[ISN] Navy unveils its network command

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Mon Jul 15 2002 - 03:48:33 PDT

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    The Virginian-Pilot
    July 12, 2002 
    VIRGINIA BEACH -- In future wars, the military hopes to integrate its
    battlefield information so seamlessly that sailors, Marines, airmen
    and soldiers will be able to watch events unfold as they happen.
    To that end, a top-level naval command officially opened Thursday to
    oversee the development and maintenance of critical information
    networks throughout the fleet.
    With the Naval Network Warfare Command at Little Creek Naval
    Amphibious Base, the Navy gives a high profile to a concept that calls
    for linking ships, aircraft and ground forces in elaborate electronic
    networks that allow them to share information about the enemy
    Adm. Robert J. Natter, commander of both U.S. Fleet Forces Command and
    the Atlantic Fleet, said in a speech Thursday that the command would
    be charged with providing ``reliable, fast and secure information'' to
    the nation's warfighters in battle.
    Vice Adm. Richard W. Mayo will serve as the command's first leader. He
    previously served on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations as
    director of the Navy's Space and Information Warfare Command and
    Control operation in Washington, D.C.
    In its charge, the new network warfare command will direct the Fleet
    Information Warfare Center, the Naval Network and Space Operations
    Command in Dahlgren and the Navy Component Task Force Computer Network
    Defense in Washington, D.C.
    NETWARCOM, as the new command will be called, will also become the
    naval component of U.S. Space Command.
    It will coordinate information operations and technology, as well as
    space requirements and operations within the Navy.
    The staff at the command will not exceed 60 people, Mayo said. But
    other reports indicate that the command will direct approximately
    7,000 personnel worldwide.
    Mayo refused to say how much the annual budget for the command would
    be, but earlier reports to Congress said that command's starting
    budget will be $5.5 million. The total will increase to $14.8 million
    per year by 2004, according to a fact sheet the Navy distributed to
    members of Congress.
    The figure, though, pales in comparison to the billion-dollar budgets
    of the Navy's other type commands over air and ship operations.
    Mayo said that network warfare in Operation Enduring Freedom ``worked,
    but it's fragile.''
    Other analysts have agreed, applauding technological advances that
    enabled almost instantaneous information from sensors manned by
    special forces on the ground to carrier-based jet fighters in the
    ``But the conflict in Afghanistan only proves that the integration
    ``technically works in a nonhostile or low-threat environment,'' Milan
    Vego wrote in this month's edition of the Naval Institute magazine,
    ``It does not tell us,'' wrote Vego, a professor of operations at the
    Naval War College in Rhode Island, ``whether U.S. systems are robust
    enough to operate smoothly in the face of a determined physical and
    electronic attack by a resourceful and skillful enemy.''
    Reach Matthew Dolan at mdolanat_private or 446-2322.
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