for ATO production, and
run them concurrently. Pretty much by the end of the exercise we were
getting them done in, from start to finish, around eight hours." 

The process of reviewing the final MAAP to ensure it is really what war
planners were looking for is also improved by the MAAP toolkit, he said. 

The toolkit allows users to watch the entire plan unfold like a film,
Combs said. Animated aircraft on the screen move slowly across the map
toward their target. Each is "launched" to coordinate with their
scheduled takeoff times and moves across the screen in sync with all the
other aircraft. Additionally, each moves at a speed commensurate with
its real-world speed. Planners can watch their plan played out on screen
before it is turned into an ATO and sent out to units. 

Krenkel said he believes it will perform equally well in a real world
situation as it did at the JEFX. 

"This (use in Southwest Asia) would be first time this system will be
used in an actual combat situation," he said. "But we are confident it
will perform well if the need arises."

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