While winning the 5G race against foreign adversaries is important for the United States’ military components, Vice Chair for the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John Hyten says that it’s not just 5G alone that we must be focusing on, but on data as a whole.

Gen. Hyten said today at the AFCEA 5G Defense Tech Summit that the Joint Chiefs are working on a new project called the Joint Warfighting Concept (JWC) that will “define future warfighting concepts in 2030 and beyond.” He said that over the last 15 months of work, the common thread for the JWC is data.

“If you just think about data from a 5G perspective, all you’re thinking about is the transport layer, but there’s three elements of data that we have to be able to focus on, to understand where we’re going in the future,” said Hyten.

Those three elements, Hyten explained are:

  1. Determine what the real data requirements are;
  2. Define what the transport layers are; and
  3. Data storage and data access.

“Those three elements are data requirements at the tactical edge. The transport layers, the space transport layers, and others that have to come together in the data access and data storage pieces, those are the pieces that we have to put together,” Hyten explained. “And in the middle of that, in the middle of that transport [layer] is the 5G network, and the 5G network will enable the quick movement of information to different pockets of storage in a secure cloud architecture.”

Hyten emphasized that the focus should be much broader than 5G and working with the commercial sector is critical to staying competitive in the 5G race. There’s a chance, he said, to stay ahead of adversaries in the race to dominate data.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.