Military operations or drills require excellent communication between military units, higher ranking decision makers, and sometimes government officials. During a mission or a training drill, there may be several units involved in the operation. Moreover, sometimes, units or components from different military branches operate together to accomplish their mission. This is especially true of large-scale military operations that require excellent communication and coordination support to ensure a successful outcome. Command and control center specialists work in command centers where all communication is relayed and analyzed by highly trained military staff who integrate various pieces of information into the big picture of the military operation or training drill. It is a very demanding job due to the enormous amount of incoming data that must be sorted according to its importance, relevance and priority to ensure that proper decisions are made by high ranking military officials on time. Command and control center specialists have the responsibility of maintaining clear communication between units, components and task forces, and coordinating their activities on a higher scale. They must analyze the incoming information quickly and effectively, and transmit it to military decision-makers who will decide on the best course of action.
A large-scale military operation may be conducted by air force components, naval and ground elements, which requires tight coordination and supervision. Because units are frequently located at considerable distances, all communication is relayed to specialized command and control centers where data is analyzed, prioritized and filtered to allow for the most effective allocation of military resources at any given moment. For example, when several units request air support for their ground troops, command and control specialists must analyze the information, make sure they understand the urgency of each request and prioritize the data to make sure that air force elements will first respond where they are needed the most. At the same time, this information will be sent to troop commanders who will analyze the battlefield situation and decide how to allocate their military resources. Command and control specialists also operate and maintain advanced communication equipment, weapon systems, air control equipment, radar systems and other advanced detection and data transmission equipment.
Command and control center specialists are responsible for effective and quick transmission of data between various components of military forces during joint action. They must be attentive to details that are communicated to them because their decisions may save lives on the battlefield. Command and control center specialists need to have the ability to distinguish between regular and critical messages, and allocate their time and efforts to address urgent crisis situations. Their task is also to inform higher ranking military officials about the current situation on the field, and on the stage of completion of various tasks assigned to different units or military components. Command and control center specialists also supervise and operate surveillance and detection systems, and they must alarm higher ranking officials when a threat is detected. Specialists work with weapon systems, making sure that correct target coordinates and settings are introduced into the system, and making appropriate adjustments with feedback received from forward observers, air force elements or ground troops. They provide close logistical and tactical support to troops in critical situations, and analyze and send requests for reinforcements, artillery or air support. In some cases where government officials are implicated in the decision making process, command and control specialists provide concise, relevant and updated information on the current state of the mission on the battlefield.
Command and control center staff is divided into enlisted personnel and officers. Enlisted men and women are required to undergo basic military training in their branch of military service, which may range from 9 weeks to 12 weeks. After basic training graduation, they become eligible for advanced military training that is specific to their military occupation specialty (MOS). Command and control center specialists will learn basic information technology concepts, operation of detection and weapons systems, surveillance and many more, with on-the-job training being a significant component. Officers, however, usually require a college degree in a related field such as information technology, electronics or others.
Candidates who aspire to become command and control center specialists need to possess qualities such as attention to detail, mission focus, the ability to reason under stressful circumstances, coherent speech and excellent communication skills. They must be able to process incoming information according to its relevance, urgency and priority. Command and control center specialists also work with defense systems and surveillance equipment, which requires making quick decisions and relaying critical information to higher military ranks when there is a potential threat and an unexpected change in the situation on the battlefield. They must be coherent, clear and concise when they send communication messages to decision makers because the security of military personnel directly depends upon the accuracy of information.
Command and control centers specialists work in special command centers where all military communication is relayed and analyzed. They work with advanced communication equipment, but also weapon systems, detection and surveillance systems and radar equipment. Each military branch has its specifics when it comes to military communication and data analysis.