Upon assuming command just over a month ago, the new Army commander tasked with overseeing all of the service’s combat training set out a challenge for the commanders to answer a question: With multidomain capabilities existing in formations currently, has the Army changed enough to ensure victory in the next battle?
The conclusion that Gen. Paul Funk, commander of Training and Doctrine Command, determined was no, the force has to change the way it thinks and organizes to meet these challenges in a 21st century information battlespace.
“Our application of information dominance is too narrow,” Funk said, speaking at TechNet Augusta, Aug. 20. “It is underdeveloped and lacks coordinated direction.”
To fix that, Funk said they are working at TRADOC to include information dominance in the Army campaign plan and develop and information strategy.
He said the Army needs to invest in appropriate resources, such as data mining and alerts, in order to restructure information operations for success on the future battlefield.
When developing a future strategy, Funk said the force needs to keep a few observations in mind.
First, it does not understand how to best degrade connected systems or what ripple effects attacking one component of a system will have on the system as a whole.
Second, the Army doesn’t know whether what it thinks the enemy knows about it is true or not. “It’s not what you don’t know that gets you killed; it’s what you think you do know that ain’t so,” he said.
Third, the Army when building systems in the past hasn’t taken into account that adversaries will seek to take them down; rather, it has assumed that it will always have uninterrupted flows of data.
The force has, however, taken some lessons and themes into consideration, namely that the way the current Army is structured and optimized is not ideal for the future fight, and must be tweaked.
The force the Army built for the counterterrorism fight, which is centered around brigade combat teams, won’t work in a fight against a peer adversary. Echelons above brigade have the most capability and are most decisive to enable the multidomain fight for the future.
“The scale, tempo, lethality and complexity of large-scale, multidomain combat operations requires significant changes in how we equip, organize and structure the force to enable the Army to prevail against peer threats in contested domains,” Funk said.
Mark Pomerleau is a reporter for C4ISRNET, covering information warfare and cyberspace.