Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin signed the 2020 Electromagnetic Spectrum Superiority Strategy’s classified Implementation Plan–the “I-Plan”–on July 15, DoD said on Aug. 5.
Last October, the Pentagon released an electromagnetic spectrum (EMS) superiority srategy meant to help advance DoD EMS capabilities to face China and Russia in accord with the 2018 National Defense Strategy and in contrast to the last two decades in which DoD officials have said EMS capabilities have lagged, as the U.S. dominated the EMS in fights against adversaries in Afghanistan and Iraq (Defense Daily, Oct. 29, 2020).
In accord with the desires of Congress and the Government Accountabilty Office, which have wanted DoD to consolidate EMS operations (EMSO) under one office, the DoD Chief Information Officer is to oversee long-term EMSO efforts starting this fall.
In addition, U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) is standing up a two-star commanded Joint EMSO Center (JEC), which is to evaluate, assess, and certify joint EMSO readiness and to identify joint force EMSO deficiencies and opportunities to improve mission effectiveness, interoperability, speed, and survivability.
“What we’re really doing here is answering the question, ‘Are we ready and able to operate in a complex electromagnetic operating environment?” Air Force Brig. Gen. AnnMarie Anthony, deputy director for operations for Joint Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations and mobilization assistant to the USSTRATCOM director of operations, told reporters in a teleconference on Aug. 5. “While we’re doing the evaluating and the assessing, we’re also going to be providing operational risk assessments identifying requirements and gaps to DoD’s CIO as the electromagnetic spectrum enterprise lead.”
Anthony said that STRATCOM is “looking forward to this challenge and intend to make the JEC the heart of electromagnetic spectrum operations.”
Last October’s DoD EMS Superiority Strategy laid out five goals for the department, including the development of superior EMS capabilities, evolving to an agile, fully integrated EMS infrastructure, pursuing total force EMS readiness, securing enduring partnerships for EMS advantage, and establishing effective EMS governance.
Air Force Brig. Gen. Darrin Leleux, the deputy director of the Electromagnetic Spectrum Office Cross Functional Team, established in 2019, said that his office, OSD, the Joint Staff, and the 11 combatant commands are devising capability planning guidance for the military services to help them prioritize their EMS needs.
The DoD EMS Superiority Strategy highlights future desired capabilities, including dynamic spectrum sharing, frequency agility; frequency diversity; wide tuning ranges; minimizing EMS footprint; reducing vulnerability to detection; and resiliency against radio frequency (RF)-enabled cyber attacks; modular, open system approaches; and software-defined systems.
One technology to be used by the 11 combatant commands for EMS joint planning, situational awareness, and command and control is to be the Electromagnetic Battle Management (EMBM) tool.
Using a rapid software acquisition process, STRATCOM and the Defense Information Systems Agency are developing EMBM, which is to feature cloud-based data tools and machine-to-machine and human-to-machine interactions, Anthony said.
“While we are at the beginning of this effort, a user group has been established, and they have developed the first set of requirements for EMBM, and next month the users and programmers will meet to discuss the work to date and the way ahead,” she said.