“Domain superiority, be it land, air, sea, space, cyberspace, is effectively really predicated upon the ability to have superiority or control in the electromagnetic spectrum,” said William G. Conley, Deputy Director of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Office of Electronic Warfare.
Conley made this statement at the recent Air Force Association event where he announced the launch of the Pentagon’s new electronic warfare strategy. As highlighted by this recent Breaking Defense article, electronic warfare is the art and science of detecting, deceiving, and disrupting enemy radio-frequency (RF) transmissions.
This is vitally important to the U.S. military, since everything from wireless networks to radar relies on the RF spectrum. In addition, our adversaries have the ability to disrupt or degrade the ability of warfighters to sense and flow data – something that is a strategic priority for China.
As such, as highlighted by FCW, the DoD’s new strategy offers this vision: “Agile, adaptive and integrated electronic warfare to offensively achieve [electromagnetic spectrum] superiority across the range of military operations.” Though partnerships with allies, industry and academia, the Pentagon wants to develop a highly effective electronic warfare force. This will also involve ensuring the interoperability of the system to help fight in partnership with other nations.
While the DoD’s electronic warfare budget is approximately $5 billion, cellular companies invest $50 billion annually in spectrum technology. This will create some budgetary challenges and cause the strategy to potentially fall behind commercial efforts. To fill this gap, Conley plans on increasing outreach and connectivity to the tech and commercial sectors.
For developing a strategy to advance our nation’s electronic warfare capabilities, we are naming Conley as this week’s GovTransformer. Stay tuned for our ongoing coverage of other federal executives and their agencies, as well as industry members, that are truly transforming how they support mission goals through the most effective use of IT.