Mr. Roger Joseph Nelan is a Department of the Army Civilian performing as the Technical Director for the U.S. EUCOM HQ sponsored exercise, COMBINED ENDEAVOR. In this capacity he is responsible for ensuring that the exercise goals along with National Goals and Objectives as defined by each of the appointed Delegation Chiefs, Executive Management Board, and various concept papers are met by the planning efforts of the exercise technical working groups and national technical planners. Mr. Nelan works closely with senior government representatives, foreign and domestic senior military leadership, and representatives from over forty nations, government and non-government agencies to promote communications system interoperability for militaries during times of war and peacekeeping. He also directs the COMBINED ENDEAVOR Combined Joint Command and Control Center, which performs planning, execution, technical direction, and management functions for all exercise coalition network C4 systems.
COMBINED ENDEAVOR (CE) is the largest multinational command, control, communications, computers (C4) interoperability exercise in the world. CE is a United States European Command (USEUCOM) exercise that brings together NATO countries and Partnership for Peace (PfP) countries to achieve and document Communications and Information Systems (CIS) and Command and Control (C2) service interoperability. This allows nations to prepare and operate together in support of crisis response operations.
The tangible product published at the completion of CE is the Interoperability Guide (IOG). The IOG provides communications planners with a tool for designing and engineering coalition C4 networks. It contains all interoperability test data compiled since the beginning of CE in 1996, over sixteen years of data. The Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) provides the IOG to USEUCOM and participating nations on high capacity optical-media. JITC provides support for planning and execution of the interoperability tests and provides third-party verification insuring the reliability, validity, and repeatability of the information obtained as part of the tests. The IOG can provide multinational communications planners with a high degree of certainty that the C4 equipment of each nation will interoperate, and greatly streamline planning for multinational operations. Over the years, many nations have successfully used the IOG to plan and execute coalition networks supporting full spectrum operations.
The IOG contains the technical interoperability information from the tests conducted over the last sixteen years. The testing information consists of the equipment or system interconnection diagrams, or test strings descriptions that include the interconnections, interfaces, and protocols of all the equipment in a given test. The equipment specifications provide physical and technical characteristics as well as the supported interfaces and protocols. In all, over 16,000 individual records are recorded in the IOG.
Nations have used the IOG to plan and perform coalition full spectrum operations. In 2002, Ireland used CE lessons and the IOG in organizing evacuations out of Liberia. During the 2004 tsunami relief effort, Swiss helicopter flight crews used the IOG in communicating with ground controllers in multiple nations throughout the region to coordinate relief and deliver aid. In 2006, France, Italy and Russia used the IOG in coordinating evacuations out of Lebanon during the Israeli Hezbollah conflict. Sweden, Denmark and Canada also use the interoperability guide in their training schools. Prior to deploying to Afghanistan, the United Kingdom, Lithuania and South Eastern European Brigade (comprised of Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Romania and Turkey) used Combined Endeavor to prepare and test communication networks. In each of these cases, the test results contained in the IOG allowed the national planners to prepare and execute C4 support for the mission.
The IOG is the most critical product produced at the conclusion of each CE exercise. The technical interoperability information that it contains is invaluable when planning for a mission as it allows coalition communications planners a high degree of certainty that the C4 systems of the participating nations will interoperate. This can be determined prior to the mission, as opposed to during execution where there is little to no time to test and configure the systems. The IOG has been used to plan and support many missions over the years across the full spectrum of operations. It is a trusted and respected tool for communications planners; the compilation of interoperability information it contains cannot be found anywhere else!