Vanguard Magazine

Aug/Sept 2014

Preserving capacity, General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff, Keys to Canadian SAR

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Interoperability is a key concept in the modern western defence literature whether it relates to global strategy or operational capabilities. This oen misused notion can lead to confusion and approximations regarding its proper objective. I InTeroperabIlITy by Capt. (n) Christophe balducchi 26 AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2014 ing and acting together. The ultimate aim of this human-centred idea is to be able to plan and conduct operations. Hence, this notion has always been supported by a demanding level of mutual knowledge, common culture, definition of tactics and processes. This can only be implemented by steady and realistic training. For more than two decades, the battle- field digitization, the striking evolution of command and control systems and the im- plementation of the concept of network- centred warfare have deeply transformed the traditional understanding of interop- erability. The double-sided phenomenon of horizontal inter-connexion between information systems and understanding of the situation versus the vertical integra- tion of operational action-oriented systems leads to consideration of interoperability as a central parameter for the definition of modern complex systems. Thus, the no- tion of interoperability is currently cross- cutting to all the domains of defence. However, these two evolutions raise the substantive issue of the right balance be- tween dependence and sovereignty. Mod- ern Naval Air operations do probably con- stitute the best illustration. Sharing and interoperability at sea: W hat does interoperability stand for? Interoperability refers to the notion of op- erations and partnerships. To wage war choosing your allies can be almost as decisive as knowing your en- emies. Today, as it often serves to struc- ture military capabilities, interoperability above all relies on a common political vi- sion, that should respond to several key questions: what are the operational ambi- tions? What type of operations? Who are our partners? Therefore, this concept covers three precise and ancient military functions: understanding each other, communicat- a tradition of excellence

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