This week marks one year since the Information Dominance Corps was redesignated the Information Warfare Community.
We’ll be posting original content about and related to the Navy’s Information Warfare
The message establishing the Information Warfare Community follows:
021815Z FEB 16
FM CNO WASHINGTON DC
INFO CNO WASHINGTON DC
SUBJ/INFORMATION DOMINANCE CORPS REDESIGNATED INFORMATION WARFARE COMMUNITY//
MSGID/NAVADMIN/CNO WASHINGTON DC/N2N6/FEB//
RMKS/1. Effective immediately, the Information Dominance Corps is redesignated as the Information Warfare Community.
- This redesignation reflects the rising influence of global information systems and the increasing rate of technological creation and adoption, as reflected in the Chief of Naval Operations A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority. This transition also aligns Information Warfare as a predominant warfare area. The name change highlights three fundamental capabilities which form the mission of the Information Warfare Community: providing sufficient overmatch in command and control, understanding the battlespace and adversaries, and projecting power through and across all domains.
- OPNAV N2N6, in conjunction with key Fleet stakeholders, is developing a plan to accomplish the many actions required to reflect the name change (to include, but not limited to, updating command names and relevant OPNAV instructions and manuals). Details of this plan will be communicated over the coming months.
- Designators and ratings within the new Information Warfare Community will remain unchanged. However, the community of officers with the 181X/681X/781X designators will be renamed and communicated via separate correspondence.
- The OPNAV N2N6 point of contact is CAPT John Lewin at (703) 604-5842/DSN 664 or via e-mail at john.j.lewin(at)navy.mil.
- Released By Vice Admiral Ted N. Branch, Deputy Chief of Navy Operations for Information Warfare, N2N6.//
30 January 2017 at 19:55
30 January 2017 at 19:44
the same time frame as the announcement of the name change, CHIPS published an article by Sharon Anderson titled: Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare — Taking the Pulse of the Fleet. In this article VADM Branch added substantial detail on what was intended in the name change and on the way forward. The following are his statements and comments on
where we are in Feb 2017.
VADM Branch: “CNO’s emphasis on information IN warfare and information AS warfare, and the fact that our contribution is critical for our Navy’s success, is great for our community. We need to stay aligned with CNO’s messaging and consistent in our terminology.
Comment: Information Warfare Community terminology is not aligned with DoD, JCS, the other services, or even Navy doctrine. The term Information Warfare was deleted from JP 1-02 and replaced by the term Information Operations.
Continued use of the term only adds an unwelcome element of confusion.
VADM Branch: “We had already begun the task of rationalizing our language with the existing doctrine and, where necessary, making revisions”.
Comment: As viewed from the outside, there is no evidence of any rationalization of IWC language to comport with existing doctrine, and no evidence of revision to NWP 3-56 or NWP 3-13 to change the term Information Operations to Information Warfare.
VADM Branch: “We are now a Community, the Information Warfare Community. This aligns with Air Warfare, Surface Warfare, Undersea Warfare, etc., and furthers our efforts to mainstream information warfare as one of four predominate warfare areas.
Comment: When viewed from the perspective of current Navy doctrine, the fourth predominant warfare area is Information Operations not Information Warfare. As specified in NWP 3-56, para 1.11.4, Warfare Commanders there are five warfare commanders subordinate to the CWC: Air and Missile Defense Commander (AMDC), Anti-Submarine Warfare Commander (ASWC), Information Operations Warfare Commander (IWC), Strike Warfare Commander (STWC), and Surface Warfare Commander (SUWC). There is no Information Warfare Commander reflected in doctrine.
Reference the above NAVADMIN 023/16 message statement that: “The name change highlights three fundamental capabilities which form the mission of the Information Warfare Community: providing sufficient overmatch in command and control, understanding the battlespace and adversaries, and projecting power through and across all domains.”
Comment: JP 1-02 defines mission as: “The task, together with the purpose, that clearly indicates the action to be taken and the reason therefore.” If the above statement is diagrammed, the essence is: three fundamental capabilities form the mission. That certainly leaves a lot to be desired as a mission statement.
If the bottom line really is about warfighting, some basic questions on the mission remain unaddressed. First and foremost is what, if any, is the N-2/N-6 relation to and responsibility for manning, training, and readiness, and, modernizing the fleet for the conduct of the predominant warfare area of Information Operations as defined in NWP 3-56 and NWP 3-13?
31 January 2017 at 03:52
Your points are well taken. For whatever reason the Navy is not at all interested in Information Operations. This is particularly true of the IWC. No secret there. There are, however, certain specific IRCs in which the IWC is interested, mainly those most familiar and by which resources are conveyed. Best approach is to work with what you can (those IRCs) while understanding/mitigating limitations of the narrower IWC perspective. Specifically, need to understand how (Navy contribution to) IO is limited, and particularly at the COCOM level. This, in turn, limits both capability and Navy influence in operations and planning (even for those IRCs in which the Navy is interested).
Yes, IW and IO are confusing, primarily because sometimes the Navy wants them to be synonymous, sometimes the Navy wants them to be distinct. The doctrine is clear on how this goes. But, what can you do? You can adjust for it in your work. I fully expect the Navy will adjust 3-13 and other doctrine to remove IO or change it to IW, but that won’t get the Navy on the same page as the rest of the services. Eventually the Navy will orient itself properly, probably on the other side of CYBERCOM/NSA split, decentralization of authorities, and some UCC control of cyber via its B2C2WG. Examining the type of hybrid warfare employed by other countries today, control of the IRCs – all of them – have to be at the geographic COCOMs. You need to have PA, KLE, MISO next to cyber if you want to successfully participate in or mitigate hybrid operations around the world.
If capabilities form the mission, are we saying the tools determine what we need to do, as in ‘make the requirement match the capability/capacity’ (as with personnel). It’s a nice luxury – very flexible and success is reasonably certain. Might explain the emphasis on acquisitions, among other things. If I’ve got this right, your take is interesting and cynical.
31 January 2017 at 16:13
Why not take ownership of IO and stretch to, or if necessary, beyond the limits of your authorities to get it done. If resistance is encountered, engage the debate and win or lose but get this issues resolved on behalf of the fleet. In such a debate you have the high ground – the best interest of the fleet and Navy mission success. Given relevance of the knowledge, skills, and capabilities of the “Information Warfare Community” specialties to the assigned IO functions the only viable solution is assign responsibility for IO to the N-2/N6. I don’t see how you could lose.
The alternative is to leave this fourth predominant warfare area (IO) adrift with no one responsible for personnel manning, training, and readiness, and no one responsible for equipping and modernizing the fleet to perform the increasingly important function of counter- surveillance and counter -targeting among others.
This is an issue that begs for leadership by an 0-6, one willing to take some risk, engage his counterparts in OPNAV and the fleet, get them to appreciate the need to resolve the problem, and negotiate alternative solutions for flag consideration.
This warfare area is too important to fleet combat success to remain an orphan.
3 February 2017 at 15:26
As stated elsewhere on this blog – authorities don’t belong to communities, they belong to organizations…