Army EW Chief: Cyberspace and Electronic Warfare Share Inextricable Link

By Adrienne Moudy (G-3/5/7)May 9, 2014

Col. Jim Ekvall, chief Army Electronic Warfare Division discusses the Cyber CoE at the C4ISR & Networks Conference in Arlington, VA.
(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Electronic warfare and cyberspace operations are without a doubt inextricably linked to one another, but not one in the same according to Army Electronic Warfare Division Chief, Col. Jim Ekvall.

On Monday May 5th, Ekvall participated in 'The Cyber Kill Chain' panel at the 13th Annual C4ISR & Networks Conference in Arlington, Virginia. The theme this year was Warfighting at the Enterprise Level: Developing a leaner, more capable intelligence-age military. Ekvall was invited to discuss the relationship between electronic warfare and cyberspace operations.

Also participating on the panel were Richard Davis, Director of Operations, U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command, CAPT Joseph "J" Kinder, Chief of Staff, Joint Forces Headquarters-Cyber Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command, U.S. Tenth Fleet and Aubrey Merchant-Dest, Director, Security Strategies, Office of the Chief Technology Officer.

Speaking to an audience comprised of industry, military and government representatives, Ekvall focused his piece of the panel on cyber electromagnetic activities or CEMA. At the beginning of his presentation Ekvall asked the attendees to draw three overlapping circles on a piece of paper and label each circle, cyberspace operations, electronic warfare and spectrum management operations. As Ekvall explained, the overlapping section of these three circles the Army refers to CEMA.

Although all of the military services utilize all three of these areas, the Army is the only service to refer to it as CEMA.

Cyber electromagnetic activities will be integrated at the Cyber Center of Excellence. Last December the Army announced that Fort Gordon will become the home for the Cyber CoE. Fort Gordon already has met the provisional initial operating capability for the Cyber CoE.

Following the announcement of the Cyber CoE last December, the Army published Field Manual 3-38 which is the doctrine electronic warfare officers follow when maneuvering within the spectrum and integrating CEMA into battle management.

"The electronic warfare officer is the person who synchronizes and integrates CEMA," said Ekvall.

The driving point of Ekvall's presentation was that the term convergence is not the best way to describe the relationship between the two entities.

"I think a lot of people look at cyber as a standalone issue, and don't see it's connection to other areas such as electronic warfare and spectrum management operations," said Barry Rosenberg, editor of C4ISR & Networks. "COL Ekvall, during his presentation, explained how they are inextricably linked, and how our freedom to maneuver in the electromagnetic spectrum is key to dominating the cyber battle space."

Currently the Cyber CoE is scheduled to be fully operational at Fort Gordon by November 2015.

"I enjoyed having the opportunity to participate in the 'The Cyber Kill Chain' panel, it was an excellent opportunity to discuss the upcoming timeline and integration for the Army Cyber Center of Excellence and CEMA," said Ekvall. "Barry Rosenberg and his colleagues at C4ISR & Networks did an excellent job putting together a top-notch conference with talented attendees and a diverse set of panel discussions and keynote addresses."

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