Integrated Army cyber activities teams playing pivotal role in warfare
By David Vergun, Army News Service
WASHINGTON — Cyber-Electromagnetic Activities, or CEMA, teams are now routinely operating with brigades at combat training centers and sometimes during home-station training, said Maj. Gen. John B. Morrison Jr., commander of the Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon, Georgia.
That was not the case in 2015, when the pilot, known as CEMA Support to Corps and Below, or CSCB, was launched, Morrison said at a Cyber Hot Topics panel sponsored by the Association of the U.S. Army last month.
The key word to remember about CEMA teams, he said, is “integration.”
It’s about “integrating requirements, integrating capabilities and integrating formations so literally you can have a combined arms effect inside cyberspace,” he said.
The CEMA teams themselves are becoming integrated as well, with specialists from cyber, military intelligence, electronic warfare, signals intelligence and sometime space coming together to deliver effects to the maneuver commander, he said.
CYBER BRANCH INTEGRATION
This integration is a new concept and the transition is still in progress, Morrison said. For instance, electronic warfare, or EW, personnel will be rolled into the newly-created Cyber Branch Oct. 1. And beginning this month, mobile training teams will fan out across the Army to pave the way for full integration.
There are discussions with U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command regarding moving information operations into the Cyber Branch as well, he added.
Col. Paul “Tim” Brooks, Mission Assurance division chief, Department of the Army Management Office — Cyber, said social network analysis will also likely play a role in CEMA operations and within the Cyber Branch.
Taking the integration concept one step further, Brooks said there are discussions about whether or not CEMA should be solely an Army warfighting function or joint with the other services.
Brig. Gen. Neil S. Hersey, commandant, U.S. Army Cyber Center and School, said that his school at Fort Gordon has also been integrating Soldiers from the various CEMA specialties, and the program of instruction reflects that change.
The goal of the school, he said, is to better train and educate the students so that each has knowledge of what the others are doing. For instance, someone in cyber should know something about EW and military intelligence, or signals intelligence. The reason for that is that there are times when an offensive or defensive CEMA solution might involve just EW or information operations — or a combination — so everyone needs to have that full-spectrum knowledge they can deliver to the maneuver commander.
The other goal, Hersey said, is to produce professionals who can hit the ground running once they leave the school house, with minimal follow-on training at their assigned units.
CENTERS OF EXCELLENCE INTEGRATION
Morrison said that integration can also mean collaborating across the centers of excellence. For instance, in the formulation of a recent cyber requirement, it was beneficial to have both the Cyber and the Intelligence CoEs working on an integrated requirement.
Hersey noted that the Special Operations CoE has good information on the cognitive and human dimensions of warfare that can prove useful to a CEMA team and when writing a cyber requirement.
Morrison observed that adversaries are not stovepiped in their planning and execution, so that’s why integrated discussions at the CoE level are so important.
Maj. Wayne A. Sanders, branch chief, CEMA Support to Corps and Below, ARCYBER G39, said CEMA teams have in the last few years been integrated into exercises at the combat training centers and at some home station training areas.
Col. Robert M. Ryan, commander, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, has been the recipient of that integrated CEMA effort at his brigade’s home station and CTC training.
CEMA teams, he said, play a key role in decision-making and targeting decisions. For instance, a problem set might be: “Can I turn someone off with EW and collect cyber intelligence and feed that up to division and corps? And how can I work authorities to best leverage the end state?”
Sanders said a CEMA team was able to show Ryan the electromagnetic signals his brigade was producing during his home station training. “His brigade was lit up like a Christmas tree.”
The CEMA team showed him how to effectively reduce that signal, Sanders added.
Retired Army Col. George Lewis, vice president, CEMA Initiatives, CACI International, said it’s no longer just nation-states that pose a threat in the CEMA environment. Even “low-tech people can outpace us in their requirements and acquisition efforts. We’ve got to adapt quicker.”
Lewis also mentioned the need for integrating better with industry and academia to gain the best technology, tactics, techniques and procedures.
Retired Army Col. Laurie Buckhout, president and CEO, Corvus Group, said contractors are generally a lot older and have a much more diverse set of experiences and skills than Soldiers. They also collaborate well with Soldiers when invited.
Lastly, Maj. Gen. Patricia A. Frost, director of Cyber G-3/5/7, summed up the importance of cyber integration, noting that all Soldiers need to have a basic awareness and knowledge of CEMA. “We’re a digital Army.”