The International Command and Control Technology Symposium (ICCRTS)
In 1995 the Command and Control Research Program (CCRP), within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, held the inaugural International Command and Control Research and Technology Symposium (ICCRTS) at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. This meeting built on a series of events established during the 1970s by the Office of Naval Research and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that brought together interested researchers to exchange ideas on command and control (C2), its measurement and assessment, and the impact of new technologies on the C2 process.
The initial meeting was modest in size (63 participants) and included only a handful of non-U.S. participants. Subsequent meetings during the even years have been held in the United Kingdom (1996), Sweden (1998), Australia (2000), Canada (2002), and Denmark (2004). During odd-numbered years, the meetings have been held within the United States. Participation has grown substantially, with the 2005 meeting expected to include more than 400 participants from more than 20 nations delivering more than 250 technical papers. Equally important, the ICCRTS has developed into the meeting where the best C2 analysts from around the world exchange ideas about the state-of-the-art and seek to influence the state-of-the-practice within the United States, its coalition partners, and the missions they undertake. The Symposium is a meeting place for professional researchers, academics, active duty and reserve officers, and policy makers.
The ICCRTS has consistently focused on leading-edge issues involving (a) new concepts in C2 (b) new technologies and their potential impact on C2, and (c) feedback and evidence from experiments, exercises, and real-world operations. The Symposium is an important forum for discussion of Network Centric Operations, Effects Based Operations, Transformation, Edge Organizations and other important emerging ideas. It has also been a focal point for examination of coalition C2 issues and for examining the role of the military in reconstruction, humanitarian, and peace operations. This meeting provides a major opportunity for researchers and practitioners to examine the difficult issues of measurement and assessment in C2. The ICCRTS has also become a major venue for the discussion and analysis of the crucial role of humans (at every level) within C2 processes and systems.
As is appropriate for a conference focused on new ideas, the major thrust of the effort is critical evaluation of ideas and robust give-and-take among the attendees. Papers are reviewed by both the CCRP and the Track Chairs and Co-Chairs assigned to each topic area for the meeting before they are accepted. They are also posted on the Web well before the meeting, which enables participants to read them in advance, select those presentations they wish to attend, come prepared to ask questions, and engage in constructive criticism. Many of the conferees report that the feedback they receive, the networking they do, and the opportunity to exchange ideas informally are among the most valuable results of participation.