By Jason Cutshaw (SMDC/ARSTRAT)February 21, 2019
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Alabama - Future contingencies will be supported by Army units with capabilities designed by the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense/Army Forces Strategic Command' Future Warfare Center for multi-domain operations.
USASMDC/ARSTRAT is working with the Army chief of staff's Multi-Domain Task Force in developing the establishment of newly organized Intelligence, Information, Cyber, Electronic Warfare and Space Capabilities, or I2CEWS battalions.
"I2CEWS is a comprehensive organization that provides space, cyber, information, intelligence, and electronic warfare capabilities that will allow U.S. forces to disrupt, deny and degrade enemy capabilities in combat operations," said Col. Timothy G. Dalton, SMDC U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Capabilities Manager for Space and High Altitude, or TCM SHA. "The space element in the I2CEWS is similar to the organizational structure we have for the space control company that currently resides within the 1st Space Brigade. This company was the model used to help develop the force structure in this new organization.
"SMDC's role is working with the a wide range of U. S. Army organizations to assist in determining the right manning, training support, and equipment that will be needed to make sure the unit can accomplish the mission," he added.
Dalton said the command has been working closely with many organizations to provide space proponent support to ensure the U.S. Army has the right organizational structure and space capabilities to support the multi-domain operations mission sets.
He said that as the Army moves into the concept of multi-domain operations, the elements of I2CEWS are key components of what the Army saw going forward as areas of warfare they needed to address and where the enemy is looking to engage them in.
"As we move to the type of environment where the adversary is increasing capabilities on all these fronts, we know we have to develop capabilities to counter the adversary," Dalton said.
He added that in the past the Army had not developed those in a concise, succinct unit to be able to deploy forward. They were placed in separate elements and organizations within the force structure, but now the Army has seen the importance of putting them together to leverage and provide the cross-domain support Army leadership wants.
Dalton said this is important to SMDC because the command is the proponent for space, high-altitude and navigation warfare for the Army.
As SMDC helps develop space capabilities to support the U.S. Army, the proponent role allows the command be involved with the life-cycle development of space capabilities so they are fully integrated into the Army's force structure and gives commanders the ability to not only protect their organizations from a space perspective, but also give them an increased ability to deliver effects on the battlefield.
As the TCM SHA, Dalton belongs to SMDC's Future Warfare Center but receives operational authority through TRADOC.
"The Army wants to stand up the Multi-Domain Task Force and the I2CEWS battalions are an important part of it," Dalton said. "They look to SMDC, as the space experts, to figure out what right looks like for the space organizational structure, similar to what the Cyber and Intelligence Centers of Excellence have done for the cyber and intel elements."
The Army's first I2CEWS battalion was activated at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington, Jan. 11, after two years of planning. The battalion is composed of four companies and will support units and joint task forces in the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command theater of operations.
Within the battalion, the space and signal company is designed to support freedom of action in space for friendly forces and deny it to adversaries. The cyber and electronic warfare company is expected to open windows of opportunity in the information environment. The long range sensing company will enable precision fires and support artillery, air and missile defense. The intelligence company will provide understanding of the operating environment and drive lethal and non-lethal operations.
"The I2CEWS battalion and the Multi-Domain Task Force give additional capabilities to the warfighter on the ground," Dalton said. "We know that we have to plan on competing in a contested environment. Potential adversaries are increasing their capability in the cyber and space domains. And knowing that we rely on these same capabilities, they are going try and attack us in those venues as well."
"What the I2CEWS battalion does is allow the commander on the ground to have capabilities within his span of control so he can impact the enemy's ability to operate effectively. It provides the commander the capability to then open up windows of opportunity to engage and either disrupt, destroy or deny the enemy's capabilities to accomplish the mission," he added.
A second battalion has been approved for establishment in U.S. European Command in the near future.
"This is an exciting time for the command as we move forward because as technology and capabilities continue to emerge and develop, the Army has been able to focus resources on capabilities that allow warfighters to do their jobs better and increase their survivability on the battlefield," Dalton said. "Space capabilities are important to the U.S. Army as they provide commanders a decisive advantage when conducting operations. With the addition of the I2CEWS battalions, the U.S. Army is better postured to protect its assets and engage adversaries in the space domain.
"It is a great time at SMDC as we continue to move forward and provide space capabilities to the Army and the warfighter so it will enable them to better accomplish their missions," he added.