‘C2 Core’ – Linking Information Across Networked Applications

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U.S. DOD Introduces A New XML-Like Military Standard
Linking Information Across Networked Applications

A new information exchange standard designed to improve interoperability among U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) services and coalition partners was released for testing in October 2010.

Known as ‘C2 Core’ the new standard is derived from the popular, commercial ‘extensible markup language’ (XML)-based data exchange, and DoD Universal Core (UCore) standard. It provides a common, open standard for the definitions of sets of rules for encoding machine-readable information. C2 Core supports tenets of the DoD’s Net-Centric Data Strategy by making data understandable across networks and services, supporting joint and coalition warfighters by improving interoperability at the data and information layer.


The new standard represents same types of data with commonly agreed definition, regardless of the source it’s coming from. This commonality simplifies data interpretation and integration between different systems. The current version is used primarily for test and evaluation while the next version is expected to be qualified for implementation in programs of record beginning in fiscal year 2012. While the C2 Core is a U.S. initiative, NATO’s Command, Control and Consultation Board is evaluating their future data approach are now considering a proposed NATO Core that would be similar to the U.S. Universal Core and C2 Common Core. Work with France, Canada, the Netherlands, and other coalition forces are also underway through NATO’s Allied Command Transformation (ACT), to familiarize coalition partners with the new protocol.

According to Leslie Winters, Joint Data and Services Division chief, once completed, C2 Core will benefit warfighters and their ability to gather, understand, integrate, and analyze information rapidly. “Right now, most data sharing is basically point-to-point, often proprietary interfaces between every kind of data source we use. It’s costly to develop new interfaces and it takes a lot of time.” Explained Winters, “Combined with open interfaces such as web services, the C2 Core should make the development and data integration process more agile and enable delivery of more information to the warfighter in a shorter period of time.”

C2 Core represents the first major DoD Common Core that builds on the foundation of the UCore version 2.0, a federal information sharing initiative co-sponsored by the DoD, the director of National Intelligence, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Justice. The initiative is sponsored by U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Networks and Information Integration).