The task of modernizing U.S.’s nuclear command, control and communications system called the NC3 has been given to STRATCOM.
The components of NC3 need to be updated for being compatible with the newer class of nuclear platforms that are being developed by the country. Out of the projected cost of$494 billion dollars set aside for this purpose, about $77billion is targeted for the NC3 system. Having a robust and effective NC3 infrastructure is of utmost importance if the newer nuclear platforms have to act as a strong deterrent.
STRATCOM will have to develop a blueprint for NC3. Formation of an NC3 Enterprise Centre was the first step undertaken by STRATCOM in this regard. The Centre is being helmed by Elizabeth Durham-Ruiz, STRATCOM’s Director of command, control, communications and computer systems. She has a team of experts in technology and policy affairs to help her out in this mammoth task. She talked to SpaceNews on many aspects regarding the NC3 Enterprise Centre.
Some of the topics discussed by her include elaborating the reasons for its formation, the immediate task that lies before it, the target dates for completing its new architecture, the accuracy of the Congressional funds set aside for them, how to go about putting a transition plan in place, explaining Gen. Hyten’s statement for hastening the process all the while keeping the required connectivity with the nuclear forces intact and so on. She also talked on the tallest challenge faced by them in the program. She stated that being on the same page was the most important requirement if they had to effectively move forward. She felt that all stakeholders were aware of the urgency for pushing ahead and were doing their best. She echoed her full confidence in their sense of commitment and purpose in enabling Gen. Hyten and NC3 Enterprise Centre to move ahead in all that they needed to do.