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NORAD test connects all combatant commands with AI-driven information

NORAD assets from the US Air Force and Royal Canadian Air Force fly in formation
Photo: US Air Force

NORAD’s second Global Information Dominance Experiment (GIDE) showcased the ability to facilitate cross-combatant command collaboration to generate globally integrated effects using artificial intelligence (AI) enabled information.

The Global Information Dominance Experiment 2, or GIDE2, tested three decision aids — Cosmos, Lattice and Gaia — that harness AI and machine learning to rapidly bring information to decision makers, from the tactical to strategic level, during a world-scale scenario against two near-peer competitors. The test took place between March 22 and 23.

GIDE2, with participation by leaders from all 11 combatant commands, demonstrated fused all-domain sensing, AI-enabled cross-combatant command decision aids, enhanced deterrence capability, and increased decision space via rapid Course Of Action (COA) development ability. The experiment was also paired with the NORAD live fly exercise AMALGAM DART, which allowed the GIDE participants to access and react in a real-world scenario.

The series of GIDE events are technology risk reduction events and complement a shift in focus from pure defeat mechanisms towards earlier deter and deny actions well left of conflict. These experiments demonstrate the capability of technology that’s available today, enabling faster decision making, thus creating decision space for senior leaders by providing proactive options.

“If we’re able to measure success, the ability, for the first time, to have all COCOM’s operating in one collaborative environment combined with a live fly event is monumental,” said Gen. Glen VanHerck, commander, NORAD and NORTHCOM.

These experiments were designed to benefit the United States and Canada, the respective military departments, service branches, as well as all of the combatant commands, and are in alignment with the objectives in the interim National Security Strategy, National Defense Strategy, and Canada’s Strong, Secure, Engaged strategy.

“This experiment occurred with the intent to bring all the combatant commands together, to place a demand signal on the department to move quicker down the path of domain awareness, information dominance and decision superiority,” VanHerck said. He added, “All competition through conflict today is global and all domain in nature, and the tools gave us the ability to collaborate with all of the combatant commands in near real-time across all domains.”

The first GIDE was held in December 2020. During that experiment, NORAD and USNORTHCOM, in coordination with US Southern Command, US Indo-Pacific Command, US Transportation Command, US Strategic Command, and the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security, convened a digital table-top exercise to prototype cross-combatant command AI-enabled early warning alerts of peer-level threat movements. NORAD and USNORTHCOM are currently in the planning phases for GIDE3.