The institutional and operational Army must continue to adapt in a rapidly evolving cyber warfare environment, senior Army leaders said Nov. 10 at an Association of the U.S. Army Hot Topic forum on Army cyber.
The professional development forum was held at the new AUSA Conference and Events Center at the Association’s national headquarters in Arlington, Va.
Maj. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, commanding general, Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon, said, "DoDIN [Department of Defense Information Networks] operations are the most powerful and important operations that DoD conducts 24/7, because the American military is completely dependent" on these networks.
This means that cyber and network operations are "no longer just a supporting capability, but a warfighting platform," Fogarty said.
Adding, "The idea of information dominance is critical," not just on a national level, "but all the way down to the tactical edge."
Critical warfighting functions such as mission command, ISR [intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance], precision fires, logistics, and telemedicine "are not possible without effective DoDIN operations," Fogarty said.
To be effective means to be integrated, he added. "It means combining intelligence, signal, cyber, information operations, and fires" all directed by the combatant commander.
It is critical that cyber convergence and integration efforts continue to improve. "There is no single network, there’s multiple networks," Fogarty said, "and this causes significant challenges. The way we operate today is unsustainable and indefensible."
Fogarty also noted that over the next year, "The Army is going to have to make a significant investment in constructing a cyber campus," because "the [current] facilities at Fort Gordon" will not be able to meet future requirements.
Integrating cyber with maneuver
Maj. Gen. Charles Flynn, commanding general, 25th Infantry Division and U.S. Army Hawaii, said although doctrine has been written and awareness of cyber vulnerabilities is rising, the Army has "a long, long way to go and a lot of work to do" in the cyber domain.
"The Army dependency on networks is increasing significantly, and it’s not going to decrease," Flynn said.
However, Army policy, soldier skills and combatant commander awareness "are not keeping pace with developing threats."
Flynn said cyber teams and liaison officers (LNOs) "need to get out to divisions and corps, and they need to be there yesterday."
The cyber soldiers, NCOs and officers sent to warfighting formations need to be "the very best," he added.
"They need to be reliable and credible upon arrival, and they need to be able to describe to commanders what they are" and how they fit into a maneuver element, Flynn said.
Combatant commanders may not understand certain cyber lingo and capabilities, Flynn said, so it is important that teams and LNOs "speak simply and doctrinally."
For example, he said, compare the network to a weapons system, bandwidth to a class of supply, and data to a munition – because "these all are terms that are understood by commanders" at all levels.
"They have to convince the commander that they are ‘value added’ to the fight," Flynn said.