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NetOps is defined as the operational framework consisting of three essential tasks, Situational Awareness (SA), and Command & Control (C2) that the Commander (CDR) of US Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), in coordination with DoD and Global NetOps Community, employs to operate, manage and defend the Global Information Grid (GIG) to ensure information superiority for the United States.

DoD Instruction (DoDI) 8410.02 defines NetOps as the DoD-wide operational, organizational, and technical capabilities for operating and defending the Global Information Grid. NetOps includes, but is not limited to, enterprise management, net assurance, and content management. NetOps provides Combatant Commanders (COCOMs) with GIG Situational Awareness to make informed Command and Control decisions. GIG SA is gained through the operational and technical integration of enterprise management and defense actions and activities across all levels of command (strategic, operational and expeditionary forces).

The three essential tasks are as follows:

  • GIG Enterprise Management (GEM)
  • GIG Net Assurance (GNA)
  • GIG Content Management (GCM)

The synergy achieved by each integrated relationship between any two of the essential tasks (GEM, GNA, and GCM) produces the following NetOps desired effects in support of the overall goal of NetOps which is to provide the right information to the edge:

  • Assured System and Network Availability
  • Assured Information Protection
  • Assured Information Delivery

The element of NetOps known as Situational Awareness (SA), is the primary ability to improve the quality and timeliness of collaborative decision-making. To be effective, much of the SA must be shared in near-real-time by the decision-makers who have the ability to take this information, conduct critical analysis and act on those decisions with regards to employment, protection and defense of the GIG.

This shared Situational Awareness is derived from common reporting requirements using functionally standardized management tools and common data information exchange formats across the Defense Department. These capabilities collect (or receive), and fuse (enterprise management, network defense and configuration management) data in a real time or near real-time fashion to produce defined views of the mission critical GIG information of concern to a commander or NetOps center.

The DoD NetOps Community strives to obtain common visibility of network resources so that these can be manage, anticipate and mitigate problems, ensuring uninterrupted availability and protection of the GIG and provide for graceful degradation, self-healing, failover, diversity, and elimination of critical failure points. Through effective visibility, the NetOps community endeavors to attain the three goals of NetOps: Assured System and Network Availability, Assured Information Protection and Assured Information Delivery.