SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii — As Army Futures Command continues to push the Army toward Multi-Domain Operations and the convergence of effects on the battlefield, one of the important effects being experimented with and assessed at Joint Warfighting Assessment 21 (JWA 21) is information advantage.
During JWA 21, the Army is experimenting with a possible future information advantage formation that would employ its capabilities to enable decision-making, protect Army information and conduct information attacks on our adversaries.
Much of information operations takes place below the level of outright warfare, said Col. Matthew Sheiffer, commander of the 1st Information Operations Command. Sheiffer and the 1st IO Command led the effort during JWA 21 to assess a possible future formation dedicated to information advantage. JWA 21, taking place from June 14-24, has joint and multinational service members in Hawaii, Colorado and Washington focused on future force development and interoperability with our multinational partners.
“Adversary information warfare … has been involved in a long history during the past decade or so of attacks against the United States' interests, but attacks below the threshold of armed offense,” Sheiffer said. “Whether it’s cyber, espionage, or intelligence, it is hard to figure out where these attacks come from.”
The vision for a future information advantage formation is that such a formation could help deny adversary military objectives by affecting attitudes, motivations and perceptions, and enhance a commander’s ability to sense, understand and act faster and more effectively than an adversary.
“When it comes to information and how it’s employed by the joint [U.S. military] force ... the sheer quantity of capabilities is immense; one of the great things we were able to do in Joint Warfighting Assessment 21 is replicate the complexity of competition and then watch as we see how much more complex it gets as you go into crisis.”
The main goal of the information advantage team at JWA 21 is to experiment and discover the right mix of capabilities to support the combatant commander.
“It’s an honor for 1st IO Command to lead the development of emerging doctrine through this Joint Warfighting Assessment and to assist the Army in sensing, understanding, deciding and assessing the human and information dimensions of the operational environment,” Sheiffer said.