American, British, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand Armies’ Program
ABCA
“Optimizing Coalition Interoperability”
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PROGRAM ORGANIZATION

The ABCA Program is owned and strategically guided by the Executive Council, overseen and directed by the National Directors, executed by the Capability Groups and Support Groups, and managed by the Program Office and National Coordination Officers. Much of the specific work is conducted by Project Teams, while additional information exchange is carried out by Standardization Representatives (STANREPs) and Information Teams.

EXECUTIVE COUNCIL

The Executive Council comprises general officers from the member Armies typically in the position of Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, or equivalent. The Council meets annually to provide Strategic Guidance and high-level priorities to the Program, to review the Program’s accomplishments and to endorse their Armies’ continuing commitment to and engagement in the Program’s work.

NATIONAL DIRECTORS

The National Directors, collectively known as the ABCA Board, comprise senior officers from the member Armies, typically at the one-star level. The Directors meet with the Executive Council and at least three other times in the year. They translate the Executive Council’s Strategic Guidance into Interoperability Objectives, approve the annual Program Plan of tasks, approve the resourcing of Program work, monitor the Program’s performance and the progress of ongoing tasks, and provide overall direction to the Program.

NATIONAL COORDINATION OFFICERS

Each member Army has a National Coordination Officer, who works to that Army’s National Director and Executive Council members where appropriate. The National Coordination Officers act as their Army’s main point of liaison on Program matters, coordinate their Army’s participation in Program activities, manage their Army’s Program resources, consolidate National review and feedback, and provide Program material to their Army as required.

PROGRAM OFFICE

The Program Office is located in the US National Capital Area and is administered by the US Army G3. On behalf of the National Directors, the Program Office manages Program work, coordinates Program activities, facilitates Program planning, manages Program products, facilitates knowledge management, liaises with other Joint/Interagency/Multinational (JIM) interoperability fora, and provides other general secretariat functions. The Program Office comprises:

  • Chief of Staff (COS) – Colonel provided rotationally by one of the member Armies.
  • Executive Officer (XO) - US Army Civilian Employee
  • SO1 Combat (Cbt) – LTC provided by the US Army.
  • SO1 Combat Support (Cbt Spt) – Lt Col provided by the UK Army.
  • SO1 Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) – LCol provided by the CA Army.
  • SO1 Combat Service Support (CSS) – LTCOL provided by the AS Army.
  • SO1 Coalition Operations (COps) – Lt Col provided by the NZ Army.
  • SO Coordination (C) – MAJ provided by the AS Army.
  • SO Agreements (A) – a UK civil servant.
  • Chief Clerk (CC)/Webmaster – WO provided by the CA Army.

CAPABILITY GROUPS (CGs)

CGs comprise national representatives who are knowledgeable in the Group’s Capability Area. CG leadership is allocated to one of the Armies on a standing basis and typically assigned to a Colonel by that Army. CGs seek to optimize coalition interoperability within their Capability Area in accordance with the Interoperability Objectives identified by the National Directors. CGs conduct interoperability gap analysis, propose tasks to mitigate identified gaps, establish Project Teams to conduct approved tasks and manage the Program Products that belong to the Group.

  • CG Command – led by a US Army COL and coordinated by SO1 C4I.
  • CG Sense – led by a CA Army Col and coordinated by SO1 Cbt.
  • CG Act – led by a UK Army Col and coordinated by SO1 Cbt Spt.
  • CG Shield – led by a US Army COL and coordinated by SO1 COps.
  • CG Sustain – led by an NZ Army Col and coordinated by SO1 CSS.

SUPPORT GROUPS (SGs)

SGs comprise national representatives who are knowledgeable in the Group’s Support Area. SG leadership is allocated to one of the Armies on a standing basis and typically assigned to a Colonel by that Army. SGs are primarily focused on providing advice and support to the Program, especially to the CGs, in relation to their Support Area. SGs also propose tasks, establish Project Teams and manage their Program Products.

  • SG Futures – led by a UK Army Col and coordinated by SO1 CSS.
  • SG Exercise and Experimentation (E2) – led by an AS Army COL and coordinated by SO1 COps.
  • SG Science and Technology (S&T) – led by a CA Army Col and coordinated by SO1 C4I.

PROJECT TEAMS (PTs)

On the authority of the National Directors, PTs are established by and responsive to CGs and SGs to conduct an approved task, typically the development and delivery of an ABCA Product. PTs comprise national subject matter experts relevant to the assigned task, who are often also members of the governing CG or SG. PTs may only meet physically if authorized to do so, otherwise they carry out their work using virtual means. PTs are disbanded once they have completed their task or if their task was canceled by the National Directors.

INFORMATION TEAMS (ITs)

On the authority of the National Directors, ITs can be established to exchange information amongst their membership of subject matter experts in order to optimize interoperability between ABCA Armies as well as support military interests in specified subject areas. ITs are not resourced to meet physically and are expected to exchange their information using virtual means.

ABCA STANREPS

ABCA Standardization Representatives (STANREPs) are officers from the ABCA Armies stationed in other ABCA nations, under the authority of BSA 64, with the primary purpose of furnishing information to their own Armies.