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Greenert Wants Sailors Thinking About Invisible Threats

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Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert addresses a Sailor’s question during an all hands call hosted at Naval Air Station North Island on Jan. 31, 2013.

Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert addresses a Sailor’s question during an all hands call hosted at Naval Air Station North Island on Jan. 31, 2013.

Adm. Jonathan Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations, is pushing for the Navy to pay more attention to threats in the Electromagnetic (EM) spectrum.

“We can keep far-flung forces, aircraft and ships connected with each other and commanders back home, but wireless systems also provide ways to access a network that is otherwise isolated from the wider internet,” Greenert wrote for AOL Defense on Wednesday.

“Navy forces have a unique opportunity to exploit (or be exploited by) this access because of their presence around the world and ability to closely approach opponents via the sea.”

Greenert’s piece follows an article in the December issue of Proceedings, making similar calls for the Navy to pay greater heed to military concerns over the EM spectrum.

Both articles stress a level of awareness of by sailors of the threats and opportunities of EM in warfare and call for a cultural shift in the Navy.

In Proceedings, Greenert cited the Navy’s assistance in helping the U.S. Army counter insurgent–created radio activated improvised explosive devices in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“More than 700 sailors, led by electronic-warfare officers and technicians, deployed to Iraq from 2006 to 2011 as part of Joint CREW Composite Squadron 1. That group helped defeat the RCIED threat and built a broad understanding in Army units of operating and employing systems in the EM spectrum, as well as the vulnerabilities of our troops to adversary EM operations,” Greenert wrote.

Both articles follow the recognition by the Pentagon of the cyber domain as a separate warfare domain and the 2009 creation of U.S. Cyber Command.
CYBERCOM, at its start, focused on consolidating several warfare areas and supplying combatant commanders advisors on how to employ cyber effects on a tactical and strategic level.