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Army Cyber Changing Double-Time

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Augusta, GA, Aug. 24, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The U.S. Army has been in a state of internal transformation since earlier this year when it released the Mission Command Network Modernization Implementation Plan. In addition to the cross-functional teams, the service will be using other innovative approaches to wrap its arms around emerging advances in technologies such as artificial intelligence to tackle growing threats in the cyber domain.

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Lt. Gen. John R. (Bob) Wood, USA (Ret.), executive vice president, Defense and National Security, AFCEA International (l), speaks with Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, USA, Army chief information officer, during TechNet Augusta in Georgia. Gen. Crawford revealed that the Army is in the process of standing up an advisory board for cloud computing comprising the "best and brightest from commercial industry."



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Maj. Gen. James Mingus, 82nd Airborne Division commanding general, told the conference audience in Augusta, Georgia, that because of the hundreds of microsatellites being launched into low-Earth orbit, "We are right on the cusp … of establishing a true, space-based global mesh network." According to estimates he has seen, 800 to 1,000 such satellites "will have initially established that space-based global mesh network." Between 10,000 and 20,000 satellites will provide a "very robust" space-based global mesh network. He questioned how long it will be before those satellites all have cameras hanging off of them. "That sounds great from a commercial perspective, but how about from a threat or an enemy's perspective? We think space, cyber, land, air, and maritime are contested now. It's going to make it even more difficult."



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According to Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, USA, Army chief information officer, the service may establish an artificial intelligence task force over the next 90 days to help develop needed expertise and better prepare for the future of warfare. The task force will help Army officials "really get our mind around the specific skillsets that we're going to need to be relevant and to thrive in this environment that will include AI and machine learning."

Gen. Crawford talked about the potential task force during AFCEA TechNet Augusta in Georgia. He tied the task force to the Defense Department's creation of a Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, an effort the department's CIO, Dana Deasy, is leading.

Gen. Crawford isn't the only Army leader moving the service toward a future of new capabilities that can address threats in the cyber domain. Lt. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, USA, commander of U.S. Army Cyber Command, suggested the command could get a new name and said he would recommend changing U.S. Cyber Command's name as well.

When the Army command was established in 2010, Cyber Command was the appropriate name, but that is not longer the case, he asserted. "I think we're well past that now. We're at the point where, in the future, it's going to change to something like this: Army Information Warfare Operations Command or Army Information Warfare Dominance Command," the general stated.

Renaming the command would better reflect how cyber capabilities are converging with other realms, including electronic warfare, intelligence and signal. "What I really try to do is instill the lessons we've learned from operating in the cyber domain alongside those that are operating in the information environment. What I've come to believe is that, frankly, the overlap is much deeper, is much greater than these bumps in the night," he said.

David May, senior intelligence advisor, U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon, Georgia, explained the changes during a multidomain operations discussion at the conference. The service's new Cyber Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA) sections should be given final approval within the next six weeks, and the teams will be placed at each staff element across every echelon from the Brigade Combat Teams to division and corps, all the way up to the armed service component commands.

"These sections will be responsible for planning, synchronizing and integrating cyberspace and electronic warfare operations and spectrum management. They [will] network both horizontally and vertically with the other CEMA sections and the units of action," May said.

The service also is adding new electronic warfare platoons within each Brigade Combat Team that will be assigned to the military intelligence company.

"These are the units of action that will deliver effects at the tactical edge. They will conduct electronic attack and be able to deliver radio frequency-enabled cyberspace effects," May said. "They will essentially double our sensing capacity in the electromagnetic spectrum. It will also help us to sense ourselves, which will help with survivability."

Additional news from TechNet Augusta, including insights about future threats via space from Maj. Gen. James Mingus, 82nd Airborne Division commanding general, is available online.

 

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Maryann Lawlor
AFCEA International
(703) 631-6179
mlawlor@afcea.org

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