With social media platforms representing one of the main conduits for adversarial propaganda, researchers are examining how information spreads across the digital environment and how it spills into action outside of the online presence. A recent breakthrough in sentiment analysis—with an algorithm that can detect sarcasm—from the University of Central Florida as part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s SocialSim project, aids in this understanding and in defense.
Three years ago, the Navy established its Information Warfare Enterprise and took steps to bolster its information warfare, or IW, given rising threats from adversaries. To support persistent surveillance of the maritime and information battle space, the service is now supplying IW expertise within meteorology, oceanography, intelligence, cyber, cryptology, network, space and electromagnetic spectrum operations, reported Vice Adm. Kelly Aeschbach, USN, commander, Naval Information Forces.
The U.S. Air Force’s Air Combat Command and the 16th Air Force are taking further steps to advance the service’s information warfare operations. Championed by Air Combat Command’s (ACC’s) so-called A2-6 leaders, the “accelerate information warfare” approach requires the correct data management strategy, the right teams and problem-centric operations, officers say.
The U.S. Navy is looking for speed—not faster platforms or vehicles but innovation. Introducing new capabilities into the force rapidly is vitally important to maintaining the combat edge necessary to deter or defeat adversaries who are building up steam in their efforts to confront the U.S. military.
Accomplishing this task will require tapping industry for novel information technology advances and ensuring its success may entail working with the commercial sector to steer it into the right areas to suit naval needs. Ultimately, software-defined systems may hold the key to staying ahead of the deployment curve in technology-based systems.
The U.S. Air Force is on track to provisionally stand up its first and only Spectrum Warfare Wing (SWW)— known as the 350th SWW—this spring. The organization will be responsible for electronic warfare and so-called electromagnetic spectrum missionware. The 350th SWW’s role will run the gamut of providing such capabilities along the development, hosting, integration, testing and distribution phases, reported Lt. Gen. Chris Weggeman, USAF, deputy commander, Air Combat Command (ACC).
Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, has been awarded a $14,756,832 cost-per-fixed-fee contract for the research and development of a prototype semantic forensic system that automatically detects, attributes and characterizes falsified, multi-modal media assets to defend against large-scale, automated disinformation attacks and supports a variety of potential transition partners. The scope of this effort is to design, develop, evaluate and refine a semantic forensics system capable of implementation on a number of local and cloud computing architectures for a variety of end users. Work will be performed in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and is expected to be completed October 2024.
U.S. adversaries are trying to take control of cyberspace as a medium, resulting in implications to our freedom of maneuver and access in cyberspace, says Brig. Gen. Gregory Gagnon, USAF, director of Intelligence (A2), Headquarters Air Combat Command (ACC), Joint Base Langley-Eustis. Increasing cyberspace activity is coming from China, Russia, Iran and North Korea.
“We are seeing it not just in volume, but we are seeing an expansion in the ways that they use cyberspace, whether it is to steal information, whether it is to directly influence our citizens or whether it is to disrupt critical infrastructure,” Gen. Gagnon reports. The general spoke at the AFCEA Tidewater chapter’s recent monthly virtual luncheon.
The U.S. Air Force’s new information warfare Numbered Air Force (NAF), the 16th Air Force, stood up in October, reached full operating capability yesterday, reported its commander, Lt. Gen. Timothy Haugh, USAF. The 16th Air Force (Air Forces Cyber), which includes 10 wings, is the center of the Air Force’s cyber operations; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities; electronic warfare and information operations.
The Navy’s Readiness Analytics and Visualization Environment, known as RAVEN, which recently reached full operating capability, provides three dozen data lakes to provide a picture of readiness. The Naval Information Forces, or NAVIFOR, now intends to extend the use of RAVEN to manning, training and equipping readiness and cyber readiness, according to Vice Adm. Brian Brown, USN, commander, NAVIFOR.
Failure in just one of a troika of military disciplines will doom the Navy in future combat operations, said a panel of experts. The Navy and the Marine Corps will need to tap their best potential expertise and resources to guarantee the success of manning, training and equipping the force.
Before the end of the fiscal year, the U.S. Navy intends to deliver an early version of the Information Warfare Platform to two ships, the USS Lincoln and USS Bataan before fielding more comprehensive systems to the Theodore Roosevelt Strike Group. The new capability will be enabled in part by artificial intelligence, machine learning and so-called digital twins. It is expected to offer the ability to acquire, test, install and field technologies at a faster, more affordable rate while also enhancing cybersecurity.
For the last year, the U.S. Air Force Air Combat Command has aggressively pursued revamping its organization to combat increasing threats, including cyber threats. The command is looking at how to unite its traditional air component capabilities with cyber mastery and provide its piece of Joint All Domain Command and Control, or JADC2.
These abilities are key especially as threats from adversaries are “only increasing in scope and scale,” said Lt. Gen. Christopher "Wedge" Weggeman, USAF, deputy commander, Air Combat Command (ACC), speaking at AFCEA Rocky Mountain Chapter’s Cyberspace Symposium 2020 in Colorado Springs on February 4.
The Army is transforming its Cyber Command to meet the challenges of a multidomain battlefield. Just over eight years old, the command, located at Ft. Gordon, Georgia, will evolve by 2028 into something possibly called the Army Information Warfare Operations Command, which will fully incorporate cyber, electronic warfare and information operations.
The U.S. Air Force is in the process of standing up a new Numbered Air Force (NAF) within the Air Combat Command, which will bring together the service’s information warfare capabilities.
Last year, the service announced it was moving its 24th Air Force, which specializes in cyber operations, and its Cyber Mission from the Air Force Space Command to the Air Combat Command. The Air Combat Command (ACC) is in the process of merging those cyber components with its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities from the 25th Air Force, which will all be under the new Information Warfare NAF, explained Gen. Mike Holmes, USAF, commander, ACC during an Air Force Association breakfast event on August 23.
Russia continues its disinformation campaign in order to weaken democratic nations. The country's modus operandi is to intensify genuine grievances and manipulate the public’s lack of knowledge of the legal system. Through this effort, they pass along rumors, conspiracies and distort the truth, which is meant to permeate a target population, according to a recent study from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
Nathan Kunes Inc.,* San Diego, California, is awarded a $13,681,778 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for development, implementation and testing of computer network defense measures; development of wireless computing security, cross-domain solutions, and vulnerability assessments; and system and security engineering to evaluate commercial information assurance products. This two-year contract includes one three-year option which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to an estimated $35,236,186. All work will be performed in San Diego, California. The period of performance of the base award is from May 7, 2019, through May 6, 2021.
Thor Solutions LLC,* Arlington, Virginia, is awarded a $9,482,581 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee, multiple award contract for professional and administrative support services to support Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific (NIWC Pacific) corporate operations. Support includes total force manpower management; material control; travel services; facilities operations; data management and visualization; and general administrative support. This is one of three multiple award contracts. All awardees will have the opportunity to compete for task orders during the ordering period.
Kros-Wise Inc.,* San Diego, California, is awarded a $9,382,074 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee multiple award contract for professional and administrative support services to support Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific (NIWC Pacific) corporate operations. Support includes total force manpower management; material control; travel services; facilities operations; data management and visualization; and general administrative support. This is one of three multiple award contracts. All awardees will have the opportunity to compete for task orders during the ordering period. This two-year contract includes two, two-year option periods which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to
As the U.S. Army continues to evolve its newest warfighting domain, the cyber domain, information plays a key role. The service is working to incorporate information capabilities along with intelligence, electronic warfare, cyber and space, as well as with traditional fire capabilities.
In December, the Army released a doctrine guiding multidomain operations through 2028. The policy acknowledges that U.S. adversaries are contesting all domains, and that in the information environment American dominance is not guaranteed.
The newly created Cyber and Non-Kinetic Operations Division within the Air Combat Command is expected to reach full strength this summer. The new organization integrates multiple missions, including cyber, electronic warfare, intelligence and information warfare.
The United States is fully engaged in combat operations in the cyber realm, according to a panel of military officials at the AFCEA-USNI West conference in San Diego.
Lt. Gen. Robert Shea, USMC (Ret.), president and CEO of AFCEA International, who served as moderator on the panel, kicked off the discussion saying the nation is in “Phase III” in the information domain. Phase III refers to the multiple stages of war. According to GlobalSecurity.org, the phases include: halting an invasion, force buildup and deployment, counteroffensive or counterattack, and ensuring postwar stability.
Months after initiating a project to research and rapidly field information warfare-related technologies, the U.S. Navy has expanded the effort servicewide and expects to field the first system by the end of fiscal year 2019.
The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) Systems Center Atlantic announced last summer the formation of an industry consortium for the Information Warfare Research Project (IWRP). The intent is to leverage the flexible contracting platform known as other transaction authority (OTA) to rapidly develop and deploy technologies.
Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SSC) Atlantic has awarded the first prototype project agreement valued at $1.3 million for a Low Altitude Range Communication System (LARCS) for the Marine Corps under the Information Warfare Research Project (IWRP) for $1.3 million.
The other transaction authority contract, order N65236-19-9-1001, was awarded January 8 to ATI on behalf of Booz Allen Hamilton in collaboration with Intuitive Research Technology Corporation (IRTC). A significant portion of the work will be performed by IRTC, a nontraditional defense contractor, and is scheduled to be completed in 10 months.
Grove Resource Solutions Inc.,* Frederick, Maryland (N6523619D4800); Millennium Corp., * Arlington, Virginia (N6523619D4801); SimVentions Inc.,* Fredericksburg, Virginia (N6523619D4802); BAE Systems Technology Solutions & Services Inc., Rockville, Maryland (N6523619D8403); Booz Allen Hamilton, McLean, Virginia (N6523619D4804); CACI NSS Inc., Reston, Virginia (N6523619D4805); General Dynamics Information Technology, Fairfax, Virginia (N6523619D4806); Leidos, Reston, Virginia (N6523619D4807); Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Redondo Beach, California (N6523619D4808), and Scientific Research Corp., Atlanta, Georgia (N6523619D4809), are each awarded a combined $898,000,000 multiple award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, performan
To be the Navy the nation needs, the service must grow, leaders have decided. As part of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress approved the Navy’s growth to 355 ships.
The U.S. Army’s efforts to bring electronic warfare, information warfare and cyber capabilities into expeditionary forces is succeeding, Army leaders report. To better support tactical commanders, the service developed a pilot program in 2015 to add such capabilities to brigade combat teams (BCTs). In addition to providing equipment, abilities and authorities to BCTs, the service deployed cyber electromagnetic activities (CEMA) teams to support the initiative known as CEMA Support to Corps and Below (CSCB). The CEMA teams, under the guidance of the U.S. Army Cyber Command, provide training to brigade combat teams (BCTs) through National Training Center (NTC) rotations at exercises and home-base training.
The U.S. Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) Systems Center Atlantic (SSC Atlantic) is leveraging the flexible contracting platform known as other transaction authority to improve the service’s information warfare capabilities. Technologies will be developed through prototype project awards under the Navy’s new Information Warfare Research Project (IWRP) Consortium.
The IWRP OTA will accelerate acquisition and bring nontraditional sources, research and development labs, and industry together to provide new, innovative information warfare solutions," Rear Adm. C.D. Becker, USN, commander of SPAWAR Systems Command, said in a statement.
Advanced Technology International (ATI) of Summerville, South Carolina, was awarded a $100,000,000 expenditure-based other transaction authority (OTA) to help manage the Navy's Information Warfare Research Project (IWRP) Consoritum. ATI’s contract work managing the consortium will expire in June 2021. Work will be performed in Summerville and other locations depending on the prototype project awards, DOD reported. Fiscal year 2018 research, development, test and evaluations funds will finance the prototype project awards under the OTA. No funds were obligated at the time of award. The contract is incrementally funded; the monies will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.
Gen. Michael Hayden, USAF (Ret.), principal, the Chertoff Group, shifted the weight of the conversation at the AFCEA/GMU Critical Issues in C4I Symposium from the direction of cyber narrowly defined to information broadly defined. Throughout his morning keynote he touched on Russian manipulation of the 2016 election, the U.S. moving into a post-truth culture and what cyber leaders can do in the future to help secure the nation.
The U.S. Army may be catching up to adversaries in the information warfare domain, but the pace of change remains a challenge.
“The biggest [capability] gap we have is keeping pace. It is very much a cat-and-mouse game. When you have a cat-and-mouse game, you see a lot of change, so we try to anticipate things,” says Gary Blohm, who directs the Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate (I2WD) at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.
The increased sophistication and unpredictability of adversaries’ cyber capabilities and tactics demands improvements in war-fighting readiness by revolutionizing how information warfare is executed in the U.S. Navy’s fleet. To address this challenge, the service is aligning and synchronizing efforts among its various communities and supporting multiple warfare areas with an information-packed warfighting model.
One does not have to look too far beyond the headlines to see that the battle for world power is playing out in the information space. Free and open democratic societies increasingly are tested by rising autocratic countries employing high technology in information warfare.
For the United States to succeed in this battle, citizens, not just the government, need to be more discerning about information, experts say.
After years of lagging behind competitors in the battle for electromagnetic spectrum dominance, the U.S. Army may be catching up with reinforcement from technology researchers. But it may be the application of technology rather than the systems themselves that truly gives the Army an edge.
Service leaders say they lost focus on electronic warfare and information warfare capabilities while preoccupied with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where cutting-edge technologies were not a necessity. Now, they contend, the next war likely will be against a foe capable of formidable offense and defense in the electromagnetic domain.
U.S. Navy personnel with advanced skills in information warfare may be ready to hit the decks and deploy across the fleet by year’s end.
Adding those adept information warriors to the fleet is a top priority for the commander of the Naval Information Warfighting Development Center (NIWDC), which was established about a year ago. Similar to other warfighting development centers, the NIWDC mission includes training and assessing forces in advanced tactics, techniques and procedures at the individual, unit, integrated or advanced and joint levels.
Advances in technology and improvements in understanding cognitive science have led to a rediscovery of key elements of information warfare (IW). This once-arcane topic has re-emerged as a vital component of international security that must be closely considered and comprehended in the context of geopolitical objectives, military operations and the daily events of our lives.
The U.S. Defense Department must move aggressively to better understand information warfare and its implications to national security. To propel the necessary next steps, the department must organize information resources not only to meet military cyberspace requirements but also to address how adversaries view U.S. cyber assets.
Although the nation has long dominated the communications and information systems landscape, past success makes it vulnerable in the future. Consequently, forces and the weapons platforms they rely on are increasingly susceptible to information attacks.
One does not have to look too far beyond the headlines to see that the battle for world power is being played out in the information space. Free and open democratic societies increasingly are being tested by rising autocratic countries employing high technology in information warfare.
For the United States to succeed in this battle, citizens, not just the government, need to be more discerning about information, experts say.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) announced it is stepping up efforts to combat the risks of adversarial influence campaigns against American democracy. Together with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the FBI, the ODNI will give a classified briefing to election officials in every U.S. state on February 16 and 18.
New technologies, capabilities and tactics will be necessary for the U.S. Navy to prevail in the burgeoning arena of information warfare. But while some needs are obvious, the course for the overall way ahead remains elusive.
Explaining the complicated nature of naval information warfare was Vice Adm. Jan Tighe, USN, deputy chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare (N2N6). Speaking at the Wednesday keynote luncheon at West 2018 being held in San Diego February 6-8, Adm. Tighe outlined a series of challenges and potential options, beginning with the state of the realm.
The mind of society is the battlefield in the current global struggle for geopolitical domination. The uses of soft power dominate in this battle and information warfare is the name of the game—not “cyber war” in all the ways it has been described but the influence and ultimately control of individual minds that, like cells in a body, make up the Mind of Society. Then control is used as leverage to achieve objectives that are often hidden.
With a little more financial backing, the U.S. Marine Corps is primed to grow its force in three critical areas to meet the threats of the future: cyber, electronic warfare (EW) and intelligence.
The nation’s expeditionary service is creating what Commandant Gen. Robert Neller, USMC, has called a Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) information group—a critical component that encompasses those three key warfare domains, Lt. Gen. Gary Thomas, USMC, deputy commandant for Programs and Resources, told members of the U.S. House Armed Services Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee.
Information warfare is an aggressive game of soccer where not only are all the fans on the field with the players, but no one is wearing uniforms.
— Sandra Jontz (@jontz_signalmag) February 22, 2017
Truestone, Herndon, Va., was awarded a $6,685,148 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for reverse engineering, limited prototyping for exploitation, test and evaluation, and target validation. The contractor shall provide program management, engineering, and technical support related to a wide range of technologies managed in the Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate, Technical Characterization and Exploitation Branch, Cyber Offensive Operations Division. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen, Md., is the contracting activity (W15P7T-14-C-A159).