New Mission Monitoring and Scheduling System for the Heavy Airlift Wing
27 June 2016
In the complex world of military airlift, careful planning is always the key to successful mission execution. A new tool called the Mission Monitoring and Scheduling System (M2S2) enhances the mission planning process of the Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW), the operational unit of the 12-nation Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC).
M2S2, a Jeppesen product, is a fully integrated air operations planning, scheduling and management system. The Mission Monitoring and Scheduling System is designed to enhance the command and control (C2) capabilities and streamline the workflow of all HAW activities. It encompasses the full spectrum of air operations from initial tasking through mission completion and computational analysis and reporting. It is a state-of-the-art operations center suite of applications that efficiently manages air mission activity throughout the full mission lifecycle.
M2S2, delivered by the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) IT function, will support the HAW and NSPA’s NATO Airlift Management (NAM) Programme Office in executing a better and a more efficient mission planning process for the 12 SAC member nations. Part of the project was extending access to the M2S2 by including the SAC member nations, thus providing real-time SAC mission data and an enhanced mission planning tool for them. In the future, connecting with other European air transportation planning organizations, like Movement Coordination Centre Europe (MCCE) and European Air Transport Command (EATC), is foreseen.
The software tool operates on the NSPA administrative and operational IT network, consolidating numerous HAW specific planning processes into a single collaboration platform. This allows a more transparent, faster and less error-prone planning process.
The project was executed by the NSPA IT function, in close coordination with the senior HAW users. The main supporter on the customer side was the HAW Command and Control Squadron. As the project developed also the other squadrons, the Heavy Airlift Squadron and the Logistics Support Squadron, were engaged. In order to ensure smooth operability of the M2S2, the NAM IT cell provides support processes to the HAW on location at Pápa Air Base.
Mr Dominique Markham, NSPA Senior Information Systems Officer and M2S2 Project Manager, highlights that the planners of each SAC Nation have easy access to M2S2 through the internet. “By using the NSPA ePortal as single entry point and to reuse all security mechanisms built in it, the security concerns and vulnerability have been properly addressed’, explains Mr Markham.
According to Flight Dispatcher Captain Steve Prince (Royal Norwegian Air Force) of the HAW Command and Control Squadron, the benefits of the new planning system are clearly observable. “Mission planning is a dynamic process where new information is processed continuously as the mission requirements and conditions change during mission execution. Therefore it is very important that everyone involved has the same information on the recent developments of the plan”, Captain Prince emphasizes.
Mr Wiek NOLDUS, NAM Programme Manager, and Mr Martin HOFFMANN, NSPA Chief Information Officer, award Mr Dominique MARKHAM and Mr Sergio CORONADO for delivering the M2S2; Mission Monitoring Scheduling System. Photo: Romain EICHER (NSPA)