Annual Exercise Flexes Cyber Warfare Muscles.

Author:Tadjdeh, Yasmin
Position:Algorithmic Warfare

* The Army--working alongside Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force--demonstrated its cyber warfare capabilities during a bilateral exercise known as Cyber Blitz-Orient Shield 2019.

The event--which took place in September--married the Army's annual Cyber Blitz experiment with Orient Shield, a yearly bilateral exercise hosted by U.S. Army Pacific and Japan. It took place simultaneously at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lake-hurst, New Jersey, and at various locations across Japan.

"It was a great training opportunity for us to be able to operate in the [multi-domain operations] environment, to be able to work with a reliable partner that has the capacity and the will to be able to do this," said Maj. Gen. Viet Luong, commanding general of U.S. Army Japan. "I think the beauty of that is to be able to do it in the [great power] competition zone."

Orient Shield has been going on for more than 30 years, he said during a media roundtable at the Association of the United States Army's annual conference in Washington, D.C Historically, it has primarily focused on the tactical level where mission command is at the brigade level and maneuvers were conducted at the platoon and company levels to include a field training exercise and a series of live-fire activities.

This year's iteration--which featured more than 3,000 soldiers--was conducted at the operational level, he said.

Richard Wittstruck, associate director for field-based experimentation and integration at Army Combat Capabilities Development Command's C5ISR Center, said the Army integrated its new intelligence, information, cyber, electronic warfare and space unit, also known as I2CEWS, into the effort. I2CEWS was activated earlier this year.

"We distributed them several places [in the continental United States] so that they could do live, virtual, constructive training with real equipment and real threats presented to them, and then synchronized their products and activities with the multidomain task forces part of Orient Shield," he said.

During the exercise, a scenario would be developed by Orient Shield planners and Cyber Blitz personnel would then be able integrate into those and tie into both live and virtual operations, Wittstruck said.

Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force was not limited to remaining in its own country for the duration of the exercise, he noted. The nation deployed an attachment of soldiers to Cyber Blitz's base in New Jersey to integrate with I2CEWS defensive cyber operators.


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