The ShOC-N: Bringing the ABMS future faster

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Nicolle Mathison
  • Nellis Air Force Base

Effective communication is key to success in any business, but in the business of national defense, it can be the difference between mission success or failure.

As the Air Force and Department of Defense continually refine intra- and inter-service communication capabilities to retain strategic advantage in future conflict, Nellis AFB’s Shadow Operations Center-Nellis (ShOC-N) is leading the way as the test bed for emerging technologies that will enable data and information transfer to operators faster than ever before.

The ShOC-N has been tasked by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to become the Air Force’s Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) battle laboratory for information gathering and dissemination and application testing and development.

This mission will further enable the development of the Air Force’s Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS).

“ABMS is the Department of the Air Force offering to meet the JADC2 operational imperative. Nellis is the place to really get after Chief Brown's accelerate change or lose,” said Lt. Col. Kelii Chock, Department of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, Warfighter Integration Division chief.

“We can really accelerate our ability to deliver capability to our Airmen by bringing everybody together in this facility and going after it, iterating and learning and failing fast,” he added. “The ShOC-N is that facility that anybody can come to, and we can all work toward this end state of getting whatever capability we want for the warfighter.”

It is the ShOC-N’s job to help the warfighter understand, share, decide and act on the information that they are provided.

“Our goal at the ShOC-N is to enable U.S. decision advantage in the context of great power competition by providing better operational understanding of all the domains (i.e. land air, space, maritime, cyber, etc.),” said Lt. Col. David Spitler, commander of the 805th Combat Training Squadron (CTS).

“Once all the data is collected, we will then put that information in front of decision makers, so that they can send a tasking out to our fielded forces. This will enable the forces to implement the actions expeditiously in a way that presents an overwhelming problem for our adversaries,” he added.

Using ABMS to support JADC2 will enable command and control of effects to support globally integrated operations, contributing to the overarching Joint All-Domain Operations concept.  

“Nellis is the leader in air and cyber domains which are fundamental to ABMS. It’s the home of the advanced airpower warfighter and world premier exercises like Red Flag that generates data and information that will enable experimentation with new software applications,” said Spitler.

It’s called the shadow ops center because it can connect to any ops center in the world.

“The ShOC-N can take real-world or exercise events,” said Chock. ”Then in the background, we can plug in our new technology and see how it works. And then when they do an event, we could be using the exact same data, running a completely different process and compare the two at the end of it, to see how it worked or didn’t work.”

The ShOC-N also hosts development-sponsored events.

“Our Weapons School develops our most advanced thinkers when it comes to the employment of air, space and cyber. We have the testing community here making Nellis the ideal place for ABMS development,” Spitler added.