The U.S. Air Force has conducted its first information warfare-focused exercises to test the concept at a new range in the New Mexico desert. The Air Combat Command has performed ten proof of concept exercises intending to consolidate and operationalize all the capabilities to provide Air Force and joint commanders integrated information warfare packages.
The exercises were designed with the critical concept of convergence supported by Lt. Gen. Timothy Haugh, commander of 16th Air Force, the Air Force’s first information warfare numbered force that integrates global intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, cyber, electronic warfare, and information operations under a single commander. C4isrnet reported the story on Wednesday.
Jeffrey Phillips, commander of the 67th Cyberspace Wing, commented on the theme of convergence, saying, “how do we organize ourselves around problems that also don’t constrain us by the geography? Because in many cases, that information that’s available to us will not necessarily be collocated with the adversary we’re targeting.”
“It’s taking advantage of our global access, our global access to the data and unique authorities, whether that’s intelligence authorities or the role that we play as a cyber component of the capabilities that we now stood up from an information warfare and an information operations perspective. How those come together and integrate are the outcomes that we are producing and will produce with our partners, Phillips added.
Phillips also explained that the Air Force has begun to combine other disciplines, such as electronic warfare and intelligence, into specifically trained airmen who will play a critical role in communications systems in keeping with the convergence theme.
The airmen who complete electronic warfare training will be assigned to air operations centers to support squadrons, where they will have a substantial impact. These airmen are also trained as behavioral scientists and are experts in military information support operations, military deception operations, psychological operations.
“We see to get them the right formal training so they can bring all those functions together and take them out to the field to influence operations,” Phillips concluded.