The Army is focusing on commanders as it continues to work on cyber and electromagnetic activities (CEMA) Support to Corps and Below pilot, which is gaming what types of cyber, electronic warfare and information capabilities should exist at what echelons.
“Being able to have the [brigade combat team] commanders lay out for us … what effects you want to achieve, don’t worry about the buttonology and the capability and all that, tell me what it is you want [from] effects in the battlefield and let some of the CEMA experts be able to figure out what those things are,” Maj. (P) Wayne A. Sanders, branch chief at CEMA Support to Corps and Below ARCYBER G39, said during an AUSA-hosted event in Arlington, Virgina on Dec. 13.
If these capabilities don’t exist yet, how can the capability development force be able to meet that objective at the tactical level at the timing and tempo required by the BCT commander, he added.
While cyber authorities are a complicated issue, Sanders told C4ISRNET following his participation on a panel that it doesn’t necessarily matter whose authority they’re trying to leverage as long as the effects are demonstrated to that tactical commander.
“The key is making sure as long as that brigade commander is asking for something, we have the ability to leverage either existing authorities or future authorities to be able to do that and we continue to drive down that time limit,” he said, noting the commander shouldn’t have to wait 30 days or beyond for a capability to be delivered.
Cyber authorities are governed from the presidential level and can then be delegated down based upon targets outlined in execution orders.
If the execution order is at a joint force level, great not a problem, Sanders said, but if it’s not and can’t support tactical units, “do we know how to request to make sure that it can?”
Next steps for the pilot
While the initial CEMA Support to Corps and Below pilot concluded in September of this year after eight rotations at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, Col. (P) William J. Hartman, deputy commander Joint Force HQ – Cyber, Army Cyber Command, told reporters during a media roundtable at AUSA that they’re still going to do three rotations of these experiments a year and tie them into other initiatives.
All along, the Army has published joint lessons learned and are in the process of publishing a Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership and Education, Personnel, Facilities and Policy (DOTMLPF-P) assessment.
Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone, commander of Army Cyber Command, told C4ISRNET in an interview over the summer that the Army has requested a report on what has been learned through the pilot thus far. The report will be completed in the coming fiscal year, he said, adding there will be recommendations of where the Army should go with the manning, equipping, training and employment of these elements.
These lessons learned have also informed requirements and doctrine for how the Army will organize itself and insert these types of capabilities within formations.
In terms of tying in other initiatives, Hartman said many of the rapid capabilities that are being or have been developed, if it has any relevance from a cyber, EW, information operations standpoint, they’ve tried to incorporate that either particular equipment or element into this pilot program.
Mark Pomerleau is a reporter for C4ISRNET, covering information warfare and cyberspace.