WASHINGTON — The Defense Information Systems Agency is rolling out software it says is critical to preparing and executing electronic warfare operations across the U.S. military.

The cloud-based Electromagnetic Battle Management-Joint tool, or EMBM-J, collates multiple streams of data into a simplified, shared interface for commanders. The first iteration is aimed at improved situational awareness and coordination across the services; future upgrades will bolt on additional applications.

“Command and control applies to both maneuver, offensive actions and defensive actions, how you array your forces, how you guide and direct them to execute missions, to meet the intent,” Kevin Laughlin, the deputy director for the Program Executive Office for Spectrum, told reporters Dec. 8. “And we want to do that within the electromagnetic spectrum domain.”

The Department of Defense is again prioritizing electronic warfare — and the manipulation of the spectrum, a precious resource — as it digs out of the Greater Middle East to confront the global ambitions of Russia and China.

Investment in sophisticated electronic warfare fell off in the years following the Cold War.

“What this does today, that warfighters don’t have in their hands, is that it provides the ability to bring a number of different information feeds, a number of different data sources, together in one picture,” Laughlin said. “That, more than anything else, allows the joint force to make sense and act much more quickly.”

As a result, EMBM-J aids the Defense Department’s pursuit of seamless connectivity known as Combined Joint All-Domain Command and Control, or CJADC2.

The software was specifically designed to work with the services’ existing visualizers and planners, such as the Army’s Electronic Warfare Planning and Management Tool and the Navy’s Real Time Spectrum Operations. A common data layer makes the sharing possible.

“Effective use of the electromagnetic spectrum is essential for successful military operations,” Air Force Brig. Gen. AnnMarie Anthony, director of the Joint Electromagnetic Spectrum Operation Center, said in a statement. “This system is crucial for the full integration and visualization of spectrum operations.”

Colin Demarest was a reporter at C4ISRNET, where he covered military networks, cyber and IT. Colin had previously covered the Department of Energy and its National Nuclear Security Administration — namely Cold War cleanup and nuclear weapons development — for a daily newspaper in South Carolina. Colin is also an award-winning photographer.

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