Army Cyber Command (ARCYBER) is likely to be renamed Information Warfare Operations Command by 2028 as the unit looks to expand its capability portfolio to better compete with peer adversaries on the electromagnetic spectrum and information domain, .
Ron Pontius, deputy to the ARCYBER commanding general, told attendees at a Wednesday Association of the United States Army event the command will look to reflect the eventual name change with a focus on integrated cyber electromagnetic activities and pilot programs with Futures Command to go after emerging enterprise IT.
“Information dominance will be key to successful operations in the future whether that is in the traditional battlefield or operations that fall below levels of armed conflict,” Pontius said. “We envision a new mission to operate and defend a next-generation Army network and deliver cyberspace, information operations and electronic warfare effects against any adversary across the information environment.”
Pontius said Lt. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, ARCYBER commander, has set six new lines of effort over the last eight months including the name change and a goal to more aggressively defend networks and weapon systems.
Fogarty has previously mentioned a name change would be appropriate to better reflect his command’s growing mission portfolio. Last August he said ARCYBER leadership would meet to set priorities needed to provide operational flexibility for responding to a greater range of adversarial cyber threats (Defense Daily, Aug. 2018).
Pontius said that a meeting of top ARCYBER officials didn’t necessarily result in a new operational plan, instead focusing on how the command would build out the construct needed to meet an increasing emphasis on information warfare.
“The Army is organizing cyber, electronic warfare, signal and information operations into a coherent and operationally-integrated construct called CEMA, Cyber Electromagnetic Activities,” Pontius said. “This will amplify and synchronize our capabilities to deliver kinetic and non-kinetic effects for our tactical forces.”
ARCYBER is expected to make increase use of the new modernization-focused Futures Command with a series of pilot programs through FY ’19 and ’20 to test new uses for enterprise IT as a service, according to Pontius.
“To improve network readiness and mission effectiveness, Army Cyber is pursuing an initiative to deliver enterprise information technology as a service,” Pontius said. “We cannot keep pace with the change of technology. Our whole budget structure just doesn’t get you there. And so it really is how do we engage with industry to leverage what they do really well, and that’s the whole commercialization.”
Results from the pilot programs will inform an enterprise IT as a service development plan in FY ’21.
“We are considering several options for this pilot program including commercially-provided equipment, services or a combination,” he said. “Industry partners will be critical to this effort. And the Army will need candid feedback from partners.”