The Army has disbanded its electronic warfare division, though this is not the end for its staff or electromagnetic spectrum capabilities. Instead, the Army will incorporate the EW division into a newly established cyber directorate at the Pentagon within the Army G-3/5/7, according to officials at Army headquarters.
The new directorate is moving quickly, reaching initial operating capability in June, and sources say they expect full operational capability in August. Headed by Brig. Gen. Patricia Frost, who's up for promotion to major general, the new directorate will encompass cyber, electronic warfare and information operations.
But Army officials emphasize that they aren't getting rid of electronic warfare in the move to combine under the directorate. Rather, among the directorate's chief missions will be handling the policy, strategy and requirements for all three areas. According to a Defense Department source the directorate eventually will comprise five divisions under Frost.
Frost was named to the elevated position in March, according to announcement from the Defense Department.
"The Army senior leaders have recognized this is important and we need to put a more focused attention on this field," Col. Jeffrey Church, formerly the head of the Army's Electronic Warfare Division, told FCW in May at the C4ISR & Networks conference. Church added that placing these capabilities under the same hat can empower commanders to make better decisions for desired effects. "Some days that might be a cyber effect. Some days that might be an electronic warfare effect. Some days that might be a tank round effect," he said.
However, Church warned not think of the two capabilities under the guise of convergence, despite the similarities. "A lot of times you'll hear the term 'convergence' and I bristle at that. I like to tell people that when infantrymen ride on a tank, we don't say that the infantry is converging with the armor," he said at the conference. "I see it as a very similar discussion when we talk about the capabilities and the effects."
During Church's time in Iraq, he said, "there weren't a lot of wires attached to me – it was wireless. So there you start getting into the electromagnetic spectrum…I see electronic warfare and cyberspace operations working together and to put it into the infantry general-type of terms, that's a combined arms operation."
He also noted that the Army will eventually realize that this is a "revolution in warfare."