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Collaboration Key To Network Warfare

July 2008
By Henry S. Kenyon

 
The Joint Information Operations Warfare Command (JIOWC) is responsible for coordinating a variety of information-based capabilities throughout the U.S. Defense Department. The JIOWC manages a range of operations such as deception and
psychological, electronic and cyber warfare.
Data sharing, coordination between commands enhances electronic, cyber combat missions.

Modern information operations cover a range of capabilities from psychological tactics to cyber warfare. They are designed to provide U.S. warfighters with a crucial edge on the battlefield by preventing opposing forces from effectively gathering intelligence or coordinating attacks. Information warfare provides commanders with a flexible tool that can be used to subtly influence local opinion in an anti-insurgency campaign or cripple enemy communications in a major conflict.

The Joint Information Operations Warfare Command (JIOWC) is responsible for integrating information operations into the U.S. military’s planning and operations. Based at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, JIOWC is a part of U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM). JIOWC has supported warfighters in varying capacities for more than 25 years. Established in 1980 as the JointElectronicWarfareCenter, in 1994 it was renamed the Joint Command and ControlWarfareCenter and shifted from supporting the Joint Staff to U.S. Atlantic Command, where it became the JIOWC. In 1999 it became a subordinate command of U.S. Space Command, and in 2002 it was realigned as a part of STRATCOM. 

The JIOWC’s commander, Maj. Gen. John C. Koziol, USAF, explains that his mission is to plan, coordinate and conduct information operations to directly support STRATCOM’s three lines of operations: global deterrence, space and cyber operations. The JIOWC also provides information operations expertise across the military’s geographic areas of responsibility in specific core areas. He says JIOWC supports combatant commanders’ information operations planning through the integrated use of operations security, military deception and electronic warfare as directed by STRATCOM. The JIOWC also works closely with the Joint Functional Component Command Network Warfare (JFCC-NW) and the Joint Military Information Support Command to help synchronize information operation efforts by leveraging these commands’ expertise in computer network operations and psychological operations.

Gen. Koziol notes that his command supports STRATCOM in several ways, such as assigning JIOWC personnel to serve as subject matter experts for developing information operations appendices for STRATCOM’s concept and operation plans. The JIOWC also helps develop STRATCOM’s strategic communications plan for current operations and exercises. “We have an exceptional team of information operations planners who have a deep understanding of cultural and social background of local populations that aids in our effective information operations and STRATCOM communications planning. Additionally, our planners partner with—and in some cases employ—a range of specialists such as psychologists, media analysts, business professionals and scholars. These communities help us gain a deeper understanding of global and regional problems in order to develop plans that use information operations to help shape the battle environment. Producing results with the right mix of expertise is a significant contribution to our parent command,” says the general.

To accomplish its mission, the JIOWC often seeks to leverage information operations capabilities of other organizations to meet warfighter requirements. “If we don’t know the answer, someone within our greater community of interest will,” Gen. Koziol says. 

The command has additional input provided by on-site representatives from agencies such as the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Because community expertise is very important, the JIOWC works closely with service-specific assets such as the FirstInformationOperationsCommandLand; Navy Information Operations Command Norfolk; and the Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency. He shares that his command has the additional benefit of being collocated with the Air Force Information Operations Center.

The JIOWC also works with multiservice organizations such as the JointWarfareAnalysisCenter, the JointSpectrumCenter and STRATCOM’s joint functional component commands.  Gen. Koziol explains that the JIOWC’s information operations efforts and its ability to integrate information effects are dependent on its centers of excellence and staff directorates. “Successful information operations execution depends on well-trained joint information operations experts and how we leverage our partnerships,” he says.

As part of its mission, the JIOWC supports STRATCOM’s lines of operation when directed and combatant command information operations activities that cross geographic boundaries. To help execute these tasks, the JIOWC interfaces and coordinates efforts with the Joint Staff, the other services, the Department of Defense and civilian agencies. While it focuses on transregional issues as directed by STRATCOM, the general shares that the JIOWC can also provide specific niche expertise to its customers. For example, the JIOWC’s red teams can provide realistic and robust opposing force intelligence and network vulnerability analysis. The red teams also offer command and control structures to support joint force commanders in identifying and validating vulnerabilities through in-depth technical assessment and analysis. 

The JIOWC staffs liaison officers at STRATCOM headquarters and at two of STRATCOM’s components, the JFCC-NW and the Global Innovation and StrategyCenter. It also maintains a liaison officer at the joint staff to support STRATCOM’s information operations and communications activities. The general adds that the command provides liaison officers to other joint organizations and combatant commanders as required and approved through STRATCOM.

Collaboration is integral to the JIOWC’s mission. Gen. Koziol explains that the majority of his command’s information sharing is accomplished in a collaborative environment. “We have both joint standard and in-house developed toolsets and a group keeping those up-to-date. JIOWC has a well-trained and experienced Information Technology division that provides state-of-the-art IT [information technology] and communications support for local and deployed personnel,” he says. 

Another of the JIOWC’s responsibilities is developing and producing lessons learned for information operations applications. Gen. Koziol notes that most organizations with a lessons-learned program look across a wide range of functional areas. In contrast, the command’s Joint Lessons Learned Program–Information Operations (JLLP-IO) only focuses on information operations. The JLLP-IO analyzes many operations and exercises to capture a variety of information operations-related observations, lessons learned and other issues.

The general explains that the JIOWC selects important observations, lessons learned or issues deemed significant enough to warrant submission to the JLLP system for resolution. In the case of a previously submitted issue, the JIOWC will highlight its importance to STRATCOM, the involved combatant command or the JointCenter for Operational Analysis. The collection of operational lessons learned provides an archive of information for analysis, supports the development of doctrine and training, and assists in identifying requirements. Gen. Koziol adds that his command’s lessons learned and doctrine and training divisions are collocated to foster additional information sharing.

In supporting Defense Department initiatives, such as counter improvised explosive device (IED) operations, the general says that the JIOWC, within its joint electronic warfare advocacy role, works closely with the combatant commands, the services and the Joint IED Defeat Organization to ensure electronic warfare aspects of counter-IED missions are considered. However, despite its support and advisory role, he adds that the command does not conduct modeling/simulation programs focused on cyber warfare scenarios.

Web Resources
U.S. Strategic Command: www.stratcom.mil
U.S. Joint Information Operations Warfare Command: www.stratcom.mil/fact_sheets/fact_jioc_print.html

Strategic Command Directs Cyber Operations

U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) is responsible for coordinating and managing a range of missions. Based at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, STRATCOM’s operational portfolio covers space operations; information operations; integrated missile defense; global command and control; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; global strike and strategic deterrence. The command is also charged with conducting computer network operations and is designated as the military’s lead organization for defending Defense Department networks and denying adversaries the ability to use computer networks to conduct offensive operations.

According to STRATCOM official Lt. Charles Drey, USN, the United States faces challenges from a diverse range of threats that include recreational hackers, self-styled cyber-vigilantes, groups with nationalistic or ideological agendas, transnational actors and nation-states. Because advanced computer and information technology is widely and inexpensively available globally, the threat to the Defense Department’s Global Information Grid is extensive, pervasive and increasingly sophisticated. This technical capability offers adversaries the potential to develop and employ intrusion and control tools to exploit information systems and networks worldwide. Lt. Drey notes that current and potential adversaries with sophisticated cyber capabilities pose an asymmetrical threat to the United States’ military and commercial infrastructure.

The lieutenant adds that the Defense Department is focused on being proactive, both to prevent and deter attacks and intrusions and to defend and respond to such incidents. The department has fortified its networks by incorporating intrusion detection software, erecting firewalls and increasing awareness training for its personnel.

Lt. Drey says that the United States has the ability to use cyberspace as a medium to defend itself against any terrorist group or other adversary seeking to harm the nation. He notes that it is the United States’ policy to prevent or minimize disruptions to critical information infrastructures, protecting the public, the economy, government services and national security. Maintaining freedom of action in cyberspace in the 21st century is as important to U.S. interests as freedom of the seas was in the 19th century and access to air and space in the 20th century. “The U.S. military will defend cyberspace just as it does land, sea and air,” he says.

The lieutenant shares that the U.S. military is developing and implementing capabilities to defend its vital information infrastructure. He adds that the nation reserves the right to respond to intrusions by nations, terrorist groups or other adversaries in a manner it deems appropriate. “Responses to an adversary’s attack would be determined in the context of each particular attack. Intrusions into government, military and national infrastructure information systems and networks are threats to our national security,” he maintains.