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Common Environment May Aid Cyber Operations

May 16, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman
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Building the Joint Information Environment (JIE) may prove to be the biggest boost for U.S. Defense Department cyberspace. Having that standardized joint network realm could enable faster and more consistent defensive-as well as-offensive cyber operations. A panel focusing on cyber at Joint Warfighting 2012 in Virginia Beach, Virginia, generated a great deal of agreement on key points among its participants, but no clear picture as to what will solve the challenges that bedevil cyber operations. Maj. Gen. Mark Bowman, USA, director, C4 (J-6), the Joint Staff, discussed how the JIE will help shape the way for cyber. It will provide a shared infrastructure and shared situational awareness. And, real-time situational awareness of the battlespace is the greatest need facing the force, said Vice Adm. Bernard J. McCullough III, USN (Ret.), former commander of the U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet. "Until you can get to the crux of that problem, we will be playing catch-up in this environment," he declared. Agreeing with Adm. McCullough, Lt. Gen. Richard P. Mills, USMC, deputy commandant for combat development and integration, added that this situational awareness must be pushed out to Marine Air-Ground Task Force commanders so they can deploy cyber throughout the battlespace. Gen. Mills also called for educating commanders in the field about opportunities in the cyber realm-"both the enemy's and our own."

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