WASHINGTON (Oct. 27, 2015) — Army cyber forces will continue the integration of cyber effects into the Army’s tactical units with their participation in an upcoming training rotation for the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division at the Joint Readiness Training Center, or JRTC, on Fort Polk, Louisiana.
The rotation represents another step forward in a pilot program developed by U.S. Army Cyber Command in response to a call by now-retired Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno to demonstrate cyber effects at corps and echelons below.
Using organic and expeditionary cyber forces, information operations and other capabilities, commanders employ cyber effects toward accomplishing their mission.
The Cyber Support to Corps and Below, or CSCB, pilot involves the integration of cyber effects via unit training at home station, at the Army’s combat training centers, or CTCs, and in support of real-world missions.
For the upcoming JRTC rotation, Soldiers from the Cyber Protection Brigade on Fort Gordon, Georgia, will augment 1-82nd’s organic cyber defense force by filling highly-skilled, low-density military occupational specialty positions. This will enable the brigade to defend its systems and networks against the Cyberspace Opposing Force, composed of Soldiers from the 1st Information Operations Command, which is employed by JRTC to challenge the brigade’s cybersecurity during force-on-force training.
“The Army recognizes that cyber capabilities should also extend and be executed at the tactical edge to provide our forces a winning advantage across warfighting functions; therefore, the Army is working hard to define cyber requirements, including training requirements, for cyber support to our corps and below formations with pilot programs planned for this year,” Lt. Gen. Edward C. Cardon, commanding general of U.S. Army Cyber Command and Second Army, told the House Armed Services subcommittee in March.
“We continue to expand our professional cyberspace opposing force to more effectively train organizations and individuals on how to better protect and defend themselves against cyber attacks and how to operate in a degraded cyberspace environment during operational training events, such as major exercises and training center rotations,” Cardon said.
The upcoming 1-82nd rotation is the second at JRTC that has included CSCB pilot efforts. Earlier this year, the 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division completed a rotation for which cyber elements were integrated early into the 3-25th’s training cycle; incorporated cyber effects into training scenarios; trained and educated the brigade on threats, tools, tactics and capabilities at home station; integrated cyberspace operations into planning and targeting; provided cyberspace operations personnel to augment the brigade staff; and trained JRTC operations and opposing force personnel.
Maj. Gen. Charlie Flynn, commanding general of 25th Infantry Division, said injecting cyber training into the 3-25th’s JRTC rotation “provides us another arrow in our quiver and sets conditions for battlefield success.
“In training, repetition leads to confidence and confidence leads to true mastery,” Flynn said. “At the tactical level, we must get more repetitions and develop our confidence in the cyber domain by applying these unique capabilities. The 25th Infantry Division operates in a complex and ever-changing environment across the Pacific. Our potential adversaries may attempt to use social media, hacking, phishing, etc., against our forces or our partners across a range of missions from noncombatant evacuations to decisive action.
“The opportunity for our 3rd Brigade Combat Team to train in the cyber domain at JRTC enabled them to see the enemy, themselves, and the battlefield in ways they hadn’t been able to previously,” Flynn said. “The ability to understand and collect real-time information through networks and fuse it with intelligence was extraordinary. Tactical success at the brigade level was enabled by cyber capabilities collecting at the right place at the right time – it had noticeable and immediate impacts.”
Additional CSCB pilot efforts include further CTC support and incorporation of increased cyber operations into the Network Integration Evaluation and Army Warfighter Assessment programs, a series of Soldier-led evaluations designed to integrate and rapidly progress the Army’s tactical communications network.