The Effect of Information on C2 Cognitive and Network Capabilities

Report No. ARL-TN-322
Authors: Jeffrey T. Hansberger
Date/Pages: July 2008; 18 pages
Abstract: One of the challenges faced by the Army and other U.S. military services, including the Joint Forces Command, is getting the right information to the right individuals at the right time. General James E. Cartwright, U.S. Marine Corps, highlighted this point before the Strategic Forces Subcommittee on Space Policy, 16 March 2005, as he stated, Critical information that the warfighter didn't know existed and the owner of the information didn't know was important must be made available within a global information environment easily accessible to commanders at all levels. The challenge of critical information dissemination applies to the Soldier in the field who requires information and feedback relevant to his/her mission and up the command chain to the commander who is trying to understand and make decisions at an operational level. The challenge of getting the right information to the right people when they need it is also relevant to military missions other than warfighting. Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in 2005 emphasized the importance of effective communication and collaboration as National Guard Soldiers and active component Army Soldiers assisted other state and Federal agencies. The information age in which the Army operates and conducts warfighting, personnel recovery, and disaster relief missions requires an understanding of the information domain, how information propagates through an organization, and the effects it has on distributed and co-located human behavior and cognition. This project uses a unique combination of human performance modeling, social network analysis, and experimentation that adds to the understanding of information flow within the command structure.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: July 1, 2008