Maneuver at Lightspeed: Electromagnetic Spectrum as a Domain

Maneuver at Lightspeed: Electromagnetic Spectrum as a Domain

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Leading the Waveform: Evolving Spectrum Leadership for Future Wars

Electromagnetic spectrum operations (EMSO) incorporate a vast array of capabilities from space control to cyberspace operations, as well as the atmospheric effects traditionally known as electronic warfare (EW). These capabilities require the development of experts and leaders that integrate each niche mission set into robust EMSO that support multi-domain operations. Brig Gen Gaedecke stated that “the Air Force should deliberately refocus efforts on electronic warfare and the EMS as a whole.” This renewed focus must begin with the development of EMS leadership from tactical to senior levels to effectively advocate for solutions. Recognizing the EMS as a domain enables the joint force by highlighting its need for expertise, which then supports the critical problem solving and tactics development required to compete in future conflicts.

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Electromagnetic Pulse Threats to America’s Electric Grid: Counterpoints to Electric Power Research Institute Positions         

Editor’s note: This article is part of a supporting engagement with the Electromagnetic Defense Task Force’s efforts in order to

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Cognitive Electronic Warfare: A Move Towards EMS Maneuver Warfare

In multi-domain operations (MDO), control of the electromagnetic spectrum is of paramount importance. By leveraging machine learning technologies coupled to advanced Electronic Warfare techniques, a key first step will be taken in enabling maneuver warfare within the spectrum.

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Communications in Multi-Domain Operations: What Does the BACN Bring?

Communications are an important element of any military operation. A lack of infrastructure and rough terrain have hindered U.S. military operations in Afghanistan (2001-Present) and Iraq (2003-Present). The difficulties encountered in both countries initially led to several different ad hoc solutions for overcoming poor communications. Eventually a long-term solution emerged, known as BACN (Battlefield Airborne Communications Node) with two dedicated platforms, an E-11A and EQ-4B. This article provides new insights on the BACN program and its history, and considers the importance of E-11s providing BACN for future multi-domain warfighting environments. Finally, it encourages new ways of thinking on how to operate in a contested environment, proposing a “BACN-mesh” concept as a way of overcoming such a vulnerability with an adversary jamming the electromagnetic spectrum.

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Terahertz Technologies and Future Security Environments

The terahertz (THz) frequency band is a fascinating and relatively unexplored part of the larger electromagnetic spectrum (EMS). THz can enable users to ‘see-through’ materials and structures and is now widely used in laboratory quality control testing, for non-destructive testing and transmitting information between servers in close proximity. However, because the transmitted signal degrades rapidly in the atmosphere, its application is limited to controlled settings. Soon, technological leaps will enable development of power sources that will prevent THz degradation in the atmosphere and at distance. When this happens, THz will be an exquisite tool to help the United States find and target items of interest. It will allow intelligence professionals and field operators to quickly discriminate targets based on composition, counter adversary concealment or deception techniques, and identify items of interest based on chemical resonance that is visible only through the use of THz imaging

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Winning Wars of Cognition: Posturing the Air Force for the Tactical Information Fight

With the return of Great Power Competition, the United States (US), Russia, and China are engaged in a persistent fight within the information environment. Each branch of military service within the US Department of Defense are developing concepts to fight within a contested information environment. Recently, the US Air Force established a new warfighting organization focused on Information Warfare (IW) based on a narrow definition that integrates Cyberspace, Electromagnetic Spectrum (EMS), Information, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance operations. Within this article, the author sets out on four objectives: first, to differentiate Information Warfare (IW) at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels of war; second, to describe offensive and defensive IW considerations for the US Air Force; third, to describe the relationship between tactical IW and support to the Joint Forces Air Component Commander (JFACC); and fourth, to provide initial recommendations regarding the USAF’s re-organization efforts.

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OODA Point: The Requirement for an Airman’s Approach to Operational Design (Part II)

The ability to make and execute timely and effective decisions has been the foundation of military success for millennia. In the next decade, however, Combined Force Air Component Commanders (CFACC) planning, decision, and execution (PDE) cycles will be confronted by unprecedented challenges emerging in the constantly evolving digital ecosystem. The era of unrivaled access to the electromagnetic spectrum and dominance in multiple domains is rapidly coming to a close for the US airpower. As more and more state and non-state actors gain access to advanced technology, the CFACC’s PDE cycles will transition from an observe, orient, decide, act (OODA) loop to an OODA point. This phenomenon will also have a significant influence on the command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) measures necessary to shape and execute preplanned and emergent decisions in contested operational environments. One way of mitigating these nascent vulnerabilities is to develop a deliberate framework of operational design focused on airpower to provide a proactive form of vision for future CFACCs.

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Combat Cloud: A High Tech Solution to a Low Tech Problem

Building a common operating picture from data stored in a cloud environment and creating the illusion of the availability of perfect information creates three large risks: joint forces become more vulnerable to Electromagnetic Spectrum (EMS) attacks and reflexive control strategies; command, control, and execution become increasingly centralized; and an information-denied environment causes decision paralysis.
By Katrina Schweiker

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Defense Of The Homeland In A New Age, Part III

Editor’s note: The following article is the third of a three-part series discussing necessary advancements which will best enable the Department of Defense to continue to lead during current and future periods of competition. Part I focused on the history of the current threats, Part II outlined areas of defense and civilian research which must be pursued, and Part III delves into the path forward for cohesive, joint application of technology and research.

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Defense Of The Homeland In A New Age, Part I

Editor’s note: The following article is the first of a three-part series discussing necessary advancements which will best enable the Department of Defense to continue to lead during current and future periods of competition. Part I briefly reviews threats America has faced thru history and those which it currently faces across all domains. Part II outlines areas of defense and civilian research which must be pursued, and Part III delves into the path forward for cohesive, joint application of technology and research.

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Dust

Science Fiction has always been a vehicle to the future. In the modern era of conversations about complexity, AI, human machine interfaces, and other exotic ideas, the genre can provide a way to stitch things together. We can take all of these disparate developments, operating concepts, and fuzzy ideas and combine them the same way our ancestors made sense of the word: with a story. At the strategic level, the two nations in conflict here have taken a markedly different approach to developing today’s technological trends. The enemy nation of Donovia has invested heavily in autonomous systems and artificial intelligence (AI), taking a bet that they can teach and grow better algorithms. Christopherson’s side, however, has taken a more balanced approach to integrating AI and autonomy by preserving man-on-the-loop for action and keeping their strategic level AI providing intelligence fusion. Different strategies will influence the future of technology development, but more importantly strategy will dictate how we use those technologies.

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Connect to Divide: Social Media in 21st Century Warfare

In 21st Century warfare, social media fuels influence through “likes,” “shares,” and “tweets” driving narratives that blur the lines of politics, law, war, peace, elections, and freedom of speech and press, creating an information crisis. The current lack of an adequate United States (US) response to this crisis threatens its democratic institutions and national security. Bolstering this emerging threat are social media platforms rewarding users for engaging as fast thinkers without regard for bias or manipulation that is being exploited by hostile state and non-state actors to create narratives resulting in the decay of truth. Compounding this problem is social media’s ability to transition influence from institutions and governments to the individual. Though social media-enabled information warfare alone may not be decisive in current and future conflicts, nations must prepare to counter its effects across all instruments of national power: diplomatic, information, military, and economic.

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Convergence within SOCOM – A Bottom-Up Approach to Multi Domain Operations

This paper argues the DoD should apply the SOF construct of earned trust and interpersonal relationships in order to be successful in future Multi Domain Operations. The author describes how intelligently and appropriately pushing decision making abilities to the lowest possible level will mitigate the communication challenges that will be prevalent in future conflict.

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Joint All Domain Effects Convergence: Evolving C2 Teams

 By: Ernest Nisperos Approximate Reading Time: 25 Minutes Abstract This paper aims to generate a tangible construct to complement the

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More Than Kinetic Effects: Globally Integrated Operations in the Information Environment

  By Thomas A. Drohan Approximate Reading Time: 5 Minutes A recent YouTube video features Chief of Staff of the

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OODA Point: The Requirement for an Airman’s Approach to Operational Design (Part I)

By: Dr. Jeffrey Reilly Approximate Reading Time: 15 Minutes Abstract: The ability to make and execute timely and effective decisions

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Chicken Little’s Quantum Sky

The term “quantum” has been thrown around in the past few years to mean anything from extremely fast internet to the next wave in computing. The truth is “quantum” can be applied to a variety of technologies; but is all based off the theories of quantum mechanics, or how sub-atomic particles interact and behave. Like Schrödinger’s Cat, this abstract is quantum-based, it both exists and doesn’t exist, until you read it just now.

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Multi-Domain Operations: Everyone’s Doing It, Just Not Together

The military services are continuing to forge the way in MDO, but what progress has been made and will they be able to achieve joint efficiency?

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An Approachable Look at the Human Domain and Why We Should Care

Within the context of multi-domain operations, the human domain is arguably the most important domain, but it is often the most overlooked. This article proposes implementation of the domain through the use of planning for desired behaviors prior to conflict. It also discusses how Russia views information warfare, their practices, and a case study of its importance in the Crimean Annexation.

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Where does Special Operations fit in the Multi-Domain Operations Discussion?

Understanding Special Operations role in MDO; SOCOM offers an integration model to be replicated, and SOF’s role in a near-peer MDO conflict.

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Preparing for the Unpredictable: Accident Management in Great Power Competition

This article identifies the potential of international accidents across domains and identifies factors decision makers must consider before/after an accident.

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Innovation Madness: Accepting Risk Today to Avoid Defeat Tomorrow

The United States Air Force (USAF) recognizes a need for future innovations as near-peer competitors make rapid advancements in military capabilities. However, the current USAF system does not facilitate keeping up with these competitors. Innovation requires a cultural shift regarding risk acceptability at all levels, starting with leaders. The USAF can facilitate this shift by further addressing regulatory guidance and Professional Military Education programs. Until the USAF as an organization is willing to accept risks and ultimately failures to achieve success, mission impacting innovations will continue to be elusive.

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Outlining the Multi-Domain Operational Concept Part III: Moving Toward Practical Application

Multi-domain theory contains the potential for problem-based—rather than Service-based—solutions, leading to increased options for warfighters and decision-makers while presenting adversaries with increasing dilemmas.
By Jon Bott

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Outlining the Multi-Domain Operational Concept Part II: Evolution of an Idea

It is important to recognize multi-domain operations as an important new operational concept that is more mindset than prescribed method, one that evolves previous thought, and one that itself deserves continued development.
By Jonathan Bott

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Outlining the Multi-Domain Operating Concept

Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes Editor’s Note: This week we will be republishing a 3-part series focused on the idea

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***OTH Anniversary*** Looking Beyond Your Service for Multi-Domain Success

Editor’s Note: This is one of our favorite articles we wanted to re-post to keep the conversation moving. We will

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Command & Control of ISR in a Contested, Degraded, and Operationally Limited Environment: Ensuring Support to Unit Level Intelligence (Part 1)

The modern operational environment will force a change in operations at all levels, to include C4ISR. You can’t command without control. You can’t control without communications.

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Future Wars: A Look at the Air Force’s Ability in a 21st Century Fight

The Air Force is not ready to deter or prevail against a near-peer adversary, to remain competitive in the 21st century fight the service must have a paradigm shift to give maneuverability back to the warfighter.

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Modernizing ISR C2 Part I: Multi-Domain Maneuver as the Foundation

This is the first article in a multi-part series focused on modernizing Command and Control (C2) of Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR).

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Russian Military Reorganization: A Step Toward Multi-Domain Operations

Russia’s military reorganization and its operations in Ukraine indicate it is intentionally developing a multi-domain force.

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Over the Horizon: The Multi-Domain Operational Strategist (MDOS)

Dr. Jeff Reilly discusses the need for the Multi Doman Operational Strategist

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Overview of Comments from the 2018 AFA Conference

This is an overview of the conversation on what multi domain operations and multi domain C2 continues to define what those terms mean as Airman.

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Command & Control of Tomorrow’s War: Why Decisive Mission Commanders are Key to Multi-Domain Operations

As tactical-level warfare evolves, the emerging security environment will likely drive a level of chaos and friction that has not happened in recent conflicts. To effectively execute MDO in a contested environment, preparing Mission Commanders to act decisively will be essential.

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The Undersea is a Discrete Operational Domain

The maritime domain as defined by joint doctrine is overly broad in concept and does not accurately capture the opportunities and vulnerabilities presented in the undersea.

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Defining the “Domain” in Multi-Domain

A domain is a “Critical macro maneuver space whose access or control is vital to the freedom of action and superiority required by the mission.”

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Multidomain Observing and Orienting: ISR to Meet the Emerging Battlespace

Multidomain Observing and Orienting: ISR to Meet the Emerging Battlespace

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Fighting the Wrong Fight

The US has a problem on her hands, and the emerging answers fail to address the real problem. While military

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NATO Planning and Multi Domain Operations: A German Perspective

A German officer compares the NATO planning process with the ACSC Multi-domain approach.

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It’s time to take the human domain seriously. USCYBERCOM is our chance.

USCYBERCOM presents an opportunity to effectively implement human domain forces in a high-threat, resource constrained environment. Estimated Reading Time: 5

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Quanta of Competition: Quantum Mechanics, Multi-Domain Battle, and the Gray Zone (Part I)

Thinking about conflict in terms of quantum mechanics rather than Newtonian physics will produce more comprehensive grand strategy.

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Leaving “America’s Pastime” of Joint Operations for Multidomain: A Sports Analogy

The evolution from joint to multidomain requires a shift toward a more team oriented culture among peer officers.

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OTH Video: Beyond the Theory – A Framework for Multi-Domain Operations

In the future operating environment, to successfully deter and defeat our adversaries, we must better understand how the domains interact and their basic principles.

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Information Operations in a Multi-Domain Operations Battlespace

Emphasizing information operations in multi-domain operations elevates multi-domain ops and integrated warfare

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Multi-Domain Operations at the Strategic Level

The recent NSS and NDS elevate multi-domain ops to the forefront of US national strategy. The upcoming NMS must capitalize on this framework.

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Swarming Intelligence: Concept to Reality

Two decades of swarming optimization research lay the groundwork for the development of physical swarming techniques.

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***OTH Anniversary*** Multi-Domain Thinking and the Human Domain

Today’s editor’s pick was chosen by Julie Janson. In it, Tom Flounders makes a compelling argument that the Human Domain is the decisive domain.

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***OTH Anniversary*** Over the Horizon: The Multi-Domain Operational Strategist (MDOS)

As part of the OTH anniversary series, this article, by Dr. Jeffrey Reilly, forms a foundation for discussing multi-domain operations.

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***OTH Anniversary***Multi-Domain Strategic Thinking: What Problem Are We Trying to Solve?

Editor’s Note: As part of our anniversary celebration series, below we present the top read article of 2017.  For those

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