All posts by Richard Mosier

Breaking the Anti-Ship Missile Kill Chain

By Dick Mosier

With the fielding of increasingly capable anti-ship missiles, the centerpiece of the next conflict with a near-peer maritime power will be warfare to deny the adversary the intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and target acquisition information required for successful anti-ship missile attack on surface combatants and capital ships. Land, air, surface ship, and submarine launched anti-ship missiles are and will increasingly be the dominant threat to surface navy operations. Ballistic anti-ship missile systems such as the Chinese Dong Feng 21 (DF21D) and Dong Feng 26 (DF26); hypersonic anti-ship missiles such as the Russian 3M22 Zircon (NATO SS-N-33); and, anti-ship cruise missiles leveraging artificial intelligence for threat avoidance and target acquisition dramatically increase the threat and severely challenge the anti-ship missile defense capabilities of the surface navy.

The trend favors the offense. The longstanding and current investments in fleet kinetic and electronic defense against incoming launch platform or inbound anti-ship missiles will remain necessary but increasingly insufficient. A sea-skimming, Mach 6, ZIRCON anti-ship missile, breaking the radar horizon at 15nm from a surface target, would impact the ship in approximately 15 seconds. With these short reaction times the likelihood of a navy surface ship detecting and destroying the incoming missile is low.  

One way to offset this dramatically increased threat is to counter the adversary’s intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) and target acquisition (TA) capabilities. Even the most sophisticated anti-ship missile systems are dependent on a chain of events starting with intelligence to support the targeting decision process, followed by reconnaissance and surveillance to find the target, and ending with weapons effects on the target. It includes the communications and data links for the transfer of information along the kill chain and the command and control decisionmakers. The attack will be unsuccessful if any of the links in this anti-ship missile kill chain are broken.  

The concept of a kill chain is well established in the U.S. military as evident in terms such as Sensor-to-Shooter; Observe, Orient, Decide, Act (OODA); and Find, Fix, Track, Target, Engage, and Assess (F2T2EA). Though similar in concept, the kill chain for anti-ship missile attack against moving maritime targets requires a detailed decomposition to identify the links in the chain of events that must be completed for attack success. The following is a representation of a notional anti-ship missile kill chain.

The links in the kill chain that reference “observables” all depend on own force/own ship offering visual, infrared, acoustic, RF (radar, communications, data links) observables that can be exploited by the adversary to complete the kill chain. In addition to technical observables, the operations of the force/own ship offer observables such as course, speed, and formation from which to deduce that the entities are military and that entities being screened by a formation might be the highest value. Many of the observables that can be exploited by the enemy to acquire this information can be controlled or manipulated to degrade links in the enemy’s anti-ship kill chain.

In response to the rapidly evolving threat, the Navy needs a strategy that officially recognizes the requirement and places high priority on breaking the anti-ship missile kill chain. There are several elements to the execution of this strategy. First, it requires very detailed intelligence on the end-to-end kill chain for each type of anti-ship missile, identifying, locating, and assessing the technical characteristics and performance of each link in the chain. Second, it requires operational intelligence on how a potential adversary actually uses or trains to operate the kill chain for each type of missile. Third, it requires analysis of the observables offered by U.S. Navy combatants that could inform an adversary’s kill chain. Having knowledge of all three elements, the analysis can be performed to identify both material and non-material alternatives; and assess their effectiveness, technical and operational feasibility, probability of success, and costs.

Breaking the anti-ship missile kill chain requires a response that integrates a variety of national, theater, and Navy information-related activities executed ashore and afloat. Composite Warfare Commanders and their supporting Information Operations Warfare Commanders will be required to have detailed knowledge of adversary ISR and TA systems and their capabilities. They will require situational awareness sufficient to determine whether the force is within enemy detection range, and assess whether the adversary has located and identified the force. This assessment drives the decision of if and when to transition from denying observables to active electronic and kinetic defense when it is tactically advantageous.

It will also require creation of a new warfighter career path focused on countering enemy ISR and TA and breaking the anti-ship missile kill chain. This career path would be technically challenging, requiring personnel educated in the physics of the various types of sensing, such as satellite reconnaissance, Over-The-Horizon Radar (OTH-R), Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR), time difference of arrival (TDOA), frequency difference of arrival (FDOA), imaging and non-imaging IR, and acoustic systems. The knowledge of physics at work in the acoustic, atmospheric, and ionospheric environments and in the various types of sensing systems has to be followed by knowledge of how various techniques are employed by adversaries along individual steps of the kill chain when hunting surface ships and aircraft. This foundation of knowledge forms the basis for the conceptualization and testing of new concepts, formulation of new requirements, the fielding of new systems, the development of doctrine and tactics, and manning of the fleet with ready warfighters.

In summary, the fielding of ballistic and hypersonic anti-ship missiles by Russia and the China constitutes an alarming increase in the threat to U.S. Navy surface ships. It demands a strong, focused, offsetting response aimed at defeating these new weapons by breaking their respective anti-ship missile kill chains. This strategy will be successful only if it is treated as a major new direction for the U.S. Navy, with sustained high-level support, strong organization, and innovative leadership.  

Dick Mosier is a recently retired defense contractor systems engineer; Naval Flight Officer; OPNAV N2 civilian analyst; SES 4 responsible for oversight of tactical intelligence systems and leadership of major defense analyses on UAVs, Signals Intelligence, and C4ISR.  His interest is in improving the effectiveness of U.S. Navy tactical operations, with a particular focus on organizational seams, a particularly lucrative venue for the identification of long-standing issues and dramatic improvement. The article represents the author’s views and is not necessarily the position of the Department of Defense or the United States Navy. 

Featured Image: Sputnik/ Ildus Gilyazutdinov

Navy Information Warfare — What is it?

By Richard Mosier

Defining a warfare area’s mission and function is the foundation for all activities required to conduct mission area analysis to determine requirements, develop doctrine and tactics, and structure, train, and equip the fleet to accomplish the mission.

Within the U.S. Navy, the terms Information Warfare (IW), Information Operations (IO), and Information Operations Warfare are widely used but not well defined. Nor are they linked to provide coherent definitions from joint and service perspectives that are essential to successful communication regarding IW’s relationship to other warfare areas and supporting activities. The result is confusion and a lack of progress in structuring, training, and equipping the U.S. Navy to perform this emerging predominant warfare area.

The following are examples of how these terms mean different things to different groups:

Reference: Station Hypo, 14 Jul 16, “CWOBC, a Community’s Course“: “The Cryptologic Warfare Officer Basic Course (CWOBC) formerly known as the Information Warfare Basic Course (IWBC) is an entry level course for all officers, regardless of commission source, who are coming into the Cryptologic Warfare Officer (CWO) community. Six weeks in length with an average annual throughput of 154, the course focuses on Signal Intelligence (SIGINT), Electronic Warfare (EW), Cyber Operations, as well as security fundamentals and community history.” Inasmuch as the content of the basic course remained the same, the terms “Information Warfare” and “Cryptologic Warfare” appear to mean the same thing for this group.  

150828-N-PU674-005 PENSACOLA, Fla. (Aug. 28, 2015) Officers attending the Information Professional Basic Course at Center for Information Dominance Unit Corry Station listen to Rear Adm. Daniel J. MacDonnell, commander of Information Dominance Corps Reserve Command (IDCRC) and Reserve deputy commander of Navy Information Dominance Forces (NAVIDFOR). Macdonnell spoke with them about career opportunities in the Information Dominance Corps and active and reserve integration. (U.S. Navy photo by Carla M. McCarthy/Released)
PENSACOLA, Fla. (Aug. 28, 2015) Officers attending the Information Professional Basic Course at Center for Information Dominance Unit Corry Station listen to Rear Adm. Daniel J. MacDonnell, commander of Information Dominance Corps Reserve Command (IDCRC) and Reserve deputy commander of Navy Information Dominance Forces (NAVIDFOR). Macdonnell spoke with them about career opportunities in the Information Dominance Corps and active and reserve integration. (U.S. Navy photo by Carla M. McCarthy/Released)

Reference the BUPERS Information Warfare Community Management web page. It only addresses Information Professionals (1820), Cryptologic Warfare Specialists (1810), Cyber Warfare Engineers (1840), Intelligence Officers (1830), and Oceanography Specialists (1800), implying that together this aggregation of legacy support specialties constitutes Information Warfare. All of these are restricted line designators that by definition exercise command only over organizations that perform these specialties. There are no unrestricted line designators for specializing in and exercising Information Operations Warfare Commander (IWC) functions described in Naval Warfare Publication NWP 3-56 below.

Reference: NAVADMIN 023/16, DTG 021815 Feb 16, Subject: Information Dominance Corps Re-designated Information Warfare Community. The message states Information Warfare’s mission is: “providing sufficient overmatch in command and control, understanding the battlespace and adversaries, and projecting power through and across all domains.” This description of the Information Warfare mission is substantially different from the definition of Information Operations defined by Secretary of Defense, adopted by the JCS, and reflected in Naval Warfare Publications.

The Secretary of Defense defines Information Operations in DOD Directive 3600.1, dated May 2, 2013, as: “The integrated employment, during military operations, of information-related capabilities in concert with other lines of operation to influence, disrupt, corrupt, or usurp the decision making of adversaries and potential adversaries while protecting our own.” This definition was incorporated in Joint Pub 1-02 and Naval Warfare Publications.

Naval Warfare Publication (NWP) 3-13 Information Operations, Feb 2014, defines Information Operations as: “the integrated employment, during military operations, of information-related capabilities in concert with other lines of operation to influence, disrupt, corrupt, or usurp the decision making of adversaries and potential adversaries while protecting our own.” Paragraph 1-3 states: “Evolving joint and Navy doctrine has refined IO as a discrete warfare area, not just a supporting function or enabling capability, and the IE [information environment] as a valuable and contested part of the battlespace.”

160123-N-PU674-018 PENSACOLA, Fla. (Jan. 23, 2016) Information warfare Sailors from the Center for Information Dominance Unit Corry Station mentor high school students during CyberThon, an event designed to develop the future cybersecurity workforce. Hosted by the Blue Angels Chapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, CyberThon challenged the students to play the role of newly hired information technology professionals tasked with defending their company's network. (U.S. Navy photo by Carla M. McCarthy/Released)
PENSACOLA, Fla. (Jan. 23, 2016) Information warfare Sailors from the Center for Information Dominance Unit Corry Station mentor high school students during CyberThon, an event designed to develop the future cybersecurity workforce. Hosted by the Blue Angels Chapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, CyberThon challenged the students to play the role of newly hired information technology professionals tasked with defending their company’s network. (U.S. Navy photo by Carla M. McCarthy/Released)

Naval Warfare Publication (NWP) 3-56, subject: Composite Warfare Commander, Feb 2010, Paragraph 3.7 identifies twenty-three typical functions assigned to the “Information Operations Warfare Commander (IWC)” that are summarized below:

  • Planning IO, EW, Military Deception, Operations Security, PSYOP, and Spectrum Usage.  
  • Developing, coordinating, and practicing preplanned responses for counter-surveillance, counter-influence, and counter-targeting in response to changes in the tactical situation.        
  • Recommending the EMCON profile and coordinating with ASWC to manage acoustic emissions in response to changes in the tactical situation.
  • Controlling ES and EA assets, and coordinating employment of ES and cryptologic sensors.
  • Conducting computer Network Defense (CND) and COMSEC monitoring.
  • Paragraph 4.3.4 states; “The IWC establishes and maintains the tactical picture….” It also states: [T]he IWC ….. achieves and maintains information superiority….and supports other warfare commanders.”

The term Information Operations is officially defined and documented. The term Information Warfare, though used extensively within the Navy, is not clearly defined, nor is it linked to Information Operations, resulting in confusion and limited progress.

VADM Jan Tighe assumed duties as OPNAV N2/N6 and Director of Naval Intelligence in July 2016. Image credit: US Navy
VADM Jan Tighe assumed duties as OPNAV N2/N6 and Director of Naval Intelligence in July 2016. (U.S. Navy photo)

For example, within the OPNAV Staff the N-2/N-6 carries the title Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare. He/she leads the “Navy Information Warfare Community” which so far is composed only of the legacy support specialties of Intelligence, Cryptology, METOC and IT. To date, there is little to suggest that the OPNAV N-2/N-6 has assumed responsibility for mission analysis, requirements definitions, and structuring, training, and equipping the fleet to achieve superiority over an adversary through Information Operations. Moreover, there is little suggesting recognition that Information Operations Warfare Commander (IWC) functions require performance in a command capacity (IWC), specialized training, and substantial systems functionality that has to be integrated with, rather than separate from, the combat systems that support other warfare areas.

CNO NAVADMIN 083/12, DTG 121702ZMAR12, Subject: OPNAV Realignment, lays out that the DCNO for Warfare Systems (N9) “is responsible for the integration of manpower, training, sustainment, modernization, and procurement readiness of the Navy’s warfare systems.” The N9 supplies leadership, guidance, and direction to the directors of Expeditionary Warfare (N95), Surface Warfare (N96), Undersea Warfare (N97), and Air Warfare (N98). The organization also oversees requirements and resource allocation across these warfare areas. Information Operations is not mentioned. From all indications, the N9 is not responsible for integrating IW/IO combat system functionality with the combat systems that support planning and execution in the traditional warfare areas. Given the functions of the IWC summarized above, combat systems integration is essential for mission success. This suggests the need for a well defined relationship between the N-9 and the N-2/N-6.

In order to eliminate confusion and realize the potential contribution of Information Operations to naval warfare, the U.S. Navy needs to formally (1) define the IW mission, (2) specify IW functions to be accomplished by personnel, organizations, and systems, and (3) assign IW organizational responsibilities. The following are proposed definitions.

Mission

Per JP 1-02, Information Operations is “the integrated employment, during military operations, of information-related capabilities in concert with other lines of operation to influence, disrupt, corrupt, or usurp the decision making of adversaries and potential adversaries while protecting our own.”  

This definition, focused on “operations” or “employment” would be retained.  However, it does not satisfy the JP 1-02 criteria of “mission”: “The task, together with the purpose, that clearly indicates the action to be taken and the reason therefore.”  The mission statement should be focused not on employment, but on the warfare task, purpose, action to be taken and the reason therefore. This translates to the need for the term “Information Warfare.” The following is offered as a statement of the mission of Naval Information Warfare:

That portion of naval warfare in which operations are conducted to influence, disrupt, corrupt, or usurp the enemy’s human and automated decision making to gain warfighting advantages over the adversary, while protecting our own.

Functions

JP 1-02 defines “Function” as: “The broad, general, and enduring role for which an organization is designed, equipped, and trained.” The following is offered as a statement of the functions of Navy Information Warfare:

Naval Information Warfare functions are to achieve superior situation awareness and combat command decisions; influence enemy decisions; deny the enemy information superiority; disrupt enemy decision making; and  protect and defend own force information and information systems from external or internal threats.

Tasks

JP1-02 defines “Task” as: A clearly defined action or activity specifically assigned to an individual or organization that must be done as it is imposed by an appropriate authority. A discrete event or action that enables a mission or function to be accomplished.”

IW tasks are those tasks considered essential for the accomplishment of assigned or anticipated missions. After defining IW mission and functions, mission area analysis can proceed to identify mission essential tasks, and define required operational capabilities derived therefrom.

In summary, IW is a predominant warfare area that has the unrealized potential to be a major factor in prevailing in naval warfare with a near-peer adversary through the employment of Information Operations. A clear definition of IW missions, functions, and assignment of responsibilities for requirements, resource sponsorship, acquisition, and combat systems integration would serve to place this warfare area on a firm footing and serve a foundation for the realization of its significant potential contribution to combat success.  

Richard Mosier is a former naval aviator, intelligence analyst at ONI, OSD/DIA SES 4, and systems engineer specializing in Information Warfare. The views express herein are solely those of the author.

Featured Image: PENSACOLA, Fla. (Feb. 3, 2011) The Center for Information Dominance (CID) has become the first non-operational shore command approved for the newly created Enlisted Information Dominance Warfare Specialty pin. (U.S. Navy photo by Gary Nichols/Released)

Sacred Cow: Military Pay and Benefits By the Numbers

This article is part of our “Sacred Cows Week.”

Commissary Special: 2-for-1 Children.
                 Commissary Special: 2-for-1 Children.

Cost of the all-volunteer force in its current form is unsustainable.  In the FY 2013 budget, the DoD cost of “taking care of people” consumes more than $250 billion or over 50 percent of the total DoD budget. An additional $200 billion is spent by organizations outside of DoD for programs within the Departments of Veterans Affairs, Labor, Education, and Treasury. [1]

In its July 2012 Study: Rebalancing Military Compensation: An Evidence-Based Approach , the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment concluded:  “Over the past decade, the cost per person in the active-duty force increased by 46 percent, excluding war funding and adjusting for inflation. If personnel costs continue growing at that rate and the overall defense budget remains flat with inflation, military personnel costs will consume the entire defense budget by 2039.[2]

Modifications to the pay and benefits will have to be made; however, the all-volunteer force is not going away.  Military Pay and Benefits and will remain a major factor in cost to the Federal Government and the Department of Defense, increasingly impacting resources available for force structure and weapon systems modernization.  The Reserve Policy Review Board (footnote 1 below) reported that in FY 13, the fully burdened total cost to the US government for an active component military person is $384,622 per year.  The total life cycle cost to the US government for an active component member is $10.3 million.

The 2013 DoD Strategic Choices and Management Review (SCMR) review developed compensation savings options such as: changing military health care for retirement; changing how the basic allowance for housing is calculated; reducing the overseas cost-of-living adjustments; and, limiting military and civilian pay increases.  The SecDef did not recommend specific SCMR compensation changes but tasked the Chairman JCS to lead the development of compensation proposals that save almost $50 billion over the next decade.  Implementation would begin in the FY 2015 budget.  The SCMR identified more sweeping changes to meet sequester funding level targets to include eliminating civilian pensions for retired military personnel serving in civilian government service; ending subsidies for defense commissaries; and, restricting the availability of unemployment benefits.  These changes would save almost $100 billion over the next decade, but they would significantly impact the DoD workforce.

In addition to the aforementioned changes in DoD military and civilian pay and benefits being considered, two changes in DoD acquisition policy may offer savings to offset at least some of the more painful pay and benefit changes.

First, savings could be realized if the DoD acquisition process required the services to reflect the total cost to the federal government of manpower in their computations of total life cycle costs for alternative weapons system designs such as Navy combatants.  As an example, a DDG-1000 is to have a size crew of 142 sailors compared to approximately 300 on a DDG 51.  This DDG crew size reduction of 158 military personnel translates to approximately $1.6 billion life cycle cost avoidance per ship in military pay and benefits to the US government, and the Navy.

Second, savings could be realized by severely reducing the detailed requirements in the fifty-eight page Chairman JCS Instruction CJCSI 6212.01F, subject: Net Ready Key Performance Parameter.[3]  These requirements levied on all Defense acquisition programs add significant cost to each program; add workload for service, OSD and Joint Staff review; and, require contractors to support the OSD and Joint Staff processes.  Interoperability among service and agency systems is essential for effective military operations.  That said, the requirements in CJCSI 6212.01 are overwhelming in detail, adding significant cost but resulting in limited improvements in interoperability.  Interoperability can be achieved at dramatically lower cost to the department.

Richard Mosier is a former Naval aviator (VQ/VP).  He served as a career civil servant working for the Director of Naval Intelligence in the 1970s and the Office of the Secretary of Defense staff (OASD(C3I)), retiring from the government in 1997 as an SES.  From 1997 to 2010 worked as an engineer for a defense contractor.



[1] Reserve Forces Policy Board, Final Report to the Secretary of Defense, Subject: Eliminating Major Gaps in DoD Data on the Fully-Burdened and Life-Cycle Cost of Military Personnel: Cost Elements Should be Mandated by Policy, (RFPB Report FY13-02) dated January 7, 2013.

http://ra.defense.gov/rfpb/_documents/RFPB_Cost_Methodology_Final_Report_7Jan13.pdf

 

[2] Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, Rebalancing Military Compensation: An Evidence-Based Approach, July 12, 2012, by Todd Harrison

http://www.csbaonline.org/publications/2012/07/rebalancing-military-compensation-an-evidence-based-approach/

 

Budget-Driven National Defense Strategy

This article is special to The Hunt for Strategic September, a week of analysis on the relevance of strategic guidance to today’s maritime strategy(ies).

Who's in the seat?
                                Who’s in the seat?

The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Pub 1-02 defines the term “Strategic Concept” as:  “The course of action accepted as the result of the estimate of the strategic situation.  It is a statement of what is to be done in broad terms sufficiently flexible to permit its use in framing military, diplomatic, economic, information and other measures which stem from it.”  The government’s estimate of the strategic situation can be found in the National Intelligence Council publication: Global Trends 2030 Alternative Worlds, December 2012. [1]  The course of action is reflected in the President’s 5 January 2013, defense strategy guidance entitled:  Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense. [2]  Known as the DSG, this guidance was intended to serve as the basis for DoD policy and resource decisions based on projected fiscal constraints.  However, the DSG did not include the significant additional cuts triggered by the Budget Control Act, e.g. “sequestration.”

The Strategic Choices and Management Review (SCMR), commissioned by the U.S. Secretary of Defense, was designed to produce guidance to the DoD to deal with the sequestration in 2014; formulate budgets for 2015-2019; and, serve as the basis for the upcoming Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR).  On 1 Aug 2013 Secretary Hagel announced the findings of the SCMR and laid out two alternative paths.  One path would prioritize high-end capabilities over end-strength.  The other would keep end-strength but sacrifice modernization and research and development on next-generation systems.  In summary, the world situation is well-defined in the DNI’s Global Trends 2030 Alternative Worlds (footnote 1).  However, the strategy or course of action for national defense planning and programming is a mess given the certainties (or uncertainties) of fiscal levels resulting from sequestration.  For Congress, the question is which comes first: the national defense strategy (the chicken) or the funding levels (the egg)?  Clearly the egg is in charge.

The QDR, mandated by Congress, is to be conducted by the DoD every four years to examine  force structure, force modernization plans, infrastructure, and budget plans.  The QDR is supposed to be a comprehensive effort to prepare a national defense strategy looking forward 20 years.  Logic would argue that if the national security threat is well-defined and understood, the strategy for addressing that threat would come first, with fiscal constraints causing adjustments to the strategy in areas of least risk.  The threat is projected thru 2030 and available to Congress.  The President has issued defense strategy guidance priorities for the 21st century which are available to Congress.  So, why does Congress require a QDR that, in effect, duplicates the executive branch processes?  Surely the congress understands that the DoD QDR has to be consistent with the President’s defense strategy guidance and consistent with the President’s budget submissions for DoD.

As presently defined, the QDR requires a substantial effort, delivers little value, and should be terminated.

Richard Mosier is a former Naval aviator (VQ/VP).  He served as a career civil servant working for the Director of Naval Intelligence in the 1970s and the Office of the Secretary of Defense staff (OASD(C3I)), retiring from the government in 1997 as an SES.  From 1997 to 2010 worked as an engineer for a defense contractor.