JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - The Army's space, cyber and electronic warfare capabilities came together for the first time in a single unit during a brief ceremony at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington Jan. 11.
The activation of the new Intelligence, Information, Cyber, Electronic Warfare and Space unit, also known as I2CEWS, was a historic event for the Soldiers of America's First Corps.
"This Ceremony marks a very important day in the history of not only the Army, but also in America's First Corps," said I Corps Commanding General, Lt. Gen. Gary Volesky. "Today we'll activate the Army's first I2CEWS detachment, which is the critical unit in the Multi-Domain Task Force and the centerpiece of how the Army will conduct Multi-Domain operations in the future."
After two years of planning, the activation of I2CEWS shows the U.S. Army's commitment to innovation and is moving us forward into the future, said I2CEWS Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Derek Bothern.
"I2CEWS Detachment gives America's First Corps a unique ability to contest our adversaries on the battlefield like never before," said Bothern.
I2CEWS is composed of four companies each with a designated specialty: intelligence, information operations, cyber and electronic warfare and space and signal.
The new unit supports joint task forces by providing defensive and offensive cyber operations, space capabilities and electronic warfare.
The space team is designed to support freedom of action in space for friendly forces and deny it to adversaries, Bothern said. The Electronic warfare section is expected to open windows of opportunity in the information environment. The long range sensing section will enable precision fires and support artillery, air and missile defense. The intelligence team will provide a nuanced understanding of the operating environment and drive both lethal and non-lethal operations
This is a one of a kind unit, Bothern said.
"I know a number of people in the fields represented by the I2CEWS throughout the force who for years wanted to see everything come together with a common mission under a single command," Bothern said. "It's an awesome responsibility to be first."
Bothern said a second battalion has been approved for establishment in U.S. European Command. The battalion established at JBLM falls under the combined oversight of both U.S. Pacific Command and I Corps. The unit is expected to grow over time as new needs are determined.