In the current state of military affairs on and off the cyber battlefield, the heat is on for developing electronic warfare strategies; the demand for specialized cyber teams is high, and the pace of electronic warfare development is slow to build.
On the strategic front of fighting code with code, the United States Army expects to have its 41 National Mission Force teams fully operational by the end of 2017–30 are currently at Full Operational Capability; the other 11 are at Initial Operational Capability–which is ahead of the 2018 deadline, as Major General Patricia A. Frost, director of cyber within the Army’s Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, has noted.
The service is rebuilding its EW corps, but there is a long way to go, Frost acknowledged. “On the electronic warfare side, [Army] is not organized as effectively as we should be…we could–given the right technology–move much faster.”
A commanding deputy general for U.S. Army Cyber Command operations, paratrooper, mentor of many in military intelligence, decorated spouse of Mjr.-Gen. Malcolm Frost (and power mom of a 13-year-old), Frost has seen a steady rise to the top of her field:
“There are multifunctional intelligence disciplines: human, counter, spatial and others,” she said in an interview with her alma mater Rutgers University-New Brunswick. “I’m ‘all source.’: I have broad expertise across the spectrum. I like the synthesis of all these disciplines. I’ve [worked in] every level, from company command to battalion level.”
As a prominent woman in the military with vast experience in-theater (Platoon leader of the 108th Military Intelligence Battalion (CEWI), 8th Infantry Division (Mechanized) in Germany, 1988-1991; OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM, 2002-2003; OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM, 2006-2007) Frost is lighting the way for an increase in focus on the overlap of cyber and electronic warfare operations.
As far as Army officials are concerned, involvement in the middle east and abroad has crystallized this conjunction of EW and cyberspace and other aspects of information operations. In training EW fighters, the Army is sending soldiers to the Navy and Air Force to open up pipelines for new cyber personnel–Frost thinks there is still much to learn regarding cyber-EW collaboration, without reinventing the military wheel.