Access To Actionable Data Key To Future Fight
by David Vergun, DOD News
August 25, 2020
The next adversarial confrontation will begin in the digital
world of the space and cyberspace domains, the vice chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff said.
Personnel working in those
domains will "become the front line of the fight," Air Force Gen.
John E. Hyten said during today's chief information officer global
town hall meeting via commercial virtual remote. The event was
attended by cyber security and information technology personnel from
across the Defense Department.
Army Spc. Carlos Cirano, a security analyst assigned to the North Carolina National Guard Cyber Security Response Force, conducts cyber operations at a city of Roxboro Facility in Roxboro, NC on June 18, 2020. (U.S. Army photo by Robert Jordan)
"It's critical that we look at that structure as a warfighting
problem, and that's what the CIO is doing now, so that's
tremendous," Hyten said.
The CIO has been effectively
partnering with the joint community, the Joint Requirements
Oversight Council and other elements within the Pentagon, he said.
"Because of that, we're in a much better position," he continued.
"It's going to be critically important that we work together to
define the future of the digital world."
In the past,
preparing for battle meant drawing lines of responsibility for the
air component, maritime component, land component and allies and
partners component, he explained. "Then we figured out how all those
things are going to come together," the vice chairman said.
"In the battlefield of the future, the biggest thing that changes is
there are no lines anymore," he said, explaining that Army, Navy,
Air Force and partner assets will be used to support each other
rather than operating separately.
Army Staff Sgt. Taylor, a satellite network planner with the Satellite Operations Brigade at Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii, virtually addresses a board of six command sergeants major at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado during the command’s Best Warrior Competition on June 30, 2020. (U.S. Army photo by Dottie White)
"If you can do that all at the same time, then the adversary has
no idea where the next strike is coming from, and you've then
created a problem for the adversary that is so significant they will
not risk attacking you," Hyten said.
But in order for that to
happen, the key becomes the data, he said. The data has to be able
to work. Every sensor on the battlefield, every sensor in space,
every sensor on the ground has to be able to take the data and feed
it into a common environment.
That common environment then
has to be able to take the data and provide it to anybody who needs
that element of the data, he said. Each component commander will
have the ability to access this data.
"When they access the
data and pull that information out, then we have to figure out how
to command and control it, so we can de-conflict the fire from one
element to the other, he said. "When that happens, everything
changes, and our adversary will not be able to keep up. That's the
Everything is about the data, he
Marine Corps Cpl. Elijah Soper, a network administrator with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Southern Command, conducts a gear check at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras on August 5, 2020. (Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Andy O. Martinez)
"We have to be able to build software quickly and reliably and
adjust it quickly," he continued. "We have to be able to manage the
entire digital infrastructure that we're going through. That's all
true, but when it comes down to the basics, it's all about the
Hyten congratulated a sergeant who became the 1
millionth user of CVR. He called CVR "a game changer," adding that
he expects it will be utilized even after the COVID-19 pandemic as
an efficient communications tool across the department.
use of the virtual private network during the pandemic has also
increased from 49,000 before the pandemic to over 440,000, he said.
pandemic has also not halted modernization and reform efforts
relating to artificial intelligence, 5G network advances,
cybersecurity, data centers efficiency measures and migration to
cloud computing, he said.
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