Future Army cyber operations will require improved ownership of the electromagnetic spectrum and accelerated integration of cyber and electronic warfare (EW) operations to outpace peer adversaries’ technological advances, according to a new Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) document.

The new cyber operations pamphlet, released Jan. 9, was commissioned by the Army Capabilities Integration Center (ARCIC) to offer new leadership direction to meet full range, joint EW and cyber domain challenges.iStock Cyber Lock

“Defeating future enemies that possess advanced capabilities calls for land forces operating as part of integrated joint teams that conduct simultaneous and sequential operations across multiple domains,” Maj. Gen Robert Dyess,acting director of ARCIC, wrote in the opening of the new pamphlet. “In multi-domain battle, future Army forces will fight and win across all contested spaces to create windows of advantage across multiple domains that enable Joint Force freedom of action to seize, retain, and exploit the initiative.”

The new document offers directional updates on TRADOC’s last comprehensive cyber operations pamphlet published in October 2014.

TRADOC officials predict state and non-state actors to aggressively will pursue advanced cyber capabilities to create a more “unpredictable, complex, and potentially dangerous” operating environment.

“In the future, the physical structure of cyberspace will be extremely vulnerable to attack by an array of destructive weapons, including high-power microwave munitions and laser systems which are increasingly effective against digitized, miniaturized, and integrated circuits,” TRADOC officials wrote. “Because these challenges and changes can occur swiftly, the Army must adopt advanced cyberspace operations capabilities at a more rapid rate than current capability development timelines even while in a constrained fiscal environment.”

New cyber and EW capabilities will be necessary to ensure adversaries are unable to negate current Army combat tools.

Success in future operational environments will depend on the ability to provide ground combat forces with EW and cyber capabilities at the tactical level that allow for full optimization of manned-umanned combined arms for mounted and dismounted operations, according to TRADOC officials.

Army leadership must also gain the ability to detect enemy signatures across the electromagnetic spectrum to gain the necessary situational understanding to avoid adversarial exploitation.

TRADOC officials expect cyber actors to increase use of autonomous devices and unmanned aerial systems. Army leadership is urged to pursue fail-safe technologies to ensure the cyber resiliency of autonomous systems.

Ownership of the electromagnetic spectrum is critical to securing effective future cyber operations, according to the new document.

“Modern warfare is dependent on use of the EMS; therefore, the EMS is a central characteristic of the future operational environment,” TRADOC officials wrote.

Acquisition opportunities exist with new EMS capabilities, including application-specific integrated circuits, programmable logic devices, digital radio frequency memory, and shared aperture electronic attack.

Army commanders must also seek EMS tools that offer lower power demand, smaller size, higher sensitivity and wider frequency ranges.

“The shrinking size and power requirements of many EMS systems and architectures makes them more suitable for employment by remote, robotic, and autonomous systems, including artillery and rocket EW munitions, dramatically expanding the commander’s potential to conduct EMS operations with small signature platforms and minimal risk to Army forces,” TRADOC officials said.

The continuing shifting of EW capabilities and responsibilities to the Army’s cyber branch will increase the move the gain full operational advantage, according to the new pamphlet.

“The proliferation of cyberspace weapons and EMS capabilities are a growing threat against a cyberspace dependent Army force that relies heavily on digital technologies,” the officials wrote. “These future challenges require a full range of cyberspace and EW operations capabilities to provide commanders the ability to adapt to rapidly changing missions, conduct decentralized operations over wide areas, maintain operational freedom of maneuver, exercise mission command, and gain and maintain the initiative in cyberspace and the EMS during joint combined arms operations.”

The new TRADOC pamphlet was published on the Secrecy News blog on Jan. 12.