FORT GORDON, Ga. - The U.S. Army activated the 915th Cyberspace Warfare Battalion (CWB) in May 2019 to help meet the Army's current and projected tactical Cyberspace Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA) requirements.
The 915th CWB, through its Expeditionary CEMA Teams (ECTs), provides a scalable capability to deploy Expeditionary Cyberspace Operators to conduct operations to deny, degrade, disrupt, destroy and influence cyberspace effects for Army maneuver commanders.
The origins of the 915th CWB date back to 2015, when the U.S. Army Cyber Command (ARCYBER) CEMA Support to Corps and Below pilot program began helping to shape the Army's ability to fully integrate cyberspace, electronic warfare (EW), information operations (IO) and tactical signals intelligence (SIGINT) operations with fires and protection at the Army corps level and below in support of Multi-Domain Operations.
In June 2019, as a result of the pilot's findings, the Secretary of the Army ordered ARCYBER to build a Cyberspace Warfare Battalion in the Army's active force.
The 915th CWB falls under the operational control of ARCYBER, but command authority and administrative control of the battalion falls to the 780th Military Intelligence (MI) Brigade.
Col. Brian Vile, commander of the 780th MI Brigade, said the battalion exemplifies the ARCYBER motto of "Attack! Defend! Influence!"
"The 915th is assembling the most technically gifted Soldiers, putting them into the most challenging environments, and asking them to figure out new ways to employ technology and information to deliver effects in the physical, virtual, and cognitive domains," Vile said. "We won't tell them how to operate; instead, we'll tell them what needs to be done and ensure they have the tools and authorities to do it."
Just months after the battalion's activation, one of its ECTs deployed to the Army's Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany in support of exercise Saber Junction 2019, a large-force exercise involving nearly 5,400 participants from 16 allied and partner nations.
2nd Lt. Shane Neal, an Offensive Cyber Operations planner with the ECT, was part of a cyber planning cell integrated into the training brigade's plans staff during the exercise. Neal said Saber Junction was an opportunity for the ECT to plan and organize the integration of cyber warfare strategies and tactics, assigning CEMA technologies to battlefield operations.
At Hohenfels the ECT provided direct CEMA support to the 1st Infantry Division. Capt. Adam Schinder, the ECT commander, said the team was able to dominate the information environment across the entire JMRC network, enabling remote cyber operators at Fort Gordon to exploit and dominate the network, and effectively integrate cyberspace and information operations.
The 915th CWB is expected to double CEMA support, from two to four training rotations per year, at the Army's Combat Training Centers at Fort Irwin, Calif., and Fort Polk, La., and improve the readiness of Army maneuver units to defend cyber key terrain and exploit cyberspace opportunities.
"ECTs allow for additional options and capabilities for commanders to integrate into their scheme of maneuver and fires plan, to deliver effects at the timing and tempo needed by the tactical echelon," said Lt. Col. Matt Davis, commander of the 915th CWB.
Soldiers interested in serving in the 915th CWB should contact their organization career counselors or branch managers.
For more information on enlisted and officer specialties in the cyber and electronic warfare fields, go to https://www.goarmy.com/army-cyber/careers-in-army-cyber.html
For a fact sheet on the battalion, go to https://go.usa.gov/xpfEg
U.S. Army Cyber Command integrates and conducts full-spectrum cyberspace operations, electronic warfare, and information operations, ensuring freedom of action for friendly forces in and through the cyber domain and the information environment, while denying the same to our adversaries.