Director of Joint Improvised Explosive Device Organization says anti-IED effort needs fewer restrictions.

Deployed commanders need greater flexibility and fewer restrictions in sharing…

Deployed commanders need greater flexibility and fewer restrictions in sharing tactical information about deadly enemy devices with allies, a key U.S. general said here Tuesday.

“We have got to knock down the barriers that deny the free flow of technology and information with our coalition partners,” Army Lt. Gen. Michael Oates, director of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Organization, told a morning audience at joint warfighting conference.

“We disable ourselves by an inability to share information,” Oates said. “At the tactical level it is absolutely essential.”

The United States and its coalition allies face an enemy that can quickly adapt to counter-IED efforts and change its tactics and technology, Oates said. Speed of response is of the essence, he added.

“Information must be shared with the right people in a timely manner,” he said, but “by law our commanders are inhibited from sharing information with our coalition partners.

“But they do it anyway,” Oates noted. “The further from the battlefield we get the more we become risk-averse about sharing info. We have got to find a way to share info rapidly and thoroughly.”

One way to do that, he said, is to review laws and regulations that prohibit the sharing of tactical information because of its classified nature.

“Make that available to our coalition partners,” Oates urged. “Tactical-level information that, in my opinion, should not be classified.”

Oates was the opening speaker at the three-day conference, sponsored by AFCEA and the U.S. Naval Institute and supported by Joint Forces Command.

Source: Christopher P. Cavas for Marine Corps Times.

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