Following intense focus on building its cyber force for the last several years, the Army now wants to ensure every level of battlefield leadership has electronic warfare capabilities at their disposal.
“We have really focused on ... bringing cyber, electronic warfare and information operations capabilities across all echelons of the Army,” Brig. Gen. Jennifer Buckner, director of cyber within the Army’s G-3/5/7, told reporters during a media roundtable at the CyCon conference in Washington Nov. 15.
The growth of the electronic warfare force will include planners on staffs at all echelons who will provide commanders both cyber and EW plans as well as electronic warfare operators.
“This imperative that we have to really provide organic forces and capabilities to every echelon has been our primary focus,” Buckner said. “We look to actually accelerate the growth of our electronic warfare force.”
Russia’s advancements in electronic warfare - on display in Ukraine - have forced the Army to reevaluate its investments in the area.
At a strategic level, the Army recently finalized its own electronic warfare strategy.
“The electronic warfare strategy reflects significant work by Army Cyber Command, by the Cyber Center of Excellence just to assess how we’ve been fighting for the last decade and a half and really how we want to evolve our force of the future,” Buckner told C4ISRNET in a November interview. “I think it accurately describes the kind of operational force we want, how we might train and educate that force and, most importantly, the echeloning of those forces. [In other words,] what we would want organic to our brigade combat teams and at every echelon across the Army and how we would want them to work together.”
In terms of electronic warfare operators, Buckner said the Army is looking an organic electronic warfare platoon in every military intelligence company with every brigade combat team.
The Army wants to begin experimenting with these electronic warfare platoons quickly. Those teams will integrate with the Army’s multidomain task force in the Pacific to support I Corps in fiscal 2019, Buckner said. Part of the work with I Corps will involve capability experimentation.
The experimentation will also allow for rapid prototyping from three perspectives, Maj. Gen. John Morrison, commander of the Cyber Center of Excellence, told C4ISRNET in August.
It will enable the service to assess if the organizational structure is right, it will prototype the training for electronic warfare professionals to better maneuver in cyberspace and the electromagnetic spectrum and it will prototype capability these forces will use.
Mark Pomerleau is a reporter for C4ISRNET, covering information warfare and cyberspace.