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FW: *ICN - New Tools Emerge For InfoWar Battle

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  • Robert W. Miller
    New Tools Emerge For InfoWar Battle BY: ROBERT WALL AND DAVID A. FULGHUM In a bid to aid efforts to make information warfare more operationally relevant,
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 12, 2001
      New Tools Emerge For InfoWar Battle

      In a bid to aid efforts to make information warfare more operationally
      relevant, researchers are devising new ways to conduct various forms of
      cyber, electronic and psychological warfare.

      But developing the technology to make information warfare effective is only
      part of the solution. Getting the proper people to conduct these missions,
      particularly in the emerging cyberwarfare arena, is proving as much of a
      challenge as the technology is.

      Several organizations have sprung up to help address various aspects of the
      information warfare challenge. Among them is the Air Force's Information
      Warfare Battlelab which, since its inception in 1997, has examined more than
      270 concepts. It now has 37 projects under investigation.

      While many of the projects are unclassified, some of the most promising
      involve closely guarded secrets. Two of the latter are ''Coordinated Noise''
      and ''Aimpoint.''

      Both are information warfare tools using directed energy technology and are
      supposed to provide an ability to strike a target with extreme precision.
      While Coordinated Noise is seen as relying on microwave energy, the Aimpoint
      project could use either high-power microwaves or laser technology. The
      projects are sponsored by an array of organizations, including the U.S. Air
      Forces Europe, Special Operations Command, the Air Force Research Laboratory
      and Air Combat Command.

      The battlelab initiatives span many technologies, which are reflective of
      the disparate fields that fall under the umbrella term of information
      operations. Almost half of the battlelab efforts fall into a category called
      information-in-warfare, an area encompassing intelligence, surveillance,
      reconnaissance, navigation, weather and other activities. About 30% of the
      projects are in the general category of electronic warfare, with about 8% of
      initiatives associated with psychological operations.

      EACH OF THE INITIATIVES is supposed to lead to a demonstration within 18
      months. Most of them, about 70%, are proposed by industry, although a
      considerable number emanate from the Air Force.

      The psychological warfare area has yielded one of battlelab's latest
      successes, a new leaflet bomb. The Air Force has been using the 200-lb. M129
      leaflet bomb. But those canisters are aging and the inventory is being
      rapidly depleted. However, the battlelab realized that older cluster
      munitions were being phased-out of operational use, freeing up thousands of
      SUU-30 dispensers that could be modified to deliver leaflets.

      Using the SUU-30 had several advantages, said Lt. Col. Dan Radcliff, deputy
      at the battlelab. For one, the weapon can actually carry about 1,000
      leaflets, which is more than can be packed into the M129. Furthermore,
      because the weapon has already undergone stores separation testing, what the
      Air Force calls Seek Eagle, it can be fielded quickly.

      The new device, designated the LBU-30, for leaflet bomb unit, recently
      completed flight testing at Eglin AFB, Fla. The weapon was successfully
      dropped from an F-16 flying at 20,000 ft. Several customers have already
      signed up for the system, said Col. Mark J. Nichols, the battlelab's

      ANOTHER PROJECT UNDERTAKEN at the lab was the Raytheon-built Microglider, a
      22-in. long, 8-lb. vehicle that can carry a 4-lb. imaging payload for battle
      damage assessment. The system would be dispensed from a tactical fighter and
      fly 9-10 min. with a 10:1 glide ratio. The aircraft would fly to its target
      at about 100-kt. speed, guided by GPS coordinates, said Lt. Jeremy Haas, of
      the battlelab.

      In an operational configuration, the battle damage video would be relayed to
      an RC-135 Rivet Joint or transmitted through another unmanned aircraft, like
      Predator, or through satellites to an operations center.

      On the navigation warfare front, the battlelab successfully demonstrated a
      small GPS jammer. It was built to deny an adversary access to GPS signals.
      The Air Force has retained the gear, which it is keeping ready for potential
      operational use or to employ in exercises.

      Another tool the Air Force has developed to aid its information attack
      capability is called Sensor Harvest, which is built and managed by the Air
      Force Information Warfare Center's IW Target Analysis Program. The system
      essentially provides a repository of data on potential adversary countries
      to determine how best to launch information warfare attacks. It can be used
      to create ''target nomination files'' that war planners can draw on.

      Constructing and maintaining a country file is time and personnel intensive,
      however, which is the main reason Sensor Harvest only supports about 10
      active countries at one time. On average, it takes about eight people seven
      months to build a country file, using 500-1,000 data points from classified
      and unclassified sources. Another 2-3 people are needed to maintain a
      country. The tool also can be used against transnational threats, said one
      Air Force official, although that field is still deemed relatively new.

      On the defensive IW front, Defense Dept. officials are trying to ensure they
      don't create possible vulnerabilities in systems they introduce. That's why
      the Joint Information Operation Center (JIOC), also located here, has set up
      a field demonstration team to do vulnerability analyses of the Pentagon's
      Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrations. These demos are devised to use
      existing hardware to field new capabilities quickly.

      Furthermore, the group is used to support exercises and emulate different IW
      threats in the field, said Navy Lt. Jeff Garcia, who oversees the team. This
      includes jamming which could be provided by a potential enemy. One feature
      of the unit is that is uses exclusively off-the-shelf gear any adversary can
      obtain. For instance, the hobby shop-like operation has been able to mount
      effective direction-finding and signals intercept gear in a sport utility
      and a recreational vehicle to clandestinely collect information on
      exercising forces.

      On another front, USAF and other information warfare planners are attempting
      to address a serious personnel shortfall problem. Shortages of uniformed
      cyberwarfare experts has caused the Defense Dept. to rely, to some extent,
      more on contractors. As a result ''our contractor costs have gone up,'' said
      another JIOC official.

      One strategy being pursued is that of wooing more civilian software
      developers, said Army Col. David C. Kirk, deputy commander of the Joint
      Information Operations Center. The organization has had some success
      enticing software engineers looking for a more steady lifestyle than the
      highly competitive pace of Silicon Valley. But that in itself isn't enough
      to fill the military's demands, Kirk acknowledged.

      Another effort is to make sure all computer talent in the military is
      properly exploited. ''We found Washington Air National Guard Microsoft
      software employees working on diesel generators,'' said Maj. Gen. Bruce
      Wright, commander of the Air Intelligence Agency. They now have been
      reassigned and are instead supporting the Air Force's computer aggressor
      squadron. Similar initiatives are underway with the Texas, Vermont and
      Kentucky Air National Guards, Wright said.

      THE PERSONNEL CRUNCH is being felt not only in the cyberwarfare realm. ''We
      are literally short of people much worse than we are of money right now,''
      added Col. James C. Massaro, commander of the 67th Information Operations
      Wing. One area where the wing always is struggling to fill slots is in
      linguists, who fill critical listening positions on, for instance, the
      RC-135 Rivet Joint signals intercept aircraft. There are some areas where
      there are only two or three speakers of a language in the Air Force, which
      means they have to be deployed often and are difficult to keep in the
      service, Massaro noted.
      URL: http://www.aviationnow.com

      Aviation Week & Space Technology
      February 26, 2001

      Det. Robert W. Miller
      Colorado Internet Crimes Against
      Children Task Force
      Pueblo High Tech. Crime Unit
      Pueblo County Sheriff's Office
      320 S. Joe Martinez Blvd.
      Pueblo West, CO. 81007
      Tel (719)583-4736
      FAX (719)583-4732
      PGP key available at: http://pgpkeys.mit.edu:11371/
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