Summit helps chart way ahead for maneuver in Information Environment

Bill Roche, Army Cyber Command
August 7th, 2019

Senior leaders from active and reserve component organizations across the joint force came together to further the development of capabilities for maneuver in the Information Environment during the Total Army Senior Leader Information Warfare (IW) Summit hosted by U.S. Army Cyber Command (ARCYBER) at Fort Belvoir, Va., July 10-12, 2019.

The summit provided an opportunity for leaders to discuss and synchronize efforts that encompass all aspects of maneuver in the Information Environment, and build a common understanding of current and future transformation efforts to support its development as a doctrinal concept that enables Multi-Domain Operations.

Senior representatives of several active Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard cyber, information technology, and IW-related stakeholder organizations participated in the event alongside leaders from partner agencies including U.S. Army Futures Command; U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command; U.S. Army Special Operations Command; U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command; U.S. Army Combined Arms Center; the U.S. Air Force; and the U.S. Marine Corps Deputy Commandant for Information.

“Army Cyber wants to enrich the concept of Multi-Domain Operations through the development of, or enhancing of, an information warfare or maneuver in the Information Environment concept, and the further development, integration and sync of information warfare capabilities across the full range of military operations in competition and conflict,” said ARCYBER Deputy Commanding General for Operations Brig. Gen. Richard Angle. “(We are) expanding the concept of persistent engagement in cyberspace to persistent engagement in the Information Environment.”

“What we are doing in Army Cyber Command to get after a lot of these problems that we’ve discussed here, is starting with ourselves,” Angle said. “Lieutenant General Fogarty (Lt. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, ARCYBER commanding general) intends to be the last Army ‘Cyber’ commander, because ‘cyber’ is a misnomer for what we actually do, that is much larger than that. We are looking at transforming the command to Army Information Warfare Command. It is a recognition and expanding of the concept of persistent engagement in cyberspace to persistent engagement in the Information Environment; a recognition that 1s and 0s moving in cyberspace are not necessarily turning things on or turning things off, but those 1s and 0s are moving information. And that information is changing behaviors and beliefs, and that is more powerful than turning things on and turning things off.”

Bryan Sparling, the lead for ARCYBER’s transformation study, is at the forefront of efforts to build stakeholder awareness and support, during participation in events such as the summit and his recent transformation presentation to leaders in the military, government, industry and academic communities at exercise Cyber Endeavor 2019. 

“ARCYBER is undertaking internal transformative efforts, as part of its planned move to Fort Gordon, Ga., to support Armywide maneuver in the Information Environment,” Sparling explained. He said summit attendees will collectively participate in efforts (yet to be determined) to bring the concept to fruition within ARCYBER and the larger Army enterprise.

The summit focused on all aspects of building a framework and way ahead for the convergence, enabling and employment of full-spectrum forces for maneuver in the Information Environment. Discussions included cyberspace, electronic warfare and information operations; network operations; Army and joint force concepts and initiatives; current and future plans, strategy and policy; support operations; innovation and technological development; training and exercises; and manning, resourcing and equipping organizations and operations.

“ARCYBER seeks to transform itself in a way that serves the needs of the Army through the Multi-Domain Operations concept, and (the command) is interested in working with other stakeholders,” said Stu Goldsmith, lead for ARCYBER’s Transformation Operational Planning Team.

“This has to be a team sport in the Army, a team sport in the joint force, and a team sport across the Department (of Defense), and I would offer, the whole of government, the whole of nation, and our allies and partners,” Angle said. “If we are not bringing everyone to the fight in this, than we will not be successful.”

A presentation by special guest speaker Sean McFate, Army veteran, author, and professor of war studies at the National Defense University, centered on discussion of the changing nature of warfare and new rules for conflict. The wars of tomorrow will be far different than in the past, McFate said. They will be fought covertly with weapons such as information, and the U.S. and its allies must put aside notions of conventional war — as some of its adversaries already have — if they hope to win in the future.

Several summit participants also took part in a staff ride at the nearby Manassas (Va.) National Battlefield on the final day of the event. Facilitated by historians from the Army Center of Military History, the group studied command and control, intelligence collection and training and arming forces, in the context of the Civil War battle of First Bull Run, and discussed lessons learned there and their application to maneuver in the Information Environment today.