Major step forward for NATO Land Command and Control Information Service

By Roberto Porta, Land Command and Control Service 1/18/2017
​The NATO Land Command and Control Information Service (LC2IS) is the main functional service in NATO supporting land-heavy operations. In 2016, its operational implementation and planning both made significant progress.

The NATO Land Command and Control Information Service (LC2IS) is the main functional service in NATO supporting land-heavy operations. In 2016, its operational implementation and planning both made significant progress.

The First German-Netherland Corps (1GNC) and the Rapid Reaction Corps France (RRC-FRA) have achieved their LC2IS Final Operational Capability in December 2016.

LC2IS provides a rich set of functionality, enabling the effective Command and Control (C2) of NATO Land Forces, supporting improved Situational Awareness and decision-making of the Land Component Command (LCC). LC2IS also enhances interoperability and collaboration within the Land Community of Interest, the Headquarters, and across the NATO-National Command chain. It provides a critical link for C2 and Situational Awareness between the NATO Command Structure (NCS) and the NATO Force Structure (NFS). LC2IS is also a key enabler of the NATO-wide Common Operation Picture as it provides an efficient tool supporting the production and management of the Recognized Ground Picture.

The LC2IS Increment 1.1 was successfully completed and implemented in the NCS following Final System Acceptance and Joint Formal Acceptance Inspection in 2015.

Meanwhile, the implementation and employment in the NFS progressed significantly in 2016.

Regular training

LC2IS is currently used in exercises. The main NCS Command supported by LC2IS (LANDCOM) has refined its operating procedures in preparation of the exercises planned in 2017, after the use in 2015. Allied Command Operations (ACO) has recommended to employ LC2IS within the NATO Command Structure on a more regular basis in order to maintain the user skills.

With respect to NFS, LC2IS has been extensively used by 1GNC and RRC-FRA in exercises in 2016 certifying the command role as LCC or as Joint Task Force (JTF) in NATO led-operations. LC2IS will be used in these Commands on regular basis in 2017 and following years.

Operational implementation

LC2IS support for Crisis Response Operations (Kosovo Force) as requested by ACO was authorized in July 2016, the main contract was awarded in December 2016 and  is now being implemented with an Initial Operational Capability in Q3-2017. LC2IS is intended to be used as the main C2 and Situational Awareness tool for the Kosovo Force, connected and fed by the Kosovo Force Tracking System (KFTS).

Roadmap for LC2IS evolution

In parallel to the operational implementation and the Operation and Maintenance (O&M) of LC2IS Increment 1.1, the roadmap for the evolution of LC2IS has made significant progress. The Agency submitted in July 2016 the authorization request for the evolution of LC2IS in the next five years ( Type "B" Cost Estimate for LC2IS Increment 2). Unfortunately, operational demand for the next increment significantly outstrips its planned budget.

The Strategic Commands are currently have reassessed the minimum and urgent requirements and the Type "B" Cost Estimate for a smaller scope Increment 2 was submitted in December 2016.

If authorized, it will provide a technology refresh and a significant interoperability enhancement of the current capability in 2018. The plan for the evolution of the capability (LC2IS Increment 3) with a major  overall enhancement of the functionality, interoperability and technology will be addressed later in 2017, after an assessment of the lessons learned in 2016 and 2017 on the current capability.

Other NFS Commands have expressed their interest in the LC2IS Increment 2 to complement or replace National capabilities. Additionally, most NFS Commands have been involved in the specification of the next increments over the last years and are likely interested in obtaining this capability when delivered.

This trend points to the likelihood of seeing in the next five to ten years, LC2IS widely employed in both the NCS and in the NFS. This is expected to result in a major enhancement of the technical and operational interoperability of NCS and NFS, together with a significant cost saving as a result of the adoption of a common software product and shared services. 

More News