I MEF Headquarters Group was re-designated as I MEF Information Group ... a change that shows the Marine Corps’ progress in improving readiness in information warfare and modernizing its force; both emphasized by the commandant.
“Standing up the I MEF Information Group is an inflection point for Marine Corps Information Warfare. We have been operating in the information environment for years, and we are now taking formal steps to fully synchronize our capabilities and increase our capacity,” said Brig. Gen. Robeta Shea, former commander of I MHG.
July 6, 2017 - Col. Bobbi Shea (left) and Col. Dawn R. Alonso (right) salute the national and Marine Corps colors in the traditional pass and review during the change of command and re-designation ceremony at Camp Pendleton, California. During the ceremony I Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group was re-designated as I MEF Information Group to support I MEF in the expanding information environment. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Robert A Alejandre)
The use of the MIG will be different from the MHG’s traditional role as a provider of information capabilities. The MIG leads planning, integrating and executing information warfare into the single-battle just as the Marine division or Marine aircraft wing would do for ground or air operations.
“I MIG will provide Marine Corps commanders with the ability to more fully integrate information warfare capabilities into their plans,” said Shea, a New Hampshire native. “We will be able to degrade and detract from our enemy’s ability to access their own networks while also defending our commanders’ ability to maneuver in the information environment.”
While the information environment and information warfare may sound like the stuff of science fiction, it is really just the continued expansion of the battlespace beyond controlling physical terrain. Navigation for Marines is no longer simply compass work on the battlefield, but the ability to integrate the landscape of knowledge and perception in all MAGTF operations.
According to Shea, traditional Marine Corps warfighting doctrine states that the nature of war stays the same, but the means and the methods are constantly evolving. By further integrating information warfare into a combined arms approach the MAGTF increases the friction on the enemy and crushes their will to succeed.
The MIG’s role is to degrade enemy information assets and protect friendly ones, helping preserve the overall maneuverability of the MAGTF in the information environment, much like ground and air elements do in the physical domain.
“The MIG is the MEF’s information warfare hub. Within the MEF we have a variety of units that integrate the Marine air-ground team in a remarkably effective way,” said Shea. “The MEF Information Group will enable us to further integrate our operations in the information environment into that team.”
The christening of the Marine Corps’ first information group shows the Marine Corps’ commitment to battle readiness in the information environment, as the information domain increases in popularity throughout world.
“The Marine Corps is an adaptive force by nature and by necessity. Establishing I MIG is a continuation of that tradition of adaptation and innovation,” said Shea.
By U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Royce Dorman
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