“Power to the Edge”, a 2003 study and subsequent book by John Stenbit (then Assistant Secretary of Defense, NII) was commissioned to examine the way forward for the US Department of Defense to meet the changing nature of conflict and the asymmetrical threats of a new and different world where non-nation state actors used multi-location and non-predictive small unit swarming to inflict damage and push ideological agendas: Bali, Mumbai, Spain, Times Square, and Boston all apply. It would define the blueprint for “special operations” that delivered immediate and direct access to the information our national security specialists needed to accomplish their mission. Law enforcement agencies, Homeland Security, and our military would all need to morph to support this new threat model. Human, sensor, and autonomous sensing platforms.
It’s about enabling “horizontal fusion” of information amongst “nodes” that can make sense of raw data and then share perspective in real time with decision makers at the “center” of the network (headquarters), but also those operating at the edge (the teams deployed and in harm’s way). It is the idea of providing a trusted and networked environment on which to share, and a non-stove piped means to move data that dramatically impacts the tempo of operations, increases lethality and operational precision, but also enhances life safety.
Most importantly: It ensures KNOW WHAT (situational awareness) collides head on with KNOW HOW (the right information to the right people) which results in unprecedented decision superiority and yields a historic shift from “platform” to “network” centric operations. This was the birthing moment of the Blueforce product platform, a modern mobile technology suite that embraces and extends the last tactical mile vertically, but also horizontally thereby allowing all members of a team to be on the same page specific to real-time events and information. And it transcends humans, and embraces K9’s, autonomous platforms, and information services.