E-warfare lessons learned

The Army's Combined Arms Center is building a database of lessons learned to help soldiers defend the Army's networks and information technology systems from cyberattacks, according to the director of the Army's Computer Network Operations and Electronic Warfare Proponent.

The Army is collecting a database of best practices for conducting information warfare from soldiers in the field or as they return from deployments and is working in cooperation with the Marine Corps to include lessons learned from its closest counterpart in the Defense Department, said Col. Wayne Parks, director of the Computer Network Operations and Electronic Warfare Proponent and the Training and Doctrine Capabilities Manager for Electronic Warfare Integration at the Army's Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

The Combined Operations Center is in charge of developing the Army's cyberspace and electronic warfare capabilities, Parks said. The Center for Army Lessons Learned in the Fort Leavenworth operations center is looking at information warfare by 'doing a thing called best practices where we go talk to the folks as they come back from theater or while they're in theater to understand how they're doing things and how they're dealing with these types of issues,' Parks said last week.

The Army formed its computer network operations and electronic warfare component seven months ago to document best practices in how the Army defends its own networks and IT systems from attack and launches attacks of its own against enemies' systems or exploits weaknesses in their cyberdefenses, Parks said.

At the same time, the Army has relaxed its rules on what service members can and can't say in electronic forums in recognition of the rapid flow of information on computer networks. The less-restrictive policies reflect the Army's goal of communicating information and points of view to the world in the most rapid manner possible, Parks said. The new rules replace policies that required subordinates to clear statements with their superiors and often delayed the Army's ability to reply in a timely fashion to information or statements released by the nation's opponents.

It also recognizes that statements by the Army's soldiers are correct in the vast majority of cases, Parks said. 'Eighty percent of the time ' they're saying the right thing [and] as long as you're aware of what's being said, you can always correct the record or you can always inform people, adequately, to ensure that we don't stay on this reactive mode,' he said.

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