information operations

August 19, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Shutterstock/Pachenko Vladimir

The U.S. Army needs to conduct five essential tasks to achieve the kind of information advantage that will allow commanders to make faster, more effective decisions than their adversaries. Those tasks are to enable decision making, protect friendly information, inform and educate domestic audiences, inform and influence international audiences and conduct information warfare.

The tasks were approved as part of a larger “logic map” during a February forum of one-, two- and three-star generals, according to Brig. Gen. Paul Craft, USA, commandant, U.S. Army Cyber School. Gen. Craft moderated a panel during the AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference in Augusta, Georgia.

August 18, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Lt. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, USA, commander, U.S. Army Cyber Command, addresses the audience at TechNet Augusta 2021. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The U.S. military services may take slightly different paths to achieving information advantage but will likely reach their desired destinations, according to Lt. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, USA, commander, U.S. Army Cyber Command.

Gen. Fogarty made the comments during a morning keynote presentation on the second day of AFCEA’s TechNet Augusta conference in Augusta, Georgia.

August 17, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Panelists discuss cybersecurity and cooperation among nations during TechNet Augusta 2021. Photo by Michael Carpenter

It may take a village to raise a child, as the saying goes, but it can take a whole society to keep a country secure.

The term “whole-of-government” has been popular since at least the early 2000s to describe a multidepartment, multiagency effort to gain an advantage or keep the nation secure. The term has been used, for example, to describe counterterrorism efforts.

August 17, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Brig. Gen. Paul Stanton, USA, speaks at TechNet Augusta 2021. Photo by Michael Carpenter

Within this decade, commanders of combat units will have to plan and execute information activity, according to Army officials speaking at the August 17-19 AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference in Augusta, Georgia.

Appearing via video, Lt. Gen. Ted Martin, USA, commander, Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth, said the new doctrine being drafted “as we speak” by Army officials “is forcing us to move into the future, and part of that future is information advantage.”  

March 4, 2021
By George I. Seffers
China is often first in the information operations competition, keeping the United States and its allies and partners in the Asia Pacific on defense. Credit: andriano.cz/Shutterstock

With its rapid-fire information operations campaign, China effectively outguns the United States and its partners and allies in the Indo-Pacific region, according to three military officers from the United States and Australia.

December 1, 2020
By Maj. Brian Kerg, USMC

As the capabilities of networked technologies continue to increase exponentially, so too does the speed and impact of the narrative. Recordings, images and commentary about an event can be uploaded within seconds. Based on how visceral any event might be, it could go viral within moments. By the end of the hour, a dominant narrative about that event could be echoed across the Internet, television and radio, and remain wedged in the minds of the audience for weeks, months or years.

Especially if it isn’t true.

July 1, 2020
By George I. Seffers
The NETCOM Network Enterprise Center provided extended information technology support to many of the units deploying in support of Joint Task Force-Civil Support during the COVID-19 pandemic. U.S. Army Cyber Command has now delegated to NETCOM some its authorities for protecting Army portions of the Department of Defense Information Network. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Chafelmer Kroll

The U.S. Army Cyber Command is transferring some of its cyber defense responsibilities for the service’s networks to the Army Network Enterprise Technology Command, commonly known as NETCOM. The change, which officially took effect on June 1, transfers authority for the Army’s worldwide regional cyber centers to NETCOM, allows Cyber Command to increase its focus on electronic warfare and information operations and provides one primary point of contact for warfighters in need of network support.

March 31, 2020
 

Test and Evaluation Services LLC., Herndon, Virginia, was awarded a $213,853,442 cost-no-fee, cost-plus-fixed-fee, firm-fixed-price contract for the deployment, operation and maintenance of a technical infrastructure for information operation environments. Bids were solicited via the internet with three received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of October 9, 2027. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Orlando, Florida, is the contracting activity (W900KK-20-D-0012).

November 20, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
The 16th Air Force (Air Forces Cyber) provides information warfare capabilities to all of the U.S. Air Force’s air components and several U.S. Combatant Commands, as well as cyber representation to the U.S. Cyber Command, explains Lt. Gen. Timothy Haugh, USAF, commander, 16th Air Force (Air Forces Cyber) at the AFCEA Alamo Chapter’s ACE event.

Less than two months on the job, Lt. Gen. Timothy Haugh, USAF, commander of the 16th Air Force (Air Forces Cyber), is already shaping the structure of the service’s new information warfare Numbered Air Force (NAF). Stood up in October, the NAF combines the service’s cyber operations; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities; electronic warfare and information operations, including capabilities folded in from the 24th and 25th Air Forces.

August 22, 2019
By George I. Seffers
Maj. Gen. Neil Hersey, USA, commander, of the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon, speaks at TechNet Augusta. Photo by Michael Carpenter

Maj. Gen. Neil Hersey, USA, commander, of the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon, said the center could potentially change its name, but that close cooperation among the centers of excellence essentially already provides the benefits of an information warfare center of excellence.

The change—if it happens—would follow the lead of the Army Cyber Command. Lt. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, USA, who leads Army Cyber Command, has been pushing to change the name to Army Information Warfare Operations Command. The service’s centers of excellence fall under the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC).

August 20, 2019
By George I. Seffers
Gen. Paul Funk, USA, commander, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, speaks at the AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference. Photo by Michael Carpenter

A U.S. Army strategy document currently being developed and due to be published this year will emphasize the need to dominate in the information realm, Gen. Paul Funk, USA, commander, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), told the audience on the first day of the AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference in Augusta, Georgia.

September 1, 2018
By Timur Chabuk and Adam Jonas
Credit: Azret Ayubov/Martial Red/Le_Mon/Shutterstock

Russia’s ability to evolve its use of information operations to leverage social media and the cyber domain continues to shock and challenge the world community. The country’s actions, especially during the 2016 U.S. elections, have brought cyber information operations out of the shadows and into the limelight. Now, state and nonstate actors are frequently using similar techniques to influence the public and achieve political goals once only attainable through armed conflict.

August 15, 2018
 

The Navy's Space and Naval Warfare (SPAWAR) Systems Center (SSC) Pacific in San Diego awarded seven contracts for Naval Information Operations, Meteorology and Oceanography Systems Support to (1) Technology Unlimited Group, San Diego, $22,443,225; (2) Solers Inc., Arlington, Virginia, $22,055,924; (3) General Dynamics Information Technology Inc., Fairfax, Virginia, $20,909,579; (4) Forward Slope Inc., San Diego, $20,227,678; (5) ​P&J Robinson Corp., San Diego, $20,211,616; (6) P&J Robinson Corp., San Diego, $20,211,616; and (7) Geocent LLC, Metairie, Louisiana, $18,286,074.

January 9, 2018
By Maj. Gilberto S. Perez, USAF
U.S. Air Force Maj. Gilberto Perez, 39th Information Operations Squadron director of operations, offers lessons learned on leadership. Credit: Oregongal/Pixabay

Leadership starts with cultivating your core with a healthy and strong mind, body and soul. 

August 9, 2017
By George I. Seffers

Lt. Gen. Mark Bowman, USA (Ret.), former director of command, control, communications and computers/cyber for the Joint Staff, paints a dire picture of future warfare. The next war, he says, will begin with wave after wave of cyber and electronic warfare attacks that our nation is not prepared for. Although the Army is making strides in training the cyber electromagnetic activities (CEMA) force, the service may not be able to address all scenarios in a training environment.

August 2, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Maj. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, USA, commander, U.S. Army Center of Excellence, speaks at TechNet Augusta on August 2, 2016.

The Russian Federation forces are using a wide array of cyber and electronic warfare capabilities unlike anything U.S. forces have faced in the past 16 years. Russia uses its sophisticated capabilities to detect, locate and eliminate enemy forces, according to Maj. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, USA, commander, U.S. Army Center of Excellence.

Gen. Fogarty made the comments as the first speaker for AFCEA’s TechNet Augusta conference, Cyber in the Combined Arms Fight, taking place in Augusta, Georgia, August 2-4.

July 31, 2015
 

General Dynamics Information Technology, Herndon, Virginia, was awarded a $20,208,718 modification (F405549) to contract W91QUZ-06-D-0012 for command, control, communications and computer information operations and maintenance. Work will be performed in Korea, with an estimated completion date of September 29, 2016. Fiscal 2015 operations and maintenance (Army) funds in the amount of $17 million were obligated at the time of the award. Army Contracting Command, Yongsan, Korea APO AP, is the contracting authority.

 

July 29, 2015
 

New Mexico State University was awarded a $75 million indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity cost contract to support the Information Operations Vulnerability/Survivability Assessment program, with an estimated completion date of July 26, 2020. One offer was solicited with one received. Funding and work location will be determined with each order. The Army Contracting Command, Adelphi, Maryland, is the contracting activity (W911QX-15-D-0022)

August 14, 2014
By George I. Seffers

Some of the hackers who have persistently attacked Lockheed Martin’s networks have “gone quiet” in recent months, officials told reporters yesterday at an Arlington, Virginia, media summit hosted by the company’s recently restructured Defense and Intelligence Solutions division. “We’ve seen a number of the adversaries—I wouldn’t say they’ve disappeared—but they’ve gone quiet,” said Darrell Durst, Lockheed Martin’s vice president, cyber solutions. “I think we have been able to counter a number of the adversaries relative to our networks.”

July 14, 2014
By George I. Seffers

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Bechtel BNI are joining forces to a new class of cyberdefense professionals to protect the nation’s critical digital infrastructure. The Bechtel-Lawrence Livermore-Los Alamos Cyber Career Development Program is designed to allow the national labs to recruit and rapidly develop cybersecurity specialists who can guide research at their respective institutions and create solutions that meet the cyberdefense needs of private industry, which owns about 80 percent of the nation’s critical digital infrastructure and assets.

July 14, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The National Security Agency (NSA) has selected five more schools for the National Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Cyber Operations Program, which is designed to cultivate more U.S. cyber professionals. These schools are now designated as Cyber Operations CAEs for the 2014-2019 academic years:

May 20, 2014
By George I. Seffers

People with access to privileged data—such as health care records, sensitive company information, intellectual property or personal records—frequently put their organization’s sensitive information at risk, according to a new report by Raytheon Company. The survey report, “Privileged User Abuse & The Insider Threat,” finds that many individuals often are granted access to data and areas of the network not necessary for their roles and responsibilities. Furthermore, 65 percent of survey respondents indicated that curiosity—not job necessity—drives them to access sensitive or confidential data.

Key findings include:

May 15, 2014
By Maryann Lawlor

The late Vice Adm. Arthur K. Cebrowski, USN (Ret.), looks over my shoulder as I work in my home office. His picture graced the May 2003 cover of SIGNAL Magazine, highlighting an article Clarence A. Robinson Jr., wrote based on an interview with the admiral. I was lucky enough to escort SIGNAL’s freelance photographer to take the photo of Adm. Cebrowski when he led the charge for change as the director of the U.S. Defense Department’s Office of Force Transformation. I received a cover photo plaque that hangs in my home office for my effort, though it really wasn’t necessary.

March 11, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The National Weather Service is the granddaddy of open source data, according to Adrian Gardner, chief information officer, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). And, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) was "into big data before big data was cool," added David McClure, a data asset portfolio analyst within the NOAA Office of the Chief Information Officer. The two officials made their comments during a panel on big data analytics at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C.

March 10, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The real challenge to keeping the homeland secure is dealing with the world's increasing complexity, Adm. Thad Allen, USCG, (Ret.), executive vice president of Booz Allen Hamilton and former commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, told the audience at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C., on Monday during his luncheon keynote address.

March 10, 2014
George I. Seffers

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency is only interested in mobile communication if it allows the agency to perform functions it could not perform otherwise, Mark Borkowski, component acquisition executive and assistant commissioner with the CBP Office of Technology Innovation and Acquisition, told the audience at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C., on Monday. "We're not interested in mobility for mobility's sake but because it allows us to do something we haven't done before," Borkowski said, while participating in a panel on mobility and interoperability.

July 8, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
Leonie Industries LLC, Pacific Palisades, Calif., was awarded a $48,852,000 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price, option-filled, multi-year contract for media and marketing services in support of the Information Operations Task Force-Afghanistan. The cumulative total face value of this contract is $173,541,529. Work will be performed in Afghanistan, with an estimated completion date of Feb. 5, 2014. The Army Contracting Command, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity.

June 25, 2013
By George I. Seffers

The United States will continue to develop a bilateral relationship with China regarding cybersecurity issues. In fact, the two countries will meet again in Washington, D.C., on July 8th, according to Maj. Gen. John Davis, USA, senior military advisor to the undersecretary of defense—policy for cyber, Office of the Secretary of Defense. Gen. Davis, the luncheon keynote speaker on the first day of the July 24-27 AFCEA International Cyber Symposium in Baltimore, said the United States recognizes China as a rising power and a major voice in the cyber arena.

April 5, 2013
George I. Seffers

 

November 21 ,2012
By Maryann Lawlor

The (ISC)2 Foundation’s information security 2013 scholarship program application process will open on January 1, 2013, and it offers a total of $120,000 in awards to women, graduate students, young professionals and faculty. The foundation will award up to two scholarships totaling $40,000 to women pursuing an education in information security. In addition, it will give seed funding for up to eight grants of $3,000 each to assist graduate students conducting special research. One of the foundation’s other undergraduate scholarship winners will receive the Harold F.

November 5, 2012
George I. Seffers

Management Services Group Inc. dba Global Technical Systems, Virginia Beach, Va.; Sentek Consulting Inc.

February 13, 2012
By George Seffers

AT and T, Vienna, Virginia; EWA, Herndon, Virginia; Macaulay Brown, Dayton, Ohio; Northrop Grumman, Chantilly, Virginia; SAIC, McLean, Virginia; SRC Incorporated, Chantilly, Virginia; Scientific Research Company, Atlanta, Georgia; and URS, Germantown, Maryland, are being awarded a firm-fixed-price multiple award contract for professional, technical, and analytical support in the mission areas of information assurance and information operations (IO). Support services include the core capabilities of IO: electronic warfare, computer network operations, psychological operations, military deception, and operations security. The contract includes support for missions, functions, and tasks related to signal intelligence; strategic, operational

September 26, 2011
By George Seffers

MacAulay-Brown Incorporated, Dayton, Ohio, is being awarded a $24,891,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to design, develop, and test innovation involving apertures, receivers, exciters, signal processing, and algorithms for signal intelligence, threat warning, direction finding, information operations, electronic attack, electronic support, and electronic protection applications. The Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity.

August 15, 2011
By George Seffers

PacificTech-Sauer J.V., Jacksonville, Florida, was awarded a more than $9 million firm-fixed-price contract for the construction of an operational communications facility to be used as the Joint Communication Unit Headquarters and Information Operations Facility at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah, Georgia, is the contracting activity.

November 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers
SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific personnel and sailors from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit ONE retrieve an unmanned underwater vehicle deployed to detect mines and improvised explosives in shallow water environments.

As the U.S. Navy modernizes information systems across the fleet, one organization is responsible for researching, developing and fielding the full range of technologies in the Asia-Pacific region, providing complete life cycle development and support for systems, from concept to fielded capability.

October 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers
Unmanned air vehicles, such as the Global Hawk, can provide full-motion video and other intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data directly special operators equipped with the NG-TacMN.

U.S. Defense Department and interagency special operators are scheduled to begin receiving new tactical mesh networking equipment this month. The kit provides a mobile, ad hoc, self-healing network that offers a full range of situational awareness data, including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance feeds, blue force tracking and a voice over Internet protocol capability.

October 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers
TRACER is a lightweight, low-frequency synthetic-aperture radar that can peer through foliage, rain, darkness, dust storms, or atmospheric haze to provide real-time, high-quality tactical ground imagery. Lockheed Martin announced in 2012 the system has been integrated into a modular pod for airborne testing on a Blackhawk helicopter or a Predator-B aircraft.

Fiscal year 2015 marks the official kickoff of a U.S. Army program to develop a foliage-penetrating radar that will simultaneously locate still objects and track moving objects from a fast-moving fixed-wing aircraft. The next-generation system is designed specifically for jungle environments such as the Asia-Pacific region, South America and Africa, and by combining multiple capabilities onto one platform, it will allow the service to cut down the number of sensors currently needed.

August 7, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The U.S. military’s increased reliance on global positioning satellite (GPS) technologies has triggered adversarial forces to improve upon technology to disrupt the warfighters’ usage in the age-old war games of one-upmanship.

U.S. Army engineers developed technology prototypes aimed at weaning U.S. forces from reliance on GPS systems. The Warfighter Integrated Navigation System (WINS), while intended to serve as a backup to GPS usage, not as a replacement, can operate independently and free of a satellite link and still give warfighters precise positioning and timing data.

July 16, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Where human analysis might fail in the intelligence community, technological solutions are at the ready to fill the void. Companies are ginning up software programs that can prove to be key for intelligence analysts as they track the bad guys, so to speak—be they insider threats or an outside enemy.

The amount of data produced in the increasingly connected and virtual world makes it difficult for human beings to scour, catalog and process and mounting information and produce actionable intelligence. So industry is devising technological workarounds or complementary programs to ease the workload and make their efforts more effective.

July 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers
DARPA’s Advanced Radio Frequency Mapping (RadioMap) program seeks to provide real-time awareness of radio spectrum use across frequency, geography and time.

U.S. Defense Department officials intend to complete a departmentwide spectrum strategy road map this month, which will make more frequencies available to warfighters, provide greater flexibility—especially for international operations—and ultimately allow warfighters to conduct their missions more effectively. At the same time, however, some are suggesting a nationwide strategy to allow for more innovative and effective spectrum management and sharing across government and industry.

June 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers
The Centers for Academic Excellence-Cyber Operations program is succeeding, NSA officials say, but enthusiasm at some schools has been dampened as a result of documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

The first graduates are emerging from centers of excellence for cyber operations that teach the in-depth computer science and engineering skills necessary to conduct network operations. The program better prepares graduates to defend networks and should reduce the on-the-job training needed for new hires, saving both time and money.

March 11, 2014
By George I. Seffers

Homeland Security Conference 2014 Online Show Daily, Day 2

It is not surprising that cybersecurity would dominate the discussion on the second day of the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C. But the depth and breadth and variety of topics surrounding cybersecurity and information protection in all its forms indicates the degree to which the information security mission has engulfed every department and agency at all levels of government.

November 1, 2013
By George I. Seffers
AM General's Joint Light Tactical Vehicle prototype negotiates the off-road demonstration course at the Transportation Demonstration Support Area in Quantico, Va. The yet-to-be-chosen platform is destined to carry the common VICTORY architecture for C4ISR and EW systems.

U.S. Army officials are standardizing the information technology architecture on many current and future ground combat vehicles. The effort is designed to reduce the size, weight and power of electronics; reduce life-cycle costs; and improve interoperability while providing warfighters all of the data and communications capability required on the modern battlefield.

October 1, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

Intelligence needs cyber, and cyber needs intelligence. How they can function symbiotically is a less clear-cut issue, with challenges ranging from training to legal policy looming as government officials try to respond to a burgeoning cyber threat.

The cyber threat is growing, and the defense and homeland security communities must strive to keep up with new ways of inflicting damage to governments and businesses. Many experts believe the cyber threat has supplanted terrorism as the greatest national security issue, and new technologies are only one avenue for blunting the menace. Intelligence must expand its palette to identify and detect cyber threats before they realize their malicious goals.

September 30, 2013
By George I. Seffers

U.S. Army researchers are developing a software program that will provide signal corps officers will an improved common operating picture of the network, enhance the ability to manage the plethora of electronic systems popping up on the modern battlefield, advance information sharing capabilities and allow warfighters to make more informed and more timely decisions. In short, the system will assist in planning, building, monitoring and defending the network.

September 6, 2013
George I. Seffers

Officials at Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, are developing a program that allows students from any academic discipline to work closely with the U.S. intelligence community in a variety of actual national security-related problems. The university is on track to begin offering a minor in intelligence analysis in the relatively near future and a major in the next five years.

July 1, 2013
By George I. Seffers
The National Security Agency's Information Assurance Directorate is responsible for securing data for the entire national communications system.

Amidst dire threat warnings, cyber warriors grow increasingly adept.

While many cybersecurity experts preach the gloom and doom of more advanced adversaries attacking U.S. networks, one government official contends that U.S. network defenders can meet the challenge. Training, education and technological improvements are showing dividends in a better-prepared cyber workforce.

July 1, 2013
By George I. Seffers
Law enforcement agencies and private contractors may play a larger role in solving nation state-sponsored hacks affecting national security.

Industry officials foresee 
changes in network security.

Cyber industry experts predict a number of coming developments in the cyber realm, driven in part by government strategy and funding uncertainties. The future may include a greater reliance on law enforcement to solve state-sponsored hacks, increased automation and more outsourcing.