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JOINT LASER INTEROPERABILITY, TOMORROW'S ANSWER TO PRECISION ENGAGEMENT
Neuenswander, David M.
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
Joint Vision 2020 directs a transformation of Department of Defense to meet US needs in the next century. One of the major goals of this transformation is a fully joint force capable of precision engagement. This monograph proposes a concept called Joint Laser Interoperability and discusses whether or not this concept provides some or all of Joint Vision 2020s precision engagement. The discussion begins with the current state of US laser systems and the present state of interoperability. This includes a brief discussion of how a laser works and what constitutes the basic parts of a laser system, laser range finders, laser designators, laser spot trackers, and laser guided weapons. The monograph also explains the difference between eye-safe and non eye-safe lasers. Once the monograph outlines current laser system capabilities it describes how current air, ground, and naval laser systems could be combined with new technology to create a joint force that is fully laser interoperable. The monograph also suggests changes in future organizations and equipment such as the US Army s Interim Brigade Combat Team (IBCT). These changes focus on providing a laser based precision capability to units that do not have one, and increasing the capability of those units that already possess some laser capability. After defining Joint Laser Interoperability, the monograph discusses the operational advantages this concept could provide the DOD and how the concept would enhance current precision engagement capabilities. The monograph discusses the joint advantages in both deep and close operations, and how the air, ground, and naval elements would benefit from Joint Laser Interoperability. The monograph also discusses the limitations and roadblocks to fielding this concept with respect to weather, communications, and doctrine.
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