Navy’s Information Dominance Corps Leads the Way in Warfighting in Cyberspace

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By Vice Adm. Michael S. Rogers, commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. Tenth Fleet and co-Lead for the Navy’s Information Dominance Corps

Later today, I will be leading a panel during the 2013 Sea-Air-Space Exposition at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, Md. The panel is entitled “Warfighting in Cyberspace” and includes outstanding Sea Service and industry leaders. We will be discussing:

  • Department of Defense Cyber policy changes and the impact to military operations
  • How the Navy supports combatant commands in Cyber Warfare
  • Resilient military systems and the advanced cyber threat to such systems
  • The relationship between the Department of Homeland Security, the commercial sector, and the Department of Defense
  • The effects of recent U.S. financial sector cyber intrusion (also known as a Distributed Denial of Service or DDOS attack) activity and how it impacts the U.S. warfighting capability and the greater U.S. power base
  • Commercial capabilities to enable secure information sharing and collaboration with the any coalition that forms out of necessity, at any time, from any place, and on any device connected to the Internet
  • The relationship between the military services and combatant commands such as U.S. Pacific Command

I encourage Shipmates and others who can attend to do so. For anyone else interested in cyber warfighting and the Navy’s Information Dominance Corps, please stay tuned for more on the discussion that will take place later today.

In the meantime, for those of you who are not familiar with the Navy’s term “Information Dominance,” it is defined as:

“the operational advantage gained from fully integrating the Navy’s information functions, capabilities, and resources to optimize decision making and maximize warfighting effects.”

Put another way, information dominance means maximizing the Navy’s operational employment of cyber, network operations, information operations, cryptologic and space forces working hand-in-hand with its intelligence, meteorological and oceanographic experts. The corps is the sum total of the team who lead the information dominance effort.

To provide you with additional background, I’d like to review some of the cyber and IDC milestones over the past six months.

Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2012, was a landmark day both for the Navy Information Dominance and the IDC, as three core documents that will guide our collective efforts for the foreseeable future were signed. The three documents are: the Navy Strategy for Achieving Information Dominance, Cyber Power 2020 and the Information Dominance Corps Human Capital Strategy, which together articulate the goals and objectives that illustrate the elevation of Information Dominance to a true Navy warfighting discipline. All three are posted on U.S. Fleet Cyber Command’s unclassified website and I encourage anyone interested to take a look.

December 2012 marked 182 years since the establishment of the Depot of Charts and Instruments in Washington, DC, which became the U.S. Naval Observatory and Naval Hydrographical Office in 1845 and served as the forerunner of today’s Naval Oceanographic Office. Congratulations to our meteorological and oceanographic teammates.

On March 11, 2013, the Navy Information Warfare and Cryptology community celebrated 78 years since its formal establishment in 1935. Today, the IW/CT warfighters execute the full spectrum of cyber, cryptology, signals intelligence, information operations, computer network operations (exploit, defend, attack) and electronic warfare missions. They operate afloat and ashore and serve at the National Security Agency, the Pentagon, Navy information operations commands and regional cryptologic centers across the globe.

March 2013 also marked the release of the Navy Information Dominance Road Map 2013-2028. Amplifying the Navy Strategy for Achieving Information Dominance (2013-2017), the Roadmap describes the capabilities needed to synchronize our diverse information-related programs, systems, functions and initiatives for future warfighting.

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Given recent coverage in the media, I should also note that your Navy team now views the electromagnetic spectrum-cyber environment as a primary warfighting domain and IW/CTs are the principal warfighters. As Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert, recently wrote,

“the electromagnetic [EM] spectrum is an essential – and invisible – part of modern life…With wireless routers or satellites part of almost every computer network, cyberspace and the EM spectrum now form one continuous environment. This environment is so fundamental to naval operations, and so critical to our national interests, that we must treat it on par with our traditional domains of land, sea, air, and space. In fact, future conflicts will not be won simply by using the EM spectrum and cyberspace, they will be won within the EM spectrum and cyberspace.”

Here, the IDC leads the way.