U.S. Navy to Experiment with Information Warfare at Operational Scale; Vice Adm. Jeffrey Trussler Quoted

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The U.S. Navy has announced plans to experiment with an information warfare cell at a maritime operations center later this year. The Navy created information warfare commanders at every one of their strike groups as the focal point for a strike group commander to consolidate and integrate different aspects of information warfare from electromagnetic spectrum to cyberspace to intelligence to oceanographic operations.

The information warfare cell idea arose from the addition of information warfare composite commanders at the carrier strike group level, according to  Vice Adm. Jeffrey Trussler, deputy chief of naval operations for information warfare. C4ISRNET reported the story on Thursday. 

Trussler added that the new concept has been well received by Navy personnel, stating, “I talk to every strike group commander that comes to the Pentagon; I ask him specifically, ‘How is that IWC (information warfare commander) concept working?’ Every one of them loves their IWC and loves that concept. It’s worked out very well.”

Information warfare is quickly becoming important for warfighting capabilities. The Navy wants to have information warfare abilities at both the tactical level and operational level. These experiments scheduled for later this year will evaluate how information warfare can be utilized and optimized at the operational level. 

Similar to Trussler, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday also wants to create dedicated information warfare cells within fleet maritime operations centers, a project that was supposed to be informed by the results from an exercise that was postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Navy’s upcoming experiment with the information warfare cell at its Large Scale Exercise scheduled will utilize feedback to evaluate the concept further.

“We think it’s a powerful concept. We think it’s just a continued maturation of the information age, and we need to manage that information differently, not only with the tools we’re going to develop but with how we process that in the decision-making of a commander and his staff,” concluded Trussler. 

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