By May, the Pentagon Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) is looking to receive from the military services a requirement for each of the Joint Warfighting Concept’s (JWC) four areas–Joint Global Fires, Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2), Contested Logistics, and Information Advantage.
The JROC was to finish the JWC by the end of last month, but the process looks to have been slightly delayed because of COVID-19 constraints. DoD officials have said that the JWC, which the Pentagon has not released, focuses on high-end threats, such as Russia and China.
“Sometime in the late spring, the JROC, with the agreement of all the service vice chiefs who, with me, make up the JROC, we’ve agreed that we’re gonna publish a joint requirement for each one of those [four] supporting concepts, and each of the services will be responsible for meeting those joint requirements,” Air Force Gen. John Hyten told an Association of Old Crows virtual forum on Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations (EMSO) on Jan. 6.
The JROC is to issue a memo with a draft description of the initial JWC capabilities this month. The JROC’s Functional Capabilities Boards (FCBs) are then to help the military services write their JWC requirements documents by May.
“The challenge is we’ve never done that before,” Hyten said. “That’s what the JROC was mandated to do decades ago, and we’ve never fully lived up to that requirement that was given to us by the United States Congress back in the day.”
The JWC’s information advantage area includes multi-domain electromagnetic spectrum superiority from the outset of conflict.
“We have to be able to do that,” Hyten said. “If you can’t do that, you’ll fail in your mission. If you think back to the early days in Vietnam, where the adversary at the time started using spectrum against us for the first time, and we had capabilities, like F-4s, that couldn’t effectively fight in the spectrum environment, we lost a lot of great pilots because we couldn’t effectively fight that battle.”
Hyten headed EMSO efforts when he commanded U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) from November 2016 to November 2019 and is now the senior designated official for the EMSO Cross Functional Team (CFT), which Hyten has said is charged with rejuvenating EMSO after its decline over the last two decades of counterterrorism fights in which U.S. control of the electromagnetic spectrum was unchallenged.
Last October, the EMSO CFT released its Electromagnetic Spectrum Superiority Strategy (EMSSS).
Section 152 of the fiscal 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) requires the Secretary of Defense “to consolidate electromagnetic spectrum operations within 2 years to an appropriate entity within the Department of Defense.”
“Additionally, the chiefs of the services are required to evaluate the Armed Forces’ capability to perform electromagnetic spectrum operations,” according to the NDAA conference report.
Hyten said that STRATCOM may be the “appropriate entity” for EMSO consolidation, but he said that his initial task is to ensure that STRATCOM has what it needs to pursue EMSO–a discussion that he has had with STRATCOM Commander Adm. Charles Richard and Army Gen. Paul Nakasone, the head of U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency.
“The first thing we have to do is make STRATCOM whole in the EW community because they are under-resourced, undermanned and not fully capable of performing the EMSO duties they’ve been given by the department,” Hyten said.