8 December 2015

Marines transitioning into electronic warfare, cyber doctrine

Amber Corrin, Senior Staff Writer, December 4, 2015

The Marine Corps is in the midst of integrating electronic warfare and cyber operations into the way they carry out missions, including the establishment of doctrine in both areas and a transition plan aiming to position the service for future capabilities.

Marine Corps leaders have "been writing doctrine, we've been looking at our [doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel and facilities], writing concepts for [Marine Air-Ground Task Force, or MAGTF] electronic warfare and for cyber-electronic warfare coordination cells" throughout virtually every level of the service, according to Col. Gregory Breazile, director of the Marine Corps' C2/Cyber and Electronic Warfare Integration Division.
"From a MAGTF electronic warfare community perspective, we've had a plan that we've put together…because we saw the Prowler [electronic warfare aircraft] sundowning and we knew we had to do something. So we put together what we're calling a MAGTF EW transition plan to get us there," Breazile said Dec. 1 at an Association of Old Crows event in Washington. "And in the future we see the Joint Strike Fighter, the capabilities we're delivering on the ground to our radio battalions, the integration of all these different platforms out there operating to where we can go in and hopefully do surgical strikes in this area instead of just coming in and clobbering the whole area."
As part of the transition Marine Corps leaders are addressing force training and the integration of new and emerging technologies and platforms, Breazile noted. All the MAGTFs now have cyber-electronic warfare coordination cells, and the service also is transitioning some military operational specialties to reflect EW and unmanned vehicle skillsets, he said.

"We need to train a new force because we're not going to have the Prowler out there flying around...we're delivering all these new capabilities out there," such as the Intrepid Tiger 2 family of EW pods deploying with Marine expeditionary units now. "How are we organizing and planning, and who are the experts controlling these pods and doing the mission planning for that? And then how are we going to integrate the F-35 into this whole architecture in the future so that we can have an electronic warfare services architecture that, rolling out, will enable our forces to function and re-task these capabilities? We're in the middle of this transition now."

Breazile said the service instituted interim doctrine to frame the transition for operating forces and start training and evaluating against the concept – and it's all happening against a backdrop of evolving landscapes and capabilities.

"We've put some interim doctrine out on cyberspace operations, and we have a draft ready for signature any day on the MAGTF electromagnetic spectrum operations. These are all complementary…bringing it in and making it doctrinally based so the operating forces can move out," he said. "We're building these better tools that hopefully in the future we can leverage some of the future capabilities delivering EW and cyber tools."

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