The integration of electronic warfare or EW and cyberspace operations within the Army continues to gain traction as the location for a future Cyber Center of Excellence will soon be determined by Army Secretary John McHugh.
Sunday 6 October, both Chief of the Army EW Division, Col. Jim Ekvall and Chief of Army Cyberspace and Information Operations Division, Col. Carmine Cicalese appeared on the CBS Sunday morning show, This Week in Defense News with Vago Muradian to discuss the integration between both EW and cyberspace operations.
Host Vago Muradian began the segment by discussing the government shutdown and whether the Department of the Army was prepared for any problems facing the cyberspace community due to a lack of man power.
"The Army has already furloughed 150,000 civilians and they are a crucial part of our team, including our cyber team," said Cicalese. "I am confident we can step up and fill any gaps we have."
After the show aired this Sunday the Department of Defense did recall many of the furloughed civilians back to the work.
Cyber training and knowledge is important for future conflicts, commanders must understand how to maneuver within the spectrum. Cyber electromagnetic activities or CEMA is the integration between both cyberspace operations and EW.
"Mission command is the art and the science that enables the commander to do what he needs on the battlefield in order to achieve victory," said Ekvall. "Inside of mission command there really are a couple of things, one is inform and influence activities, which is a staff task. There are also cyber electromagnetic activities, these two activities together combine to make mission command viable for the commander. In order to do CEMA you must have cyberspace operations, EW and electromagnetic spectrum operations all inextricably linked to one another."
In order to integrate cyberspace and electronic warfare Chief of Staff of the Army, Gen. Ray Odierno recommended in May to the TRADOC commander Gen. Robert W. Cone and the Secretary of the Army, John McHugh to form a Cyber Center of Excellence. Fort Gordon, Georgia is currently being discussed for the location of the Cyber Center of Excellence.
"The Secretary of the Army is considering, do we need to have a Cybserspace Center of Excellence, where will it be and what it will look like," said Cicalese.
One of the aspects of creating a Cyber Center of Excellence is how it would affect other locations that currently facilitate EW or cyber trainings. Both Ekvall and Cicalese make a point to highlight that in the event the Army stands up a Cyber Center of Excellence that locations which currently teach EW or cyberspace classes would not necessarily have to relocate to a new location such as Fort Gordon.
"Fort Sill does the EW training like you described I do not know if the school needs to physically move in order for that to still continue on, it would still be under the purview of this Cyber Center of Excellence," said Ekvall.
The EW school at Fort Sill has already begun integrating cyberspace into course work for the 29 series electronic warfare MOS.
"EWOs, - the EW officers, NCOs and warrant officers are learning how to integrate all pieces of CEMA," said Ekvall. "That would be cyberspace operations, EW and electromagnetic spectrum operations. They are leaning to be the integrators."
As the show concluded Vago asked about EW modernization systems such as the integrated electronic warfare system or IEWS. IEWS is the system of system that comprises of the EW planning and management tool EWPMT, defensive electronic attack and multi function electronic warfare MFEW.
"EWPMT has achieved what we call milestone B which means it is moving in the acquisition process to eventually be fielded," said Ekvall.
IEWS continues to progress and reach developmental milestones to keep the system moving throughout the acquisition process. With both EW programs modernizing and the integration of cyberspace and EW operations Soldiers who choose these career paths will continue to have many opportunities to join the joint mission for years to come.
"It was great to sit down with Vago and discuss CEMA, the Cyber Center of Excellence and the future of EW systems," said Ekvall. "This Week in Defense News is a great outlet for Col. Cicalese and myself to promote to senior leaders within the Department of Defense, Capitol Hill and industry why cyberspace and EW training and systems are such an integral piece to the future of warfare. Soldiers in these career fields without a doubt are a valuable asset to our Army now and will continue to be an asset as future conflicts evolve."