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News | Jan. 25, 2016

U.S. Strategic Command Hosts Electromagnetic Battle Management Exercise

U.S. Strategic Command Public Affairs

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. - More than seventy select combatant command, Service, Department of Defense Chief Information Office, combat support agency and international partner Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations (EMSO) experts gathered here Jan. 12-14, 2016, to inform the development of a future Electromagnetic Battle Management (EMBM) system.

“America’s prosperity and security relies on assured access to the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS) to achieve strategic advantage and enable the instruments of national power,” said Adm. Cecil D. Haney, U.S. Strategic Command commander. “The EMS reaches across geopolitical boundaries and warfighting domains, and is tightly integrated into the operation of critical infrastructures and the conduct of commerce, governance, and national security.”

The meeting of experts looked at requirements to enable Joint EMSO planning and to recommend and catalog user requirements for future development of EMBM operations.

“Superiority in air, land, sea, space or cyberspace cannot be gained without control of the electromagnetic spectrum, and our adversaries are attacking the spectrum every day,” said Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, during his outbrief to the panel of experts. “The electromagnetic spectrum touches everything we do, and we must make sure use and protection of this spectrum includes a whole-of-government and international approach.”

The electromagnetic spectrum is a natural phenomenon that is governed by physics, influenced by technology, and is a common medium depended upon by all of modern society. The spectrum is used to transmit radio, television and cellular phone signals, and has become increasingly congested and contested. EMSO merges electronic warfare with EMS management operations and closely coordinates the efforts of EMS-dependent disciplines to achieve the commander’s objectives.

“The average person does not understand how important the electromagnetic spectrum is to supporting our warfighters,” said Wilson. “We must integrate across disciplines, through the whole-of-government, and internationally to get a unity of effort moving forward.”

The joint concept for EMSO states the Joint Force has become critically dependent on the EMS while at the same time, the EMS is becoming increasingly congested by friendly, adversary and commercial users, and contested by adversaries who are rapidly pursuing technologies to directly challenge our freedom of maneuver and our ability to operate.

“The size and complexity of the EMS drives the requirement for the EMBM to be automated, interface at the machine level, and operate at near real-time speeds,” Haney said. “This effort provides guidance for service interoperability while retaining flexibility to meet service-specific requirements. Future efforts will further refine and add context to the approved architectures.”