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Archive for the ‘Information Warfare’ Category

Smarter Technologies Highlight the Unique Capabilities of Their Orion IoT Data Network to Defence in Helping to Defeat Organised Crime

Thursday, April 13th, 2023

Smarter Technologies, the leading British provider of Internet-of-Things (IoT) solutions, recently concluded a successful capability assessment trial of their asset tracking systems with the MOD at HMNB Devonport, with follow-on demonstrations now also planned for HMNB Portsmouth and other military establishments. Their unique Orion IoT Data Network, and its associated tracking tags and sensors, is a persuasive capability, with a proven track record in other sectors: over the last 15 years, it has helped recover over £40 million of stolen assets (including cash), working directly with security firms and supporting regional police Serious Organised Crime Units.

Smarter Technologies’ high-value asset tracking capability has been honed with the expert advice and support of Mark Roche (Head of Global Risk at Smarter Technologies). Mark has over 20 years of direct experience and expertise in the organised crime world, both as a Covert Police Officer in Serious Crime Units, and from his dedicated high-value asset recovery role at Smarter Technologies. Using the Orion Network and specialist tracking devices, Smarter Technologies has a 95% recovery rate for high-value assets that have been suitably protected by their system, and the capability is in permanent use with many of the world’s leading security companies. Mark’s phenomenal national recovery rate, using Smarter Technologies’ Orion system, has been recognised with over 15 commendations from various regional Serious Organised Crime Units. His efforts have not only recovered the stolen goods, but the technology has also provided the necessary evidence to ensure arrests and convictions.

Smarter Technologies’ high-value asset tracking capability is multi-functional and uses the unique Orion IoT data network technology, which has far greater range, penetration, sample rate, power efficiency and security than rival systems. The Orion IoT data network is a low power, ultra-narrow band 433 MHz UHF radio system that can penetrate concrete ammunition bunkers, large fuel installations and even underground facilities, without affecting munitions, radio systems or sensitive equipment, so is highly suitable for use at naval dockyards, air bases and other military establishments. Its unique properties help to defeat organised crime, but they also make the Orion network enormously versatile for a range of other tasks such as routine asset tracking, smart metering or remote monitoring across large military estates and dispersed building complexes. The signal is all-but guaranteed and it is rarely affected by dead-spots or range limitations that cause other systems to fail. Its specifications and technical operation are consistent across all regions of the world and it is unaffected by the European channel availability constraints that limit the performance of rival technologies. It is simple, scalable, easily configured and can be deployed rapidly and globally, making it particularly suitable for use in Defence.

Matt Walker, Product Manager for Orion at Smarter Technologies, said, “This incredible track record of stolen asset-recovery showcases the asset-tracking effectiveness of our unique Orion IoT Data Network. We recently reported on the success of the MOD Devonport trial, which applied Orion’s impressive capabilities to meet the requirements of the Future Maritime Support Programme, and we will shortly announce further demonstrations at other MOD establishments.” He added, “Many thanks to Mark and the team for all their hard work and superior skill in helping to defeat organised crime.”

Marine Officer Leads Joint-Service Team of Hackers in an IT Competition

Sunday, October 2nd, 2022


During the week of July 18-22, 2022, U.S. Marine Corps 1st Lt. Anthony Rosa, an unmanned-aerial surveillance electronic warfare officer with Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 2, and his team competed in the BRAVO Hackathon. The BRAVO Hackathon was an event to help the Department of Defense by combining the information-technology knowledge of civilians and service members. Rosa’s team won first place for “Most Tactically Relevant for Maintenance Data,” and second place for “Most Tactically Relevant for Cyber Operations” with their program.

When attending the BRAVO Hackathon, Rosa and his team of U.S. Airmen and Guardians all had the same mission in mind.

“The premise is we have all this classified data,” said Rosa. “Nobody knows how to properly manipulate the data. In our minds all of that is pretty retroactive. What is more effective is to understand data that’s coming out of present systems.”

“When you build something useful, and then you see somebody’s life improved by it, that’s good and positive feedback from that experience. That makes you want to build more things.”

 1st Lt. Anthony Rosa, an unmanned-aerial surveillance electronic warfare officer

Rosa and his team made a program that safely and efficiently compresses and sends classified documents and data. The program creates and processes electronic messaging in seconds as opposed to upwards of a week.

“This is a way to press down data so that you can send a lot of information at once,” said Rosa. “If you’re trying to send a classified document right now, we have to use couriers. We might use FedEx or [U.S. Postal Service] and they’ll bring the letter by hand. Our program can send all the information in less than a minute using the smart contract we wrote.”

Rosa has been interested in programing since high school.

“I taught myself how to program when I was in high school, then got a job with website development,” said Rosa. “I continued to work in in tech fields, and even after I went into the Marine Corps, I continued to do it.”

Rosa spends his free time working on his programming skills. He plans on continuing his work in the future.

“I understood that this was going to be a high-income skill,” said Rosa. “When you see people using , you understand exactly how it’s helping them. When you build something useful, and then you see somebody’s life improved by it, that’s good and positive feedback from that experience. That makes you want to build more things.”

Rosa plans on continuing to program and finding new ways to help people with it. His program was made from thousands of lines of code and took the hard work of his entire team. Their program is currently being looked at by multiple companies and organizations.

“They are maybe going to move the application over to the National Security Agency,” said Rosa. “They have a program for integrating technology. When it gets operationally used, then I’ll feel that satisfaction. You could build something amazing, but if nobody uses it, then it doesn’t matter.”

LCpl Anakin Smith

2nd Marine Aircraft Wing

Midshipmen Test the Waters – Second IW Summer Cruise Underway

Saturday, September 3rd, 2022

The second annual Information Warfare (IW) Community summer cruise got underway in Suffolk, Va., in early June with the first of three waves of U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) First Class Midshipmen touring various IW commands.

Vice Adm. Kelly Aeschbach, commander of Naval Information Forces, welcomes U.S. Naval Academy midshipmen on their first day of the 2022 Information Warfare (IW) Community Cruise. Midshipmen will tour various commands throughout the week and see first-hand how the IW enterprise broadly impacts the Navy. Naval Information Forces generates, directly and through leadership of the IW Enterprise, agile and technically superior manned, trained, equipped and certified combat-ready Navy Information Warfare forces to ensure our Navy will decisively deter, compete and win in today’s strategic competition. (U.S. Navy Photo by Robert Fluegel/Released)

Designed to fully explore how fleet-wide IW capabilities underpin all other warfighting operations, the Midshipmen took a deep dive in each of the IW disciplines:  Cryptologic Warfare (CW), Cyber Warfare Engineer (CWE), Information Professional (IP), Intelligence (Intel), and Meteorology and Oceanography (METOC).  This firsthand look at real-world environments and speaking directly to IW Community officers prepared the midshipmen for service selection week.  The goal is to have the IW Community make a strong, positive impression on the midshipmen to help them decide if a career in IW is right for them, and then select which strand of IW is the best fit.

Each wave of the IW Community Cruise started with Core Week, during which Midshipmen collectively received briefings and visited various IW commands in Hampton Roads.  The first welcome brief was presented by Rear Adm. Michael Vernazza, then commander, Naval Information Warfare Development Center (NIWDC).  Vice Adm. Kelly Aeschbach, Commander, Naval Information Forces (NAVIFOR), made the next two presentations.  Vernazza and Aeschbach, both Intelligence officers, delivered a unified message to each group of midshipmen. 

“In today’s environment, we are in constant competition with our adversaries, and in every fight, information warfare is and will continue to be constantly in demand,” said Aeschbach. “It will be you who will lead our Navy into the next generation of IW, leading the charge for the next wave of critical thinking and problem-solving for the Navy. I encourage you to learn, ask questions, and be curious as you see firsthand over the next few weeks what IW brings to the fight.”

The welcome brief was held at the joint Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command (NCDOC) / Naval Network Warfare Command (NNWC) building in Suffolk, Va.  There the midshipmen toured the joint watch floor and discussed NCDOC’s mission priorities, which included the Navy Red Team that tests the Navy’s networks for vulnerabilities.  NNWC – conducting vulnerability assessments of Navy networks to reduce risk to the DoDIN-N, or DoD Information Networks – Navy – was also a topic.  Additionally, the midshipmen learned about the cloud watch floor charged with ensuring a secure migration of all NMCI accounts to a cloud-based platform that works in conjunction with Microsoft.  Between the two commands, the touring midshipmen learned about the hand-in-hand working relationship with the Fleet in exercises, operations, and for network compromises. 

MIDN Michael Schaefer capsulized the intent of the IW Summer Cruise.  “I am cleared for either Intel or CW, so I desire to know about both and what they do on any given day,” Schaefer said.  “I want to see how well I can keep up with that day-to-day life as that’s an important part of learning about a community.”

Throughout the three-week experience, each block of Midshipmen toured a combination of commands, ships and squadrons in the Hampton Roads area that included Fleet Weather Center Norfolk (FWC-N); U.S. Fleet Forces Maritime Operations Center (FFC MOC); Navy Expeditionary Intelligence Command (NEIC); Naval Special Warfare; Naval Computer & Telecommunications Area Master Station Atlantic (NCTAMS LANT); and various ships and squadrons. 

Capt. Erin Acosta, commanding officer of FWC-N, outlined how meteorology and oceanography plays a major role in naval operations and explained the capability Naval Oceanography brings to the Fleet. “Equally as important is how we integrate with the larger IW enterprise,” said Acosta.  “It is wonderful to see our Sailors, both enlisted and officers, and civilians interact and teach these future leaders how we do our job at the Weather Center.”

After the brief, the midshipmen toured the FWC watch floor to get a feel for a day in the life of a METOC officer.  “The visit provides the midshipmen an excellent opportunity to ask questions and to assist them in making an informed career decision.  Every Sailor is a recruiter and my team did an amazing job hosting the midshipmen,” said Acosta, a class of 2000 USNA graduate.  “I’m blown away by the talent and diversity of these future officers.  I am truly excited for them and for the Navy.”

After Core Week, the midshipmen splintered off into Strand Week.  The length of this part of the IW Community Cruise lasted from one to two weeks, depending on the chosen designator.  Some midshipmen remained in the Hampton Roads area while others headed to Fort Meade, Md.  Commands toured in the Maryland area included Fleet Cyber Command / 10th Fleet and their MOC watch floor; Office of Naval Intelligence; Cryptologic Warfare Group SIX; Navy Cyber Warfare Development Group, and Defense Special Missile and Aerospace Center.

USNA’s Class of 2023 is the second to participate in the IW Cruise, and the experience was well received, according to Midshipman 1st Class Kristofer Gamalong Medina, who embarked on the IW Cruise with the intent of continuing in the CW community.  “I’ll stay with my choice of designator (CW).  As a prior enlisted Sailor, Cryptologic Technician Technical, I had only seen CW on a tactical level,” said Medina.  “But learning how we affect the national scale was mind blowing to me.  I was fascinated by the type of people leading those missions, the information we find, and how we can make an impact on the bigger picture of naval warfare.”

Of the IW Cruise overall Medina said, “The most beneficial part was seeing the different applications all the communities had.  I did not know that there were so many divisions that focused on different things, and that they relied on each other to create the best picture for the warfighters.”

The IW Community Cruise is an annual event, divided into two or three blocks to allow for maximum participation.  This year the last wave included three Recruit Officer Training Command (ROTC) students.  Midshipman 1st Class Tai T. Nguyen, a University of Southern California ROTC student, stated in his biography, “I always wanted to work in the field of cyber security for its intellectually challenging mission, which is to stop foreign cyber threats to the United States.  Therefore, becoming a cyber warfare engineer is my dream job.”

NAVIFOR’s mission is to generate, directly and through our leadership of the IW Enterprise, agile and technically superior manned, trained, equipped, and certified combat-ready IW forces to ensure our Navy will decisively DETER, COMPETE, and WIN.

For more information on NAVIFOR, visit the command Facebook page at or the public web page at

Low-Cost Tech Shaping Modern Battlefield, SOCOM Commander Says?

Thursday, July 28th, 2022

ASPEN, Colo. — In his 38 years as a soldier, across theaters ranging from the Middle East to Europe, the commander of Special Operations Command says he never had to look up. But those days are ending.

“I never had to look up because the U.S. always maintained air superiority,” Army Gen. Richard D. Clarke said during a discussion Friday at the Aspen Security Forum in Aspen, Colorado. “We won’t always have that luxury,” he added.

Low-cost quadcopters and larger unmanned aerial vehicles are disrupting the status quo as militaries and insurgents increasingly rely on them, the general said.

“When Russia is running out of them for Ukraine, and they’re going to Iran to go buy more, [that] should cause us all a bit of concern because you can see how valuable that they can be in the future fight,” he said.

U.S. and partner forces have largely focused on ways to defeat enemy drones after takeoff, but Clarke said there is also a need for interagency discussions on ways to disrupt supply chains to prevent them from taking off.

But first, there must be a discussion on norms and authorities for their use, he said. With a “very low” cost of entry for some of the small unmanned systems, the general said some countries may want to use drones to move patients or supplies. Medical transport vehicles are protected under the Geneva Conventions.

Chemical, Biological Weapons

Clarke said the Defense Department has charged Socom with looking at another threat that is inexpensive to produce and use — chemical and biological weapons.

ISIS used chlorine and mustard gases in Iraq and Syria, he said. Russia has used chemical weapons against its political allies — on its own soil and elsewhere, Clarke added.

“The fact that someone in the basement in Mosul [Iraq] with a few lab sets can do this,” proved that it’s a simple process to create these weapons, the general said. Chemical and biological weapons are a terrorist weapon system, he said, and ISIS and al-Qaida will continue to use them because they instill fear.

“As we go into the future, we have to be prepared for that eventuality … and look for methods to continue to combat it,” Clarke said.

Cyber Threats

Though U.S. officials have said government and other critical systems are receiving daily cyberattacks, the general said he’s equally concerned with the way adversaries are using cyber to exploit the information space.

Malign actors are spreading misinformation and disinformation online, and these have had an impact on elections, he said.

Misinformation is false or misleading information — a mistaken breaking news announcement, for example. Disinformation is meant to intentionally deceive the recipient.

Clarke said cyber gives adversaries a quick route to spread false information that can damage the U.S. cause.

“The message, if you look at the internet and what is happening from the African countries, its U.S. sanctions against Russia are causing food shortages in Africa,” the general said. “So we’re being blamed for people in Africa not getting to eat. … We have to look at what is on the internet and get the truth out about what is happening. And I think we have to be able to do that as a government a little bit faster than what we’re doing today.”

By Claudette Roulo, DOD News

US, Moroccan Special Forces Team Up For Inaugural Cyber Training

Tuesday, July 19th, 2022

TIFNIT, Morocco – U.S. Army Soldiers with 3rd Special Forces Group (SFG) Tactical Information Support Center, Expeditionary Cyber Team 2, and Royal Moroccan Special Operations Forces (SOF) teamed up to conduct prototype cyber effects training during African Lion 22, June 26, 2022.

African Lion 22, U.S. Africa Command’s largest, premier, joint, annual exercise hosted by Morocco, Ghana, Senegal and Tunisia, June 6 – 30, is a critical opportunity for members of the joint team to build and test their strategic readiness to deploy, fight and win in a complex, multi-domain environment. The cyber training collaboration was the first of its kind and sought to discover how low equity cyber solutions can expand options for key decision makers at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels.

The cyber effects training included hands-on cyber lab demonstrations using commercial tools and comparing them to less accessible high-tech devices. The lead 3rd SFG trainer described the hands-on training as an ‘opportunity to take cyber security to the field and into the mind of each Service Member in a combat situation.’

3rd SFG endeavors to learn, iterate, and eventually offer flexible cyber options at scale while maximizing the indigenous approach through partner forces.

“By actually shifting the focus of training to the modern combat environment, which is now becoming rapidly digital, you create a more potent, lethal force, moving into the future,” stated a member of 3rd SFG.

Building an understanding of multi-domain digital activities would allow U.S. and partner forces to work with more sustainable equipment and better understand digital threats to their missions.

U.S. Africa Command is ready to provide the necessary resources to advance mutual interests and respond to crisis in Africa because of successfully forged and maintained partnerships and demonstrated operational success.

African Lion 22 is a joint all-domain, multi-component, and multinational exercise, employing a full array of mission capabilities with the goal to strengthen interoperability among participants and set the theater for strategic access. More than 7,500 participants from 28 nations and NATO train together with a focus on enhancing readiness for U.S. and partner nation forces.

Story by Charli Turner, U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa

Photo by SFC Katie Theusch, U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa

AFSOC Incorporates Weapon Systems Cyber Defense in Emerald Warrior 22.1

Friday, June 3rd, 2022


Air Force Special Operations Command recently incorporated defensive cyberspace operations actions, for the first time, into the overall training objectives during Emerald Warrior 22.1.

The exercise fused cyber effects into aircraft operations and employed two mission defense teams, with the cyber defense correlation cell and demonstrated how AFSOC will deploy MDTs to defend weapon systems from cyber-attacks.

The communications and information element within AFSOC developed a realistic scenario to maximize training and awareness of cyberspace threats to aircraft avionics. The identified scenario and events allowed maintainers, cyberspace and aircraft operators, and intelligence and battle-staff members the opportunity to see the impacts of cyber threats to weapon systems, firsthand.

During the exercise, AFSOC staff and MDTs worked with Shift5, a commercial cyber security company, to test and validate a real-time cyber intrusion detection system on an aircraft, and a cyber-incident response software tool within the Cyberspace Vulnerability Assessment/Hunter to assist MDTs in executing cyberspace defense operations.

Shift5’s technology enabled MDTs with the 1st Special Operations Communication Squadron and 27th SOCS, Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico, to test their training, and raised awareness of cyber threats to the operational community.

The MDT with the 1st SOCS included three personnel with the 87th Electronic Warfare Squadron, Eglin AFB, Florida, and two instructors with the 39th Information Operations Squadron. Additionally, the MDT with the 27th SOCS was augmented by three personnel with the 193rd SOCS at Harrisburg Air National Guard Base, Pennsylvania.

The Defense Enterprise Cyber Range Environment for Command, Control and Information Systems provided a realistic training environment which challenged the participating MDT’s technical, analysis and mission-planning skills, while being actively attacked and challenged by a cyber-red team with the U.S. Army’s threat system management office.

Members with the 318th Cyberspace Operations Group, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, provided a secure data transport between all players and teams on a closed-looped network.

The scenario involved a flying aircraft experiencing a critical event of unknown origins that exercised numerous operational processes, leading to the discovery of a cyber-threat. During the exercise a sortie reported mission computers failures and performed actions enabling the aircraft to “limp home.” When the plane touched down, maintainers with the 901st Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron executed a cybersecurity checklist and MDTs began to work.

The MDT’s actions saved the maintainers from replacing the mission computers, as well as saving the U.S. Air Force $750,000 for each mission computer that would need to be replaced.

With the realistic training incorporated into Emerald Warrior 22.1, impacts of cyber threats to aircraft, and how those threats affect operations and readiness, ensured aircraft maintainers, MDTs and operators remain ready and relevant to cyber-attacks.

Air Force Special Operations Command Communications and Information

Ghosts In The Machine

Thursday, May 19th, 2022

Apparently this video has people upset.

Personally, I’m just glad they’re using the term “psywar” again.

NAVWAR Highlights the Power of Information for Modern Warfare at Sea-Air-Space 2022

Thursday, April 14th, 2022

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) joined commands from across the information warfare (IW) community to discuss the power of information on the modern battlefield at the Navy’s IW Pavilion during the 2022 Sea-Air-Space Exposition at the Gaylord National Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland April 4-6.

Now in its sixth year at the event, the U.S. Navy IW Pavilion featured a leadership speaker series, an engagement zone and technology demonstrations, with collaboration and alignment at the forefront as a top priority in today’s constantly evolving cyber and technology environments.

During the event, NAVWAR leaders touched on technology challenges, discussing the use of digital engineering, research, development, delivery and sustainment of IW solutions to highlight how the command aims to build a more agile and innovative force that can use information anytime and anywhere by modernizing and better defending information technology (IT) systems.

As a part of the leadership speakers’ series, NAVWAR’s chief engineer, Rear Adm. Eric Ruttenberg, emphasized the need for digital tools and a shift of mindset for their use.

“The future of global maritime superiority is digital and NAVWAR is leading the Navy’s efforts in making that future a reality,” he said. “We have already begun employing world class commercial best practices that deliver faster and more secure information warfare capabilities to the Fleet to ensure the developers, operators, and maintainers have what they need to preserve and extend U.S. maritime leadership not only in today’s operating environment but also in the highly digitized one of the future.”

He went on to explain the process, policy and efficiency efforts that would lead to the end goal of artificial intelligence and machine learning-enabled systems and automated battle management aids for on demand access regardless of the operating setting.

Further, he also addressed the need for a hybrid cloud computing environment to provide the warfighter with any data, at any time, and any place. The advantage to the hybrid cloud concept stems from its integrated and adaptable technology infrastructure comprised of physical data repositories, cloud-based data and applications stored in both public and private clouds, and data applications stored on-premises. Ruttenberg also noted that a hybrid cloud “provides quick access to all necessary data regardless of classification level for ease of cross-domain movement.”

Leaders from Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic reinforced Ruttenberg’s points as they provided an overview of the command to educate attendees on the main priorities and technical areas of the mission.

“Our NIWC Atlantic team is a unique and critical connection point to the warfighter, in that we research, develop, engineer and deliver technology that brings the full power of information to the fight,” said Capt. Nicole Nigro, NIWC Atlantic commanding officer. “To move at the operational velocity required in this domain, we are intensely focused on leading digital practices that include cybersecurity, automation, model-based systems engineering, DevSecOps, artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics – areas that ultimately drive data-informed, human-driven decisions necessary for mission success.”

As it has in previous years, the IW Pavilion featured an engagement zone, where attendees had the opportunity to join Navy leaders, program managers and other subject matter experts for informal, sit-down conversations in multiple sessions throughout the three day conference. These dialogues help to connect government and military leaders with industry partners with the goal of improving and modernizing capabilities for the fleet, as quickly as possible.

“As the Navy’s systems command for a warfighting domain that can change in a matter of minutes, it’s critical to give our industry partners clear direction on where we are going, what our needs are, and why,” said NAVWAR Executive Director John Pope. “It’s been extremely beneficial to connect with industry partners, no matter how big or how small, so they can understand how they can contribute to the larger Navy capability picture.”

The IW Pavilion also featured several technology demonstrations that impact Sailors today, including Program Executive Office Manpower, Logistics and Business Solutions’ (PEO MLB) MyNavy Human Resources (HR) IT Solutions, unmanned underwater vehicles from Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, the Joint Communications Marketplace from the Joint Tactical Networking Center and the U.S. Naval Observatory’s atomic clock.

“MyNavy HR IT Solutions creates and maintains mobile apps that allow Sailors to accelerate and manage their careers through digital solutions,” said Christine Rodriguez, program executive officer of PEO MLB. “Attendees got to experience live, interactive demos of the mobile apps we have developed for the Navy and learned how to get an app added to the Navy App Locker, home to the Navy’s official apps that touch the lives of every Sailor in the Fleet.”

MyNavy HR IT Solutions is one of PEO MLB’s service portfolios, serving as the single IT acquisition agent providing life cycle management supporting the Navy’s human resources IT capabilities.

Hosted by the Navy League of the United States, the Sea-Air-Space Exposition is now the largest maritime exposition in the United States and continues as an invaluable extension of the Navy League’s mission of maritime policy, education and sea service support.

From Kara McDermott