The purpose of the Technology for Information, Decision and Execution (TIDE) superiority initiative is to rapidly improve NATO Alliance Information Technology (IT) capabilities by reusing existing systems or components and by steering current and future projects toward greater openness and cooperation within a common framework. The TIDE concept does not take over products or projects, but seeks to create an environment that achieves transparent integration between the services or disparate systems/components.
The first ever TIDE Sprint took place in Lillehammer in 2005, it was part of the Coalition Warrior interoperability Demonstration (CWID) and provided an opportunity for ACT (from both Norfolk and San Diego) and the NATO C3 Agency (now the NCI Agency) to experiment. There were only seven participants at this event, each representing an aspect of command and control capability that needed to be interoperable, share, or exchange information, but for which exchange mechanisms or standards were still undeveloped.
The output from the first TIDE meeting was exploited directly back into CWID, thus establishing an enduring principle that early development and conceptual work undertaken by the TIDE community would become an important element of the practical experimental and examination work undertaken by CWIX. To support this principle a bi-annual TIDE Sprint was established to present the results of previous experimentation and prepare for future experiments; thus, the TIDE Sprint Community was established.
TIDE Sprint is now ACT’s premier think tank initiative for achieving and maintaining Technology, Information, Decision making and Execution Superiority in support of NATO’s Command and Control (C2) development efforts. TIDE Sprints have become “sandbox” events where a combination of show-and-tell brainstorming, collaboration, education, demonstration, coding and testing in a non-constraint and non-hierarchical environment to explore new ideas as well as exploit and evolve existing and emerging technologies. Although the size and scope of TIDE Sprint has expanded, it remains true to the enduring principle that links the output of each TIDE Sprint, to the annual CWIX event held at Bydgoszcz every year.
At the recent Summit in Warsaw, NATO leaders recognised the growing importance of Cyber Defence to the future security of the Alliance and declared that Cyber would join Land, Maritime, Air and Space as a 'domain'.
In the same post-Summit declaration, national leaders also stated that interoperability between member and partner nations was fundamental, and that NATO standards and common technical solutions contribute to NATO's common security allowing armed forces to work together successfully, be it in NATO operations or in national, coalition, European Union or United Nations formats.
So, at what point do NATO summit declarations made by the twenty-eight Heads of State become meaningful actions that can be taken forward as concepts, specifications, roadmaps or even capability requirements? The Allied Command Transformation sponsored TIDE Sprint provides one such opportunity.
The next TIDE Sprint will take place in Virginia Beach from 24-28 October 2016 and will consist of briefings, workshops and study periods within twelve technical 'tracks', all intended to improve C2 interoperability amongst Alliance and Partner Nations. This TIDE Sprint will be an opportunity for Cyber experts to discuss how a 'Cyber Domain' may impact future concepts and capabilities; it will examine future specifications to improve the federated mission networking concepts and ideas and will, for the first time, begin to examine the importance to NATO of Open Source Information (OSINF) and how it may be exploited. If you are interested and can contribute to TIDE Sprint you may also wish to consider any of the following TIDE Sprint Tracks:
- Cyber Defence
- Command and Control
- Enterprise Architecture
- Maritime Situational Awareness
- Modelling and Simulation
- Service Management
- Federated Mission Networking
- Technical interoperability in a Data Centric Environment
- Open Source information
As TIDE Sprint is driven by the demands of its participants, ACT will always consider new tracks that will benefit the TIDE community. NATO recognises that the TIDE Sprint community are “a coalition of the willing” that may be guided by Allied Command Transformation (ACT) but participate in the spirit of collaboration and sharing of information and ideas to benefit all. To support an environment of collaboration and to provide a repository of TIDE information and standards, ACT manages Tidepedia an online collaboration platform for all participants as part of the overarching TIDE initiative.
Photo Gallery - TIDESprint 2016