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Army looks to revise cyber operations doctrine

The Army is preparing to update cyber operations doctrine amid a rapidly changing and increasingly information- and data-centric warfighting environment.

Brig. Gen. Paul Stanton, the commanding general for the Army's Cyber Center of Excellence in Ft. Gordon, said the service was in the final stages of publishing a revised field manual on how the Army executes cyber operations. The publication was last updated in 2017.

"That's intended to be a document leveraged by the whole Army," Stanton said. Rather than have the material used just to train cyber operators, Stanton wants to publish more widely so that "the [Army] Maneuver Center of Excellence can use that document in their classrooms to explain cyber to maneuver warfighters."

The same applies to all of the centers of excellence, Stanton said, speaking to reporters during the AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference on Aug. 19, but because developing field manuals is a lengthy process, the Army is looking at other avenues to push out information sooner.

"As we look at information advantage," which includes melding multiple elements including public affairs and cyber, Stanton said the Army is looking at "what does it mean to create an [Army Doctrine Publication] instead of a [field manual] that allows us to publish the relevant information sooner, so that we can effectively communicate to the whole Army."

Stanton wouldn't give a timeline but said the CCOE is moving quickly, coordinating with other centers of excellence and adding staff to produce a draft document.

The general's comments come as the Army looks to more intricately weave its cyber, electronic, signals and information warfare education and training to prepare for a rapidly changing -- and digitized -- warfighting environment. This shift is evidenced in part by the co-location of Army CCOE and Army Cyber Command in Fort Gordon, Ga.

Going forward, Stanton, who was previously the deputy commanding general for operations at Army Cyber Command, said he wants to more concretely define the concept of information advantage, develop meaningful requirements, and pinpoint the skills, education and jobs needed to protect the Army's Unified Network vision, which aims to connect tactical and enterprise IT networks.

"Where I think we have room to improve, and the direction we're headed, is [identifying] what skills are necessary to share the right insights," Stanton said.

"So I think that our training moving forward is going to be understanding where the bounds of authorities reside, understanding what data we're authorized to look at in an individual role, what analysis are we then authorized to share.... Ultimately, that's going to help us define what knowledge, skills, and abilities we need to train in the classroom. We're not that far along yet."

This article first appeared on FCW, a Defense Systems partner site. 

About the Author

Lauren C. Williams is senior editor for FCW and Defense Systems, covering defense and cybersecurity.

Prior to joining FCW, Williams was the tech reporter for ThinkProgress, where she covered everything from internet culture to national security issues. In past positions, Williams covered health care, politics and crime for various publications, including The Seattle Times.

Williams graduated with a master's in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a bachelor's in dietetics from the University of Delaware. She can be contacted at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @lalaurenista.

Click here for previous articles by Wiliams.

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