Odyssey Program Highlights
CSSC/C3BM—Schriever AFB, Colorado
Odyssey employees are critical to the successful operation of the MDA-C2BMC Systems Support Center (a.k.a. the CSSC). The CSSC, operating much like an ‘ops center’, is connected to all C2BMC system suites deployed worldwide.
These redundant computer suites concurrently support regional combatant commands for:
Worldwide, multiple redundant computer suites are dedicated to supporting the combatant commands. The Systems Support Center is persistently (and concurrently) connected to ALL of the C2BMC operational Warfighter suites worldwide. From the CSSC Odyssey personnel support the following MDA related activities:
Real World Missile Events
- CSSC personnel monitor, capture, analyze, and document all real-world missile event activity.
- MDA Flight Tests (MDA/DTF)
- In addition to standing ‘watch’ for all real-world missile activity, the CSSC also provides support for nearly all MDA/DTF flight tests.
- MDA Ground Tests (MDA/DTG)
- CSSC personnel are assigned to support and review nearly all phases of ground testing carried out by the MDA/DTG test organization.
- Warfighter Liaison
- CSSC personnel support C2BMC / AN/TPY-2 Warfighters deployed to the regional combatant commands.
- Leadership and Distinguished Visitor Briefs
- On a regular basis Warfighters, congressional representatives, and a host of other distinguished visitors are provided educational briefs and C2BMC demonstrations by CSSC personnel. This activity provides a showcase for C2BMC and the entire Missile Defense mission.
Real World and Flight Test Performance Watchdog
Using the C2BMC system, Odyssey team members observe, record, and analyze each launch and test event worldwide, providing quick-turn, first-line analysis. For each detected launch and flight test, CSSC personnel evaluate C2BMC system behavior and performance. The team also evaluates C2BMC’s integration with Missile Defense-related assets worldwide including interface with sensors such as SBIRS and BOA; radar assets THAAD, AN/TPY-2, COBRA-DANE, and SBX. Each detected missile launch is documented and performance assessments are provided to the government. Any critical system deficiencies or performance issues are forwarded to leadership. Often, MDA leadership will directly contact CSSC personnel for immediate answers to questions regarding a particular launch or flight test, especially from hi-visibility countries or launch events.
The System Support Center has personnel on-site a large percentage of the time but as yet the Support Center is not manned on a 24/7 basis. If a missile event is detected while personnel are present the team takes immediate action to capture essential data about the launch event. Besides tabular data, C2BMC provides graphic images of the launch on a worldwide rotational globe. The team makes sure that images are taken to reflect the nature of each launch event.
In the event that no one is present in the lab during an event, an automated screen capture tool will detect the launch activity and begin to take pictures of the screens for a specified duration. The tool cannot turn the globe (or change tabular configuration), but it does take pictures of the pre-set track tables and whatever can be seen with regard to how the 3-D map globe(s) were pre-positioned. When CSSC personnel arrive, they examine the auto-screen-shots to ascertain launch-events and system performance.
Each morning MDA/BCO government leadership is briefed as to missile event activity within the past 24 hours. At the end of each week, aggregate summary reports are produced to review activity and performance in aggregate and address any new or ongoing concerns.
Comprehensive Missile Launch Database
Odyssey personnel built the first (and only) comprehensive legacy database for all detected launches. This database has proven invaluable in doing aggregate assessments and statistical analysis for leadership and stakeholders. Over 5,150 missile events have been recorded in the database since 2014. For several years this database was maintained in an Excel spreadsheet. All detail data was manually entered from worksheets where the data was hand-copied from C2BMC tables and map displays for each launch event.
A New Data Capture System and SQL Database
Over the past year, Odyssey Sr. Analyst, Robin Pearse has written a new computer-based system for capturing and archiving all launch events and weaning the staff away from the excel database. The new system has three major parts:
- Auto data-capture of all missile event data that streams to the end-user work stations
- Auto-update a state-of-the-art SQL database to hold the missile event data
- Comprehensive web access to the database:
- All individual missile events are accessible
- Individual missile event profiles are available
- Ad-hoc reports are available through the use of data filters
- A myriad of standard or canned aggregate reports can be executed
- One-time, primitive SQL scripts can extract nearly any information requested by leadership
The new system is written in Java and Java Server Pages and operates locally at the MDIOC at Schriever. Besides the auto-populated data (1 and 2 above), selected screenshots, and performance analysis text are manually added to each missile event profile in the SQL database. This robust, augmented launch profile provides a comprehensive statistical, analytical, and visual record of every launch detected by C2BMC. Then, using web-based access, the team and authorized stakeholders can review any given missile event to include specific details (e.g. launch country, threatened asset, missile type, max altitude). Also available are recorded deficiencies or observed issues, full technical analysis, and annotated pictures that characterize the event visually. Using the SQL database unlimited reports can be retrieved using filters, canned reports, and SQL queries.
Evolution of the CSSC—Final Thoughts
Before the CSSC manned the CST, there was no watchdog persistently monitoring C2BMC performance on a worldwide basis. Odyssey personnel, led by Bob Seetin, implemented a vision and persisted in designing and deploying the original CSSC. Today it has evolved into a major asset for the Missile Defense Agency’s C2BMC system and continues to grow in importance and stature. Odyssey personnel have made the System Support Center what it is today!
SMDA2S—Peterson AFB, Colorado and Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas
The Odyssey warfighter exercise planning team at United States Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Strategic Command (USASMDC/ARSTRAT) has the responsibility to support educating, training and evaluating space capabilities to the Soldier, one Army Warfighter Exercise (WFX) at a time.
According to Lieutenant General James Dickinson, Commanding General USASMDC/ARSTRAT, “We don’t achieve readiness without Army leaders and organizations that are trained and proficient on what space systems and forces provide to multi-domain operations.”
Warfighter Exercises (WFXs) are run by the Mission Command Training Program out of Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. The Mission Command Training Program supports the collective training of Army units as directed by the Chief of Staff of the Army and scheduled by Forces Command to provide Commanders and Leaders the opportunity to train on Mission Command in Unified Land Operations. The warfighter exercise team is composed of six contractors in the G37 Exercise Branch. They represent space, missile and space-intelligence experts, with decades of exercise planning experience. Unlike the other exercise planners supporting G37, these planners focus on the integration of space into mission command at the tactical group, division and corps levels.
Starting with the very first planning conference, and culminating with the exercise itself, the SMDC/ARSTRAT WFX team makes sure that the Army’s space and space-enabled capabilities are fully represented and implemented for the training audience.
“We provide the strategic level space injects needed to simulate a realistic space environment,” said William Tyndall, the WFX Space Team Leader.
But what makes a successful exercise? A great deal of planning, talking with all of the right players to make sure space is adequately coordinated and incorporated, and hard work once it begins.
“We rely on space to communicate, navigate and deliver precision fire,” said Dickinson.
The SMDC WFX team plays the part of every space component that the training audience would have access to in a war-time scenario, replicating everything from the space-based collection assets the Army receives data from, to the daily reports they receive from national space-based agencies, to the time-sensitive reports they would receive during a battle.
All of this information is fed to the training audience and, most often, to the Space Support Element (SSE), (Functional Area (FA) 40) the resident expert that the Army created as a specialty field. SSEs are assigned at Divisions and above to provide the expertise and knowledge to better integrate and utilize the space capabilities that the Army has into everyday operations. But this information is not limited to the SSE; the Warfighter Team also provides input to the Intelligence Section, the Signal Section, as well as to the Operations Section to ensure Space is fully integrated into the Division’s planning and execution cycle.
Along with WFX team, SMDC often provides an Army Space Support Planning Team (ARSST) to embed with the SSE at the training audience. They, in turn, help the SSE to do their job when the operational tempo speeds up during a simulated or real-world war.
Taken all together, the SMDC WFX team, the SSE assigned to the unit, and the ARSST that is temporarily embedded with the training audience provide a significant base of knowledge to help the Army learn how to better work with and benefit from the amazing space capabilities that are available.
Space is, of course, only one aspect of the Warfighter exercises, but it can affect all aspects of a Commander’s decision cycle and does impact all aspects of war. What better time to learn how to use it than in a war exercise?
BTNN, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR)—
Silver Spring, Maryland
Odyssey’s team provides technical expertise and support services for the Brain Trauma, Neuroprotection, Neuroregeneration, and Neurorestoration (BTNN) Branch, Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience at WRAIR. Our personnel perform traumatic brain injury and neuroprotection research with the overarching goal to develop treatments that can be employed in the field, as well as in a hospital setting, to improve survival and recovery from combat-related brain injury.
The research is aimed at methods to diagnose the level of damage through lab testing and/or neurological assessments and then employ therapeutic approaches to treatment, including pharmaceuticals, stem cell therapies, and/or changing physical conditions, like cooling the brain, all in an effort to preserve neurologic tissue and function.
Our team of 13 research scientists and assistants work with other WRAIR personnel to conduct ground-breaking research using rats to study topics including penetrating ballistic injuries, concussive impact injuries, non-convulsive seizures, anti-neuroinflammatory drug therapies, and identifying the death of cells with repair and regeneration possibilities. The Odyssey team helps write research funding grants, design experiments and associated protocols, conduct studies, analyze results and publish in medical journals like Frontiers of Neurology, as well as present at medical conferences. In the first half of 2019, they completed and published several research studies about topics including the effects to recovery from nicotine, immunosuppressant’s, and shock due to hemorrhage after brain injury.
Although the team is focused on the mission, they also assist in community outreach through other WRAIR programs. They collaborated to write and publish a series of social media posts to promote Brain Injury Awareness month in March, and during WRAIR’s Family Day, they provided a brain injury presentation appropriate for any age and designed an educational game for attendees.
Disclaimer: The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.