The Army has been discussing convergence and integration when it comes to cyberspace, the electromagnetic spectrum and the signal corps, going so far as establishing a new headquarters in the Pentagon to focus on policy, strategy, and requirements for cyber, electromagnetic spectrum and information operations.
The new commander of the Cyber Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon, Maj. Gen. John Morrison, described how he is looking into these three core competencies — cyber, EMS and signal. At the annual Association of the United States Army conference, he mulled over how the Army can integrate capabilities from across cyber, electronic warfare (EW) and signal so that there are end-to-end solutions that are integrated and complementary rather than redundant.
Speaking at a panel discussion at AUSA, Morrison hit on a popular concept emerging across the services called multi-domain battle, which involves synergizing war fighting across all domains — air, land, sea, space and cyber. Morrison noted that cyber is a fairly new domain of war fighting, which has only been an operational domain for the last three years or so, but operations within this domain are inherently joint.
In terms of converging this activity, he said that the Army is well on its way to growing 41 cyber teams to meet the requirements set out by the Pentagon and Cyber Command. "We are the only service at this point that is truly on the glide path to build the combat power we need to," Morrison asserted.
From the EMS perspective, Morrison offered that the force must start using the electromagnetic spectrum more efficiently and more effectively. The Army can’t just get into one channel, he said, adding the Army must figure out from a technical standpoint how to diversify its signals and maneuver.
"We need to be aware that we are very likely going to fight an adversary that is converging using [cyber and electromagnetic activity] integration, ISR and fires across full-spectrum conflict," Col Timothy Presby, Training and Doctrine Command capabilities manager of cyber, saidin August regarding the need to converge. "So unless we actually work together and converge our capabilities, we will be left short."
Morrison recognized how future operating environments will not just be contested by adversaries, but he said they will be congested as well, describing how the force is taking a comprehensive look at this. "Everything’s got to be integrated — the network has to be integrated with cyber, which has to be integrated with electronic warfare and all the components within that," he said.
We can’t have all the one-off capabilities by themselves, he said, as once there is a requisite level of integration, it will change the paradigm of how the Army fights and defends the network.
Part of the reason for the new Army headquarters at the Pentagon, which subsumed the Army’s EW directorate, is better organization from an operational construct.
"I always believe you should organize how you fight, especially if you’re working in [operations]," the new Pentagon’s CEMA directorate head, Brig. Gen. Patricia Frost, told C4ISRNET. "[W]e should be, even at the departmental level, replicating what we are actually trying to employ into our war fighting force. So when we deploy, we are multifunctional teams. ... We would never deploy stovepiped capabilities. That is not how we integrate into decisive action [or] wide-area security operations."
The force is learning by doing, he continued, leveraging training exercises and rotations such as the Cyber Support to Core and Below. Inserting these capability sets — cyber and EW — into brigade combat units will help the force "get after the CEMA," or cyber and electromagnetic activity construct, to learn holistically by executing, he said.
Morrison also said the Army is finalizing a unifying document that will cover initial doctrine for integrating cyber and EW capabilities within the brigade, which he hopes will be completed by the end of the year. Following the completion, there will be a deeper dive into the specifics surrounding the CEMA construct.
Mark Pomerleau is a reporter for C4ISRNET, covering information warfare and cyberspace.