Since World War 11, developments in weapons systems have created a need for improved methods of command and control.
Since World War 11, developments in weapons systems have created a need for improved methods of command and control. As a result, the world-wide military command and control system concept evolved during the early sixties.
The concept pulled together existing systems and include the National Military Command System (NMCS). The NMCS, as part of the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, provides the common connection with other sub-systems and is directly responsive to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the National Command Authorities (NCA) -- the President and the Secretary of Defense.
The mission of the NMCS is to provide the National Command Authorities with the means essential for accurate and timely decisions, including the communications required for reliable transmission of those decisions, with a minimum of delay, for the direction of U. S. military forces under all conditions of peace and war. Inherent in this mission is the requirement for responsive and flexible support for the National Command Authorities -- and a survivable command and control system that is capable of performing this mission under any pre-attack or post-attack situation.
The organization to accomplish that mission begins with the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Under the Director, Joint Staff, the Director, J-3 has primary responsibility for command and control of operations. His principal assistant for matters pertaining to the National Military Command System is Major General L. W. Steinkraus, who commands and supervises the three command centres. The three command centres are the National Military Command Centre in the Pentagon; the Alternate National Military Command Centre, in a mountain n Maryland; and the National emergency Airborne Command Post, an airplane located at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland.
The National Military Command Centre (NMCC), the primary command centre, was created on September 15, 1965, and has a general or a flag officer present on duty 24 hours a day, ready to respond to an emergency. The Moscow "hot line" is in the NMCC. The NMCC is staffed with experts in intelligence and operational matters world-wide. The NMCC also is the only centre operated at a national level with representation form all operating agencies. The NMCC is provided full-time representation by the Defense and Central Intelligence Agencies, National Security Agency, State Department, Defense Communications Agency, the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs), and the Joint Reconnaissance Centre.
The services of all the agencies are used to acquire information for dissemination to the NCA. If the information is of such a nature that an implementing directive is required, the NMCC dispatches the directive to the Armed Forces.
The alternate command centres are prepared to perform the duties of the NMCC at any given moment.