Network Enabled Capability
Network-enabled capability, or NEC, is the name given to the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom)
The Ministry of Defence is the United Kingdom government department responsible for implementation of government defence policy and is the headquarters of the British Armed Forces....

 intent to achieve enhanced military effect through the better use of information systems
Information systems
Information Systems is an academic/professional discipline bridging the business field and the well-defined computer science field that is evolving toward a new scientific area of study...

 towards the goal of "right information, right place, right time – and not too much".

NEC is envisaged as the coherent integration of sensors, decision-makers, effectors and support capabilities to achieve a more flexible and responsive military. In this future vision commanders will be better aware of the evolving military situation and will be able to react to events through voice and data communications.

NEC is a long-term change programme. It will be some years until the communications systems, information systems, operational procedures and knowledge will come together into this improved approach to UK military operations.

Allied parallels

NEC is related to the US concept of network-centric warfare
Network-centric warfare
Network-centric warfare, also called network-centric operations, is a military doctrine or theory of war pioneered by the United States Department of Defense in the 1990's....

 (NCW), which at the time was described as "translating an information advantage into a decisive warfighting advantage". More recent US thinking has moved towards the vision of network-centric operations (NCO) which reflects that not all military activity is warfighting, for example peacekeeping
Peacekeeping is an activity that aims to create the conditions for lasting peace. It is distinguished from both peacebuilding and peacemaking....


NEC is related to the Australian concept of ubiquitous command and control (UC2), which includes not only network enabled capability, but network-enabled military intent
Intent (military)
Intent is a key capability in 21st century military operations and is a vital element to facilitate subordinates initiative , self-synchronisation Intent is a key capability in 21st century military operations and is a vital element to facilitate subordinates initiative (U.S Army 2003, para.1-69),...

, and network-enabled awareness. UC2 extends the "networking position" of NEC and NCW, to include positions on decision devolution; embracing the ubiquity of available decision makers; a future of computing in achieving that ubiquity; the necessary human-computer integration in decision making; decentralisation of intent and physical dispersion; social coordination protocols to unify intent, capability and awareness; and management levels to bound behaviours.

In Sweden the armed forces are being transformed in a closely related program labeled network-based defence.


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