LIWA

As it celebrates its second anniversary, this Activity is a new type of kevlar bulletproof vest...protecting the warfighter from enemy information bullets


By Rose Rivera

     The U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command’s Land Information Warfare Activity celebrated its second anniversay May 8 at Fort Belvoir, Va.

     In that time, it has evolved from a great idea to an operationally effective unit.

     Functionally, the LIWA is the operational focal point for the Army’s information operations and command and control warfare (C2W). Its mission is to provide information operations support to the land component and separate U.S. Army commands. Both active Army and Reserve Component units receive support from LIWA, facilitating planning and execution of information operations.

     According to Col. Hal Stevens, director of LIWA, his activity performs several functions relating to information operations in a broad perspective.

     "We deploy information operations teams to field commanders to develop and execute their plans," said Stevens. "Due to field experience, contingency operations and exercises, we are developing lessons learned on how to plan, execute, synchronize and coordinate information operations in the field."

     One lesson learned by LIWA personnel was determing what was different about the planning process for information operations than in a normal planning process. The Army’s process is to synchronize different aspects of battlefield operations using the five tenets working separately.

     "We (LIWA) learned a better plan can be developed if you pull all the pieces together and then allow them to work together," said Stevens.

     The operation tempo for LIWA remains high as it supports contingencies, Army XXI, exercises and day-to-day information operations missions. Currently, LIWA has teams deployed throughout the Army helping synchronize information operations.

     For example, LIWA provides contingency support to the lst Infantry Division’s information operations efforts for Operation Joint Guard in Bosnia. Before that, it supported the 1st Armored Division during Operation Joint Endeavor. Over the last 24 months, LIWA has supported eight exercises, including Prairie Warrior, Blue Flag, Evident Surprise and First Encounter.

     LIWA contains three areas of interest: The Army Reprogramming Analysis Team–Threat Analysis, the Army Computer Emergency Response Team/Coordination Center and the Field Support Team.

     The Army Reprogramming Analysis Team–Threat Analysis, known as ARAT–TA, provides rapid reprogramming capability for Army aviation radar warning receivers, world-wide.

     LIWA has established a coordination center for the Army’s efforts to protect its electronic information borders. The Army Computer Emergency Response Team/Coordination Center was officially opened within the INSCOM headquarters on March 17.

     According to Brig. Gen. John D. Thomas Jr., INSCOM commander, the ACERT/CC is the focal point for technical support the Army system and network administrators in dealing with hacker attacks and coordinating security incidents.

     "It is not enough to have information; the Army has the responsibility to safeguard that information and protect it from intruders and hackers," said Thomas. "The ACERT is the Army’s contribution to a nation-wide, computer security reporting and response capability. It responds to all Army computer security incidents such as intrusions or attacks from all computer networks."

     The ACERT/CC distributes C2 protect information and tools for security of the Army’s automated information systems. If you need assistance or suspect a computer intrusion incident or virus, contact the ACERT at 1-888-203-6332 or commercial 703-706-1113.

     The Field Support Team (FST) provides land component commanders with responsive information operations and C2 protect expertise. A three-to-seven-person team with different skills is tailored to the mission needs of the commander.

     The FST members are selected based upon the requirements for psychological, detection, operational security, electronic warfare, C2-protect and intelligence.

     When deployed, the Field Support Team becomes an integral part of the support command G3 (operations) staff.

     Rose Rivera is the staff action control officer for the Land Information Warfare Activity, U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command, Fort Belvoir, Va.

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   Last Updated: July 02, 1997