Coalition Warrior Interoperability Demonstration

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The Coalition Warrior Interoperability Demonstration (CWID) began in 1994 as the Joint Warrior Interoperability Demonstration (JWID). Since 1994, the program has evolved into a coalition program and the name was changed in 2004 to reflect this new trend. U.S. CWID is a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff initiative while NATO CWID has its own management office and agenda and runs concurrent with the U.S. Joint Chiefs program.

U.S. CWID[edit]

CWID is a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff initiative. Identifying information technologies for joint and coalition warfighters, CWID provides a forum for new and emerging technologies as well as a risk reduction venue for fielded and near-fielded systems to be used and evaluated by operators from all armed services, DoD agencies, other federal agencies and alliance/coalition members. Participants include: U.S. Department of Defense, Joint Staff, U.S. Combatant Commands, military Services, Department of Homeland Security, Combined Communications Electronics Board (CCEB) nations (Australia, Canada, New Zealand and UK), NATO and other allied countries.

The process for CWID begins with identification of requirements, gaps, or shortfalls by the Combatant Commands. Once those are known, the governing body of CWID the Senior Management Group (SMG) extrapolates objectives for the upcoming CWID. The SMG has representation from all CWID participants (armed services, agencies, etc.). These objectives are then released in a Federal Business Opportunity (FBO). Vendors with technologies or applications which meet any one of the objectives can then submit an application to participate in the upcoming CWID provided they are sponsored by a U.S. Combatant Command, Military Service, DoD agency or other U.S. Government agency. Each vendor's program/technology is called an Interoperability Trial (IT). Trials are the vehicles used to test the technologies.

Each year in the month of June, CWID executes throughout the world utilizing a temporary global network over the Combined Federated Battle Labs (CFBL) network over which cutting edge communications technologies interact to support a simulated and scripted operational scenario.

Participating trials receive a three-pronged assessment in CWID. The first assessment is a Warfighter/Operator assessment. Real operators are brought in to use the technologies in the trials which pertain to their area of expertise. Throughout the execution period, the warfighter is able to assess whether the trials are better, the same, or not as effective as the technologies they currently use to complete their mission.

The second assessment is a Technical/Interoperability assessment. Again, each trial must function and succeed on a network accessed and used by all services, agencies, and coalition members. Each year, CWID operates on a closed network, separate from the operational network, allowing the function and capabilities of the new technologies to be fully tested in a warfighter environment.

The third assessment is an Information Assurance/Security network. In a real world situation, anyone attempting to access the network would have to meet network security requirements. CWID operates with the same standards and demands secure communication from all participants.

After execution, a final report is produced. The final report is a comprehensive evaluation and record of the technologies assessed in CWID. The information is then used by the military Services and U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) to review and begin the acquisition process for successful technologies.


NATO participates along with the rest of the Combined Communications Electronics Board (CCEB) nations (Australia, Canada, New Zealand and UK). NATO operates its own management office, establishes its own objectives and operates its own event site. The NATO CWID is an annual NATO Military Committee approved event designed to bring about continuous improvement in interoperability for the NATO Alliance.

NATO Allied Command Transformation (ACT) provides direction and management to the programme, whilst NATO and partner nations sponsor interoperability trials and demonstrations with specific objectives defined by ACT and National Leads. The NATO CWID programme focuses primarily on testing and improving the interoperability of NATO and national C4I systems, with particular emphasis on those that would be deployed within a Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) or NATO Response Force (NRF). In addition to bilateral technical testing, NATO CWID provides a venue to conduct technical testing of fielded, developmental and experimental systems in the context of a coalition scenario.

The event runs concurrent and shares elements of a common scenario with the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff CWID annual event. This annual event serves a very similar goal but is more focussed to the U.S. Combatant Commands to investigate new and emerging technologies that can be moved into operational use within six to twelve months following the execution period.

The demonstration builds a temporary global network over the Combined Federal Battle Laboratories Network (CFBLNet) over which cutting edge communications technologies interact to support a scripted scenario. Technologies are evaluated for utility, interoperability with existing and new systems, and security.

2006 marked the twelfth anniversary of a highly successful programme. Two objectives were identified as major priorities for 2006: conduct testing to validate the interoperability between C2I systems required for NRF rotations 9 and 10 in support of the certification process, and the provision of network tools to facilitate the management of information, enabling automatic discovery and integration technologies which promote loose coupling between C2 systems and components.

NATO JWID took place at SHAPE in Mons, Belgium until 2003, but due to constraints of the facility, it was moved to Camp Jørstadmoen in Lillehammer, Norway in 2004 until at least 2010.

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