Cyber Addressed at Mission Command Meeting
June 19, 2013
KANSAS CITY, MO--Senior Army leaders from the cyber and signal communities, a prominent journalist, and a representative from the civilian communications sector gathered to discuss the state of the Army's Cyber Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA) and how they relate to Mission Command during the Association of the United States Army-hosted Mission Command Symposium held here, June 18-19.
Retired Lt. Gen. Steve Boutelle, vice president for business development at CISCO acted as the panel moderator, and set the stage for the panel's discussion.
"CEMA is a new term for most of us; it's a new acronym. It's really to seize, retain and exploit advantage in cyber space and electronic magnetic spectrum. There is a piece of that many of us have had for many years; we had it back when we were lieutenants and captains, but we did not have the cyber domain and that piece, and that is what we are now into," said Boutelle.
Noah Shachtman, a journalist with Foreign Policy magazine, who has reported extensively on cyber and military activities, described the current and emerging threats facing the U.S. military in the cyber domain. He said in previous years, most real advances in technology were rooted in military applications. Now, technological innovations are driven by the commercial sector and if the U.S. military is not careful, they run the risk of having their technological advantage over its enemies erode away.
He warned against the possible enemy uses of inexpensive and commercially available unmanned aerial vehicles, emerging home gaming devices and internet social media enhancing products.
"The thing that's tricky is that once innovation comes, it is available to everybody; which means good guys, bad guys, and everyone in between," Shachtman said. "We've already seen in Iraq and Afghanistan what some insurgents with first generation cell phones, door bell ringers and some key fobs can do to a pretty highly-trained military. With just a few more gadgets, the ability to wreak even more harm is possible."
Lieutenant General Rhett A. Hernandez, Commanding General, United States Army Cyberspace Command and Brig. Gen. George J. Franz, Jr., director, National Mission Force, United States Cyber Command both described the Army and Joint cyber doctrines. They also discussed the concepts and organizations that are now in effect, or in development, that address the cyber threat. They explained how the efforts are not just against threats to military forces, but also to the Nation's civilian business infrastructure.
U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) was also represented on the panel to discuss the training and manning requirements needed by units to create cyber warriors to defeat the threat. Major General Jeffrey L. Bailey, G-3, FORSCOM stated that what Soldiers and leaders need is doctrine that describes the tasks, conditions, and standards, and the mission essential tasks units need to train against, in order to be effective against the cyber threat. He also acknowledged manning is a major challenge, since units are forced to create cyber units "out of hide" right now. However, he also stated that the combat training centers are successfully training against the cyber threat using cyber opposing forces (OPFOR) during training rotations.
Personnel concerns were addressed by Maj. Gen. Lawarren V. Patterson, Commanding General, Signal Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon, Ga., who detailed the many ways his organization is addressing the issue. He described the doctrine, organization, training, mission, leadership and education, personnel, and facilities (DOTMLPF) solutions the he is creating as the LandWarNet capability manager, to meet the needs of cyber warriors and units for the Army.
There was also a discussion on the various tools now in use, or those under development, which assist units with detecting, isolating, and defeating the cyber threat. Many of these tools are being developed by the civilian sector.
These tools were described by another panel member, Maj. Gen. Alan R. Lynn, Commanding General, U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command. The tools consist of training devices to help cyber warriors train without negatively affecting the existing network, as well as new software solutions which discover novel malicious events on the network, providing situational awareness of the attacks. These types of tools helps the Army defeat one billion attacks on the network each year, he said.
In the end, personnel issues were identified as the biggest priority for many of these leaders as they work to develop the military operational specialties and units whose job it will be to defend against the cyber threat.
"Our number one job is to decide what a career field looks like and who is in it," Hernandez said.
He added that the key is to develop joint training, and they were working with civilian schools to train students in the skills that we need for these cyber positions within the armed forces. He also said the goal is to have a personnel mix within cyber units of 80 percent military, and 20 percent civilian.
Cyber Protection Teams are being developed with Human Resources Command's assistance, identifying those with special skills in coding, language, and even gaming, to make up these teams, Lynn said. These teams will protect from inside the network as part of an active defense.
Soldiers will initially be selected for these Cyber Protection Teams from the ranks of Signal and Intelligence units. "The next phase will include all comers; anybody who has those types of skills. We don't care if they are Infantry, Field Artillery or anything else. If you've got the skills, we want you," Lynn said.