Meta Collab

NB: This article has been developed as a factual representation and does support nor discredit Military forces, war or current world events.

Collaboration in the Defence Forces[]

The nature of military operations and the environment they operate in is changing. Input from the soldier on the ground is sometimes just as or more important than the input from strategic sources. Collaboration is a term that is increasingly being used, but how does it fit within a modern military force?

This now leads to a series of questions:

  • Does collaboration have a crucial role in modern military forces?
  • How can collaboration be used, but at the same time support the 'chain of command'?
  • What collaboration tools are required by military forces?
  • How can decision making be improved to ensure effective military operations?
  • Does Network Centric Warfare (NCW) change the way in which commanders receive and process information?
  • What role does the chain of command have in an NCW enabled military force?

The Evolution of Communication in the Armed Forces[]

Military organisations have been in existence for thousands of years. While typically used for offensive operations, they are increasingly being used for peacekeeping and disaster support functions. While the nature of their business and tools used have evolved, one aspect has remained the same, the need to communicate.

Chain of Command[]

Military forces have typically been hierarchical organisations. They use the 'chain of command' to manage the flow of information from the very top the very bottom. The premise for the chain of command is that everyone has their place within the military organisation and will relay information up, down and sideways dependant upon the need for the other party to have access to that information. In most cases it is a subjective assessment.

Traditionally, arms focuses units (i.e. infantry) consider the chain of command a key component to their management and operation. Some of the reasons it is used include:

  • Validity of action by ensuring military forces act only on orders from the one source.
  • Reduction of information overload through filtering mechanism.
  • Supports the process of military discipline.
  • Those higher in the chain had superior tactical planning skills and access to more information than those below.

Network Centric Warfare[]

Within most modern military circles, the term Network Centric Warfare (NCW) is beginning to be used. While the definition of NCW varies, in principle it is the provision of the right information to the right person/platform at the right time. This is facilitated through an increasing number / all military platforms / individuals connecting to each other via some form of communications network. Each of these nodes is therefore able to communication to each other / use each other as a relay point to pass information on to the desired recipient. The function of the chain of command, in this instance is therefore questioned.

Collaboration and NCW[]