- Command and control
- This article is about command and control in the military. For command and control in the context of civilian organizations, see Command and control (management).
Command and control, or C2, in a military organization can be defined as the exercise of authority and direction by a properly designated commanding officer over assigned and attached forces in the accomplishment of the mission. The term may also refer to command and control systems within a military system.
The DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms defines it as "[t]he exercise of authority and direction by a properly designated commander over assigned and attached forces in the accomplishment of the mission. Command and control functions are performed through an arrangement of personnel, equipment, communications, facilities, and procedures employed by a commander in planning, directing, coordinating, and controlling forces and operations in the accomplishment of the mission. Also called C2." 
Commanding officers are assisted in executing these tasks by specialized staff officers and enlisted personnel. These military staff are a group of officers and enlisted personnel that provides a bi-directional flow of information between a commanding officer and subordinate military units.
The purpose of a military staff is mainly that of providing accurate, timely information which by category represents information on which command decisions are based. The key application is that of decisions that effectively manage unit resources. While information flow toward the commander is a priority, information that is useful or contingent in nature is communicated to lower staffs and units.
There is a plethora of derivative terms which emphasise different aspects, uses and sub-domains of C2. They include:
- C2I - Command, Control & Intelligence
- C2I - Command, Control & Information (A less common usage)
- C2ISR - C2I plus Surveillance and Reconnaissance
- C2ISTAR - C2 plus ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance)
- C3 - Command, Control & Communication (Human activity focus)
- C3 - Command, Control & Communications (Technology focus)
- C3I - 4 possibilities; the most common is Command, Control, Communications & Intelligence
- C3ISTAR - C3 plus ISTAR
- C3ISREW - C2ISR plus Communications plus Electronic Warfare (Technology focus)
- C4, C4I, C4ISR, C4ISTAR, C4ISREW - plus Computers (Technology focus) or Computing (Human activity focus)
- C5I - Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Combat systems and Intelligence
and others. Command: The exercise of authority based upon certain knowledge to attain an objective. Control: The process of verifying and correcting activity such that the objective or goal of command is accomplished. Communication: Ability to exercise the necessary liaison to exercise effective command between tactical or strategic units to command. Computers The computer systems and compatibility of computer systems. Also includes data processing Intelligence: Includes collection as well as analysis and distribution of information
Command and Control Centers
A Command and Control Center is typically a secure room or building in a government, military or prison facility that operates as the agency's dispatch center, surveillance monitoring center, coordination office and alarm monitoring center all in one. Command and control centers are operated by a government or municipal agency.
A command and control center that is used by a military unit in a deployed location is usually called a command post. A warship has a Combat Information Center for tactical control of the ship's resources, but commanding a fleet or joint operation requires additional space for commanders and staff plus C4I facilities provided on a Flagship (e.g. Aircraft Carriers), sometimes a Command ship or upgraded logistics ship such as USS Coronado (AGF-11).
- C4ISTAR for other derivative terms
- Command and control warfare
- Command center
- Command ship
- Signal Corps
- Communications protection
- Electronic warfare
- Signals intelligence (SIGINT)
- Defence Information Infrastructure
- Mission-type tactics
- Intent (Military)
US and other NATO specific:
- Deployable Joint Command and Control
- 505th Command and Control Wing
- Command and Control Research Program (CCRP)
- Future Combat Systems Command and Control Vehicle
- Global Command and Control System
- Joint Force Air Component Headquarters
- Joint Interoperability of Tactical Command and Control Systems
- NATO Communications and Information Systems Agency
- NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency
- Worldwide Military Command and Control System
- Kiev Military Institute of Control and Signals
- AtHoc, Inc. Mass Notification and Emergency Communication Systems
Citations and notes
- ^ 5-2, FM 3-0
- ^ Builder, Carl H., Bankes, Steven C., Nordin, Richard, "Command Concepts - A Theory Derived from the Practice of Command and Control", RAND, ISBN 0-8330-2450-7, 1999 
- ^ http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/dod_dictionary/data/c/3226.html
- ^ TTCP Groups, www.dtic.mil/ttcp/
- ^ US Army PEO C3T -- Project Manager, Command Posts
- Field Manual 3-0, Operations, Headquarters United States Army, Department of the Army, Washington, DC, 2001
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