• David May, senior intelligence advisor, U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon, Georgia, speaks during a panel at the AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference. Photo by Michael Carpenter
     David May, senior intelligence advisor, U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon, Georgia, speaks during a panel at the AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference. Photo by Michael Carpenter

U.S. Army Implementing Five CEMA Force Design Changes

August 23, 2018
By George I. Seffers
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Some changes are already approved, others should be soon.


The U.S. Army is poised to implement five force design changes related to the integration of multidomain capabilities, including intelligence, cyber and electronic warfare. The integration of such capabilities is designed to allow commanders to act more quickly on the cyber-era battlefield.

David May, senior intelligence advisor, U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon, Georgia, explained the changes while serving on a multidomain panel at the AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference.

The service’s new Cyber Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA) sections should be given final approval within the next six weeks, May reported. The CEMA 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 network both horizontally and vertically with the other CEMA sections and the units of action,” May said.

To create the teams, the Army is reorganizing its existing workforce.

The service also is adding new electronic warfare platoons within each Brigade Combat Team. They 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.”

Officials expect approval for the added electronic warfare platoons by the end of this fiscal year. They will be built using a combination of current personnel and already-approved growth in the workforce. The Army will begin a pilot effort this fall.

In addition, the service will add electronic warfare to companies at the corps level. “We’re going to place these in the Expeditionary Military Intelligence Brigades and leverage the intelligence capacity there,” May said.

The Army expects to begin building an initial capability in 2021..

At the theater level, the service is building a multidomain task force for intelligence, cyber, electronic warfare and space. It will integrate all those capabilities as well as signal, information operations and targeting. The Army will kick off a pilot for that effort this fall as well.

Finally, the service is adding a cyber warfare support battalion that will integrate intelligence, cyber, electronic warfare, signals, information operations and fires into one formation. It will be able to deliver effects remotely and through teams that will “plug into the CEMA sections to support the commander’s scheme of maneuver,” May said.

That change is already approved for an initial capability beginning in 2019.

“Four out of five of those force designs, we’re going to start immediately. They are there to provide a competitive edge for multidomain operations,” May explained. “We have to sense, understand, decide and act faster than the adversary. Integrated formations will help us do that.”

He added that integrated formations also will allow for more innovative approaches to problem solving.

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