GENERAL ROBERT M. SHEA
Chief of Staff for Command Control Communications Computers and
HEADQUARTERS, UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
and distinguished members of the committee, I am pleased to have this
opportunity to discuss how the Corps is meeting the challenge of its role
in information dominance and particularly the critical challenge of
Today I plan
to provide you an overview of the Marine Corps approach to Information
Superiority. To achieve this
goal, we must ensure that our approach to information technology (IT) and
command and control supports our warfighting doctrine, that we focus on
interoperability, that our processes provide the infrastructure to meet
information needs, that we are protecting our information resources, and
that we are actively addressing every challenge.
MANEUVER FROM THE SEA OVERVIEW
with an overview of the conceptual warfighting framework within which we
expect to operate in the future.
Today we have Marine Expeditionary Units (MEUs) deployed around the
world. At any time they may
deploy ashore to execute any one of the many capabilities for which they
are specially trained. Success
of those missions depends on our ability to provide the right information
to the right place at the right time --
in a format they can use and understand.
situation warrants, the MEU becomes the base on which we build a larger
-- a Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) or Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF)
-- to conduct a classic amphibious operation with the Navy or to conduct
sustained operations ashore alongside the Army and the Air Force.
In any case, increased command and control (C2) capability is
required to ensure operational success.
That is how
we operate today and for the near future. But as I say these words, we are
in the process of revamping our doctrine to embrace and support the
concept of operational maneuver from the sea.
Continued support to current operations while adapting for the
future requires a holistic approach to information and command and control
systems, as expressed to the committee last year by Lieutenant General
Rhodes, the Commanding General of the Marine Corps Combat Development
Maneuver From the Sea, commonly
referred to as OMFTS, is the
Marine Corps capstone warfighting concept that, when coupled with its
supporting concepts, serves as the basis for framing the capabilities the
Marine Corps of the 21st century will need to achieve victory
on the modern battlefield.
envisions a future environment characterized by “crisis in the
describes a new form of littoral power projection in which the amphibious
force focuses on the operational objective rather than building a large
command and control capability ashore.
It makes extensive use of maneuver at sea as a means of gaining an
advantage to deliver a decisive blow at a significant enemy weakness.
OMFTS offers the promise of extraordinary leaps in operational
flexibility as the result of technological enhancements in such areas as
sea based logistics, fires, and command and control systems.
combined with a command and control system that is oriented toward rapid
decision-making at all levels of command, the additional speed and
flexibility offered by these new techniques produces a high tempo combat
operation. This tempo will
lend itself to favorable conditions for decisive victory.
With OMFTS, our inextricable
link to the Navy grows tighter as we develop our emerging concepts of
command and control afloat. In
the past, we have always exercised initial command and control of
amphibious operations from Landing Force Operations Centers aboard ship.
Our concept called for movement of our command posts ashore as soon
as we installed adequate infrastructure and were able to control combat
As we look
to our emerging concept of Operational
Maneuver from the Sea and improvements in technology that are now
available, we intend to exploit the advantages of keeping many elements of
command and control afloat. We
have always concerned ourselves with operational momentum and force
protection. With OMFTS,
supported by the technology available now or soon arriving, we can
eliminate the disruption that previously occurred during the ship-to-shore
movement of our various C2 functions.
Our C2 nodes are afforded enhanced force protection through the
ability to stay at sea, and the logistics requirement ashore is reduced.
It is the alignment of concepts and technology that allows
this to happen. We could not
exercise this concept with yesterday's C2 systems.
Their limited range and capability required the commander and a
large staff to move off the ship to position themselves where they could
control the battle. The means are now available to operate a large portion
of our command and control, particularly staff functions, while afloat. As the Navy implements its Information Technology for the
21st Century (IT-21) concept, it is now able to support Naval operations
with systems that better support our concepts through direct connections
to forces ashore, as well as with reach-back.
Technology for the 21st Century (IT-21)
The Navy and
Marine Corps are making great strides in developing and streamlining the
process for identifying and procuring shipboard C2 systems.
Many of these efforts fall under the umbrella of the Navy's IT-21
initiative. We have made
progress in ensuring IT-21 includes the systems of Marine Corps interest,
as well as ensuring that we work towards common solutions, standards and
systems that support the full range of Naval operations.
Integration between Marine and Navy IT-21 configurations continues
to improve. While there are
pieces of this integration that require work, the progress to date has
been very supportive of our deploying Marines.
currently deploying are seeing increased bandwidth for both ship-to-ship
and ship-to-shore communications supported by a much more robust shipboard
local area network. We have
passed the stage where it was sufficient to have a robust C2 system on one
ship of the Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and archaic manual systems on all
the other ships. Forces dispersed across all the ships are able to share
information and collaborate in operational planning and execution with
greatly reduced decision cycle times. Marine
Expeditionary Units operating in places as diverse as Kosovo or East Timor
are seeing dramatic improvements in their ability to conduct collaborative
planning while in the split-ARG operations that are now common.
We will build on that success.
Continued progress in this area is crucial to our success in an
amphibious environment and will become even more critical as the OMFTS
Corps War Fighting Lab/Extended Littoral Battle Field Technology
evolving our C2 capabilities through experimentation. The experiments conducted by the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab
have been instrumental in highlighting deficiencies in our command and
control systems, as well as steering us to technologies to solve these
experimentation has highlighted the need for a radio for our small unit
leaders to exercise command and control of their forces in an urban
environment. We do not have
this type of radio in our inventory in sufficient quantities today,
despite the obvious need. The
Lab has pointed us to a low-cost intra-squad radio solution that has
received high praise from our Marines.
Warfighting Lab continues with a series of battle experiments to determine
solutions that will work in various operational environments.
In the command and control area, they are determining the
information needs of small unit leaders and ways to deliver a scalable
Common Tactical Picture (CTP). The
lab is also looking for technological solutions to support the over the
horizon command and control requirements of OMFTS.
to command and control forces when operating over the horizon has been
always been a significant challenge for amphibious forces. Through the combined efforts of the Office of Naval Research
and the Warfighting Lab, a program called Extending the Littoral
Battlespace has successfully demonstrated the employment of airborne
hosted wireless wideband technologies from ships off the coast of southern
California to the desert in the vicinity of Yuma, Arizona.
This experimentation allowed the small unit leaders in the desert
to share a common understanding of the tactical environment with other
members of the network. This
type of capability is essential for us to achieve the full potential of
the OMFTS force.
our future warfighting environment to include Joint and Coalition
operations. When discussing
Naval, Joint or coalition operations, the topic quickly moves to
interoperability. The Marine
Corps is the model for interoperability.
Despite being the smallest of services, the Marine Corps is a
combined arms force. We train
and fly in combat with the Air Force and the Navy.
Ashore, we fight shoulder to shoulder with the Army, and we move
forward from the sea with our Navy partners. We are always in a
Joint warfighting environment. As
you may have heard the Commandant testify, the Marine Corps provides 20
percent of the nation's active infantry battalions, 20 percent of the
active fighter/attack squadrons, 17 percent of the attack helicopters, and
one third of all ground combat service support in the active forces.
Interoperability with our sister services and coalition partners receives
the highest priority within the Marine Corps, and we often serve as an
honest broker on interoperability issues.
primarily a “buyer” --
not a developer -- of systems, including information and command and
control systems. Our Year 2000 (Y2K) operational evaluations illustrate
this; 52 percent of our systems are developed by the other services.
can't afford to develop -- nor do we intend to buy -- systems that don't
fit into the established Joint architectures. Therefore, we zealously
press for Joint solutions to our command and control systems and
information systems requirements. To
that end, we have recently established a Systems Engineering and
Integration (SE&I) Division within the Marine Corps Systems Command to
ensure that our command and control systems acquisitions and developments
do in fact comply with the DoD-designated Joint Technical Architecture and
are interoperable. The
function of the SE&I activity is
to establish and enforce an overarching plan to ensure that Marine Corps
C4I systems work as a C4I 'system of systems' in the Joint and Allied
arena. The SE&I Division
centrally identifies, manages, and enforces interoperability standards and
integration engineering processes.
that effort is another Marine Corps Systems Command initiative, the
Systems Integration Environment (SIE) at the Marine Corps Tactical System
Support Activity. Our
developers will use this integration environment to test systems and
network configurations, ensuring that our tactical command and control
systems perform as advertised, before fielding.
The SIE also supports rapid acquisition initiatives since systems
and configurations can be tested, adjusted, and retested in a realistic
We have made
major strides in recent years in upgrading the Corps command and control
systems posture, and we thank the Congress for its support in this
improvement. Our FY01 budget
submission continues our emphasis on upgrading tactical systems.
purchased satellite terminals that operate across a broad range of the
frequency spectrum to exploit both commercial and exclusive DoD satellite
systems. MILSTAR terminals like the SMART-T permit us to operate our
critical Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) command and control systems
in a stressed environment. The
wideband STAR-T terminals, slated for acquisition starting in FY02, will
provide us the flexibility to use both the Defense Satellite
Communications System (DSCS), as well as commercial satellites for our
long haul and reachback command and control systems requirements.
In the meantime, we are working to extend the service life of our
current Ground Mobile Forces wideband terminals.
fielding of the Tactical Data Network (TDN) and Digital Technical Control
(DTC) facility in the FY01/02 timeframe, we will have a solid digital
backbone down to the regiment. Additionally, we procured the enhanced
manpack UHF satellite terminals for our lighter, highly mobile Marines. The combination of these acquisitions not only enhances our
ability to command and control Marine forces, but it is fundamental to our
participation in Joint operations.
Information Superiority challenge for the MAGTF lies below the regiment
level. We are fielding the
Enhanced Position Location and Reporting System (EPLRS) to fill the gap
down to the company level until a more robust and capable solution is
Budget requests funding to proceed with the development of a standard Unit
Operations Center (UOC) for our warfighting forces. This UOC program will incorporate elements of our present
Common Air Command and Control Systems (CAC2S).
It will focus on providing our commanders with a relevant Common
Operational Picture (COP) that combines, among other things, ground
tracks, sensor data, and air command and control information. UOCs will be scalable, using modular technology.
Our UOCs will allow commanders of any combat, combat support, and
combat service support unit to make faster and better decisions through
enhanced situational awareness and state of the art collaborative planning
endorse the development of the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) and are
optimistic that it will provide the solution to our networked voice, data
and video requirements below the Division, Wing and Group level.
When the JTRS is successfully fielded, it will allow us to “neck
down” to a single family of combat net radios capable of meeting the
requirements of the multiple families of radios that we currently employ.
We expect the JTRS to offer increased operational flexibility,
efficiencies in training, and reduced logistics support for our operating
requirement for FY01 is our need for a ruggedized hand-held radio, such as
the Multiband Intersquad Tactical Radio (MBITR), currently used by Special
Forces in SOCOM. This radio
satisfies our Tactical Hand Held Radio (THHR) Mission Needs Statement.
Over the past several years, the Corps
has invested significant time and money in improving its base
infrastructure to ensure it provides a seamless connection between our
supporting establishment and operating forces.
The upgrade of the telecommunications
infrastructure for our supporting establishment, the fifth element of the
MAGTF, remains one of our most pressing priorities. In the networked world we have entered, our bases, posts and
stations are both literal and virtual extensions of our operating forces
so we are eliminating the boundaries between our tactical and base
networks. We recognize that
they are both inextricably linked to our current operations, as well as OMFTS.
Our Base Telecommunications and
Infrastructure Upgrade Plan has been the bedrock of our garrison network,
allowing us to procure and install a variety of network components and
applications resulting in the implementation of a centrally managed and
defended enterprise network -- the Marine Corps Enterprise Network (MCEN).
It has also allowed us to expand connectivity to critical command
and control facilities.
With your funding increase last year,
we are continuing this expansion. We
are reaping significant dividends upgrading the cabling systems and
structured wiring at 21 of our 32 bases. This capability increases the
bandwidth available at the desktop, improving data flow for graphics,
imagery, and video -- a capability that will support reach back for our
There is no doubt when we finish
upgrading the supporting establishment telecommunications infrastructure,
we will have developed a true force multiplier through our ability to move
information rapidly and seamlessly. Examples
of this abound. Imagine the
ability of a deployed commander to reach back to one of our bases for the
functions that can be adequately performed there, thus reducing the lift
requirements for his command and/or adding an additional capability of his
choosing. For example, a
forward deployed Marine Expeditionary Unit, our smallest MAGTF, might be
in need of special maintenance support and conduct a video teleconference
(VTC) with a subject matter expert at our logistics depot in Albany,
Georgia in much the same manner that telemedicine is performed.
Or, a Marine Expeditionary Brigade commander could reach back to
Quantico to model and simulate his operation plan before going into
The potential advantages are
boundless, and there is no technical reason to preclude exploiting this
capability. When completed,
these upgrades will permit us to enhance and exploit our integrated
logistics capability (ILC) and provide for adoption of E-commerce and
Corps-wide process improvements. These
telecommunications upgrades will also allow us to leverage advances in
We appreciate your past support and we
seek your continued interest and assistance to complete this initiative at
our bases. We continue to
strengthen and refresh our network resources to meet the needs of the
recent, well-publicized distributed denial of service attacks on Yahoo and
other commercial websites highlight the inherent vulnerabilities
associated with our rapidly evolving network-centric world. They also serve to remind us that we must continue our
aggressive efforts to secure our networks and information stores.
If these events are any indication of the maturity of coordinated
cyber-assaults, then we should feel lucky it was undertaken in the
commercial sector. Although we have made substantial progress in this
area, our present ability to counter such a threat is minimal. The picture
grows even more sobering if we accept that this attack was not the
deliberate, malicious work of a nation-state, but rather the effort of a
loosely coupled coalition of hacker groups.
the Marine Corps denied these hackers the ability to use Marine Corps
sites as jumping off-points, neither we -- nor any other service -- would
have been immune to the flood of traffic that choked some of the world's
largest, best-constructed web-sites, had the attack been directed at us.
we have learned a great deal from this event. This was a single thread
assault: one adversary, or group of adversaries, employing a single attack
method. A multi-thread attack
-- one that combines, for example, a distributed denial of service attack,
the broadcast of a Melissa virus containing a destructive payload, and the
synchronized implanting of Trojan Horse 'sniffers' -- has not been
conducted to our knowledge. As
a result, we have not been forced to test our ability to respond to a
coordinated, well-orchestrated attack of this nature.
a multi-thread attack occurs, our Information Assurance posture must allow
us to control the tempo of the cyber-battlefield.
To do this, we must have invested sufficiently to ensure our
defensive positions are reinforced and all avenues of approach are
covered. Our ability to
detect intrusions must be multifaceted.
Whether it be a frontal assault, such as that experienced by
commercial sites, a slow probing of our boundary layer security
architecture, or an internal threat to our information integrity, we can
not lose the situational awareness provided by a robust intrusion
detection architecture. With this capability in place, we can conduct an
active defense of our networks and react decisively, effectively, and
rapidly to possible intrusions. Only
through a combination of these can we hope to stay one step ahead of our
in the previous discussions is the lack of boundaries in this new realm of
electronic warfare. We know
'thin red lines' do not exist, and the enemy does not have a most likely
avenue of approach. Our adversaries are not constrained by traditional
boundaries, so they are able to treat the world as a cyber free-fire zone.
believe that a robust Information Assurance architecture is built upon
seven (7) critical elements. These
robust network infrastructure;
Information Technology Standards;
Information Technology Policy;
control of Information Technology resource acquisition;
Administrator training and user education;
enterprise network management and configuration control; and,
address each of these elements briefly.
Network Infrastructure. At the
core of our Information Assurance architecture is a robust network
infrastructure. As noted
before, we have been pressing forward aggressively to modernize our bases,
posts, and stations. More
needs to be done and once again, we seek your support to continue our
Technology Standards. Key to
implementing and sustaining a robust Information Assurance architecture is
the adherence to enterprise information technology standards.
The Corps has a single entity, the Marine Corps Combat Development
Command that develops and promulgates internal, as well as external, IT
standards. This includes
those standards associated with OSD's Global Information Grid (GIG) and
the Department of the Navy's Chief Information Officer's (DON CIO)
Information Technology Standards Guideline (ITSG) initiatives.
These standards govern the hardware and software fielded to our
warfighters and supporting establishment.
Moreover, these standards cover the spectrum of functionality, from
the desktop to the DISN service delivery node.
Service-level responsibility for developing and promulgating IT
policy is central to the establishment of processes necessary to effect
Information Assurance on an enterprise scale.
The Corps has assigned this authority and responsibility to the
Assistant Chief of Staff for Command, Control, Communications, Computers
and Intelligence (C4I). Because
the Assistant Chief of Staff for C4I both develops policy and has
operational control of the MCEN, he has the direct authority to enforce
all Information Assurance policies. This
tight coupling ensures the focus on information that is essential to
ensuring a secure network.
Centralized Acquisition. Leveraging
the foundation provided by centralized standards and policy development
processes, the Marine Corps has centralized its acquisition of all IT
resources in a single entity. Routers, servers, switches, and other
network-specific resources have been procured centrally since 1992. At the beginning of this fiscal year, the Marine Corps
Systems Command extended this centralization and began procurement of all
end-user workstations, software and peripheral devices. By controlling the
process that acquires end-user components, we have taken a major step
towards strengthening the end-to-end configuration control of our network
-- a mandatory function if an enterprise Information Assurance
architecture is to be implemented successfully.
Training and Education. Education
and training ensure that policies and practices are understood and
exercised. User education is
vital to the protection of our networks and mission critical information.
Although our focus has been on protecting the transport mechanism, it is
just as important to protect the information that traverses these
protection starts at the user level.
Regardless of the technology employed, without an educated,
disciplined, engaged user community, the security of our networks and
information will always be suspect. In response to this challenge, we have instituted a
Corps-wide program where all Marines receive annual training designed to
raise their level of awareness and emphasize the critical role they play
in this network-centric world. In
the future, we see the user's role becoming ever more important as new
technologies, such as Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) / Smart Card, are
deployed throughout DoD. If we fail to leverage our personnel resources at this
critical juncture in the development of network functionality, it can only
increase the Information Assurance challenges we are certain to face in
our information system professionals is critical, too, if we hope to
implement a viable Information Assurance architecture in both deployed and
garrison environments. Specifically,
the Marine Corps is establishing a new MOS within our enlisted ranks that
focuses on information security. Marines
with this Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) will be specifically
trained in security policies, plans and procedures, network security
measures, network certification, and information system security analysis.
mobile training teams, provided by our Network Operations Center (NOC),
are immediately dispatched when a new security technology is fielded
before the establishment of a formal training pipeline.
Providing 'just-in-time' training in this fashion not only meets
our warfighters' operational requirement for security technology and
provides a Marine capable of sustaining that technology, it also
eliminates the time technicians have to be away from their units at a
formal school, thus reducing training and travel costs.
This responds to the dynamics of our changing technology
Enterprise Network Management. The
Marine Corps exercises centralized operational, technical and
configuration control of the 32 bases, posts, and stations that make up
the MCEN. As previously stated, the Marine Corps Network Operations Center
manages the enterprise network under the direction of the Assistant
Chief of Staff for C4I. To
ensure consistency across the Marine Corps network, the Center uses the
same set of standard DoD-compliant software tools for our supporting
establishment networks as those employed by our Marines in the field.
configuration control is reflected in our implementation of a contiguous
enterprise IP addressing scheme, a standard network operating system, a
single electronic messaging system, a single global directory that is
capable of reflecting changes world-wide instantaneously, and a common
router operating system. We
are currently implementing an enterprise resource inventory, configuration
management and software distribution system.
When completed, the Marine Corps will have 100% visibility of IT
resources connected to the enterprise network.
Our focus on the warfighter and commitment to interoperability is
further reflected in our acquisition of long haul service solely from the
Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA).
This approach to effecting command and control of our networks
allowed us to transition 68,000 seats to a new network operating system
and electronic messaging system in less than 14 months.
network management architecture is the foundation for our enterprise
Information Assurance architecture.
Defense in Depth. We have based our
Information Assurance architecture on the 'Defense in Depth' strategy.
This strategy calls for the implementation of 'layers' of
the boundary layer, where the MCEN joins the DISN, we are fully covered
with firewalls and screening routers.
At each of our bases, posts and stations, we have implemented, and
centrally manage, screening routers, firewalls, intrusion detection
devices, and virtual private network devices.
Our firewalls and screening routers are the 'locked front door'
--keeping out unwanted visitors. Our
intrusion detection devices let us know when someone is trying to break-in
– feeding information back to our central enterprise NOC where immediate
action can be taken and correlation analysis conducted.
Of note is that each Marine Forces (MARFOR) command element is
given a 'feed' of intrusion detection data to provide them situational
awareness of the enterprise network that falls within their Area of
Responsibility (AOR). Our most recent initiative, installation of Virtual Private
Network (VPN) devices, has created a Marine Corps Intranet that allows
non-secure and legacy applications to communicate without jeopardizing the
security of the enterprise network.
have duplicated this boundary layer security functionality, and along with
the network management capability previously addressed, packaged it in
"fly-away, " or deployable transit cases, for our Marine
Expeditionary Forces (MEFs). The
Deployed Security Interdiction Device (DSID) is currently being fielded,
with Full Operational Capability (FOC) targeted for June, 2000.
additional layers of defense are encountered as we move deeper into the
base, post, or station. One
of these layers calls for implementing security devices that support
segregating an organization from other entities on the same network, based
on mission requirements.
layer below this supports isolation of user groups within an organization
-- again, based on mission requirements.
We feel the jury is still out when it comes to answering the
question, “How much security is enough?”
We must never forget that the information needs of the warfighter
remain preeminent. We must
continuously review our choices when it comes to balancing security
against service and performance. We
can never inhibit the flow of information to the warfighters when they are
in, or intend to go, in harms-way.
final layer encountered focuses on the end-user. In this area, we have implemented virus-scanning software on
all workstations and application servers.
Additionally, we are pressing forward with pilot-site
implementations of PKI at Marine Forces Pacific Headquarters and at the
Marine Corps Systems Command.
Information Assurance architecture is not a static entity.
It is a living, dynamic body that must have the flexibility to
respond to a wide range of attack methodologies, the capacity to withstand
a brute force attack, and the resilience to speed reconstitution.
Through the unique combination of centralized network management
and the array of security assets described above, we pursue active defense
of the MCEN. The Marine
Forces component to the Joint Task Force for Computer Network Defense (JTF-CND)
is co-located with our Network Operations Center, and is charged with
defending the enterprise network.
This synergistic relationship provides the framework within which
active computer network defense is integrated with network management.
In many cases, delay is minimal to non-existent when responding to
direction from the JTF-CND.
Commander of the MARFOR-CND is the Assistant Chief of Staff for C4I. Combined
with his operational control of the enterprise NOC, this gives him direct
control of the two organizations responsible for defense of the network.
As such, the Marine Corps is uniquely postured to respond
decisively, effectively and in a timely manner to intrusions and network
continue to add to the capabilities of the MARFOR-CND component.
Staffed completely with Marines from our Reserve forces, we have
established a Web Risk Assessment Cell.
The mission of this cell is to test the vulnerability of our
web-sites. Through 'virtual drilling,' these reserves check our
web-sites for inappropriate content and assess them for vulnerabilities
that might leave them open to compromise.
am confident that the FY01 budget will further strengthen our Information
Assurance architecture. Related
steps that we are undertaking include:
implementation of PKI;
and staffing of an alternate network operations center;
expansion of the SIPRNET down to the battalion/squadron;
more – and dynamically allocating --
integration of Reserves into the NOC and MARFOR-CND;
a quarterly vulnerability assessment program;
host level intrusion detection; and
the security functionality of biometric technology.
our ability to resource all these initiatives is limited and not fully
funded in the current budget. Your
continued support of our infrastructure and modernization efforts will
enhance our ability to exploit our information systems to their fullest,
knowing that they will be available when needed and the information
resources protected from inadvertent or malicious compromise.
implementation of information dominance as envisioned in Joint Vision 2010 is founded on the existence of secure, robust and
seamless network connectivity. If
we view the aggregation of our networks as a weapons delivery system, then
effective, timely, and decisive command and control is the 'round' that
must be fired if we are to succeed on a battlefield governed at the 'speed
of thought.' Our Information
Assurance efforts will ensure we can hit the target.
AND THREATS TO INFORMATION SUPERIORITY
You have heard many of us speak to the
changing military environment -- and nowhere is that more apparent than in
the information technology arm of the military. We are faced with a number of challenges and threats.
I would like to present some of the more pressing of these today.
-- The Key Resource
Our tactical, shore and Information
Assurance interests are only successful if we have the right people -- an
adequate number of trained, motivated Marines -- in place to operate and
maintain our systems.
First and foremost, we must recruit
and retain Marines with appropriate skills to install, operate and
maintain the technology we are employing.
As you are aware, our Marines with information technology skills
are leaving the Corps at a much too rapid rate.
This is true of both our officer and enlisted ranks.
The Corps has always been a source of skilled personnel for the
civilian work force. However, the boom in technology has increased the
civilian sector demand for skilled IT men and women and has rapidly driven
commercial salaries well beyond our competitive range.
The shortage of skilled personnel in selected technical
occupational fields leads to increased personnel tempo and the associated
quality of life issues.
The rapid evolution and turnover of
technology is another challenge we face.
In the past we were able to field a C2 capability with the
reasonable expectation that we would be using that solution for ten to
fifteen years. The long life
cycle of our systems enabled us to establish a systems configuration
baseline, develop sound principles for policy and doctrine, and establish
our recruiting and training pipelines.
We no longer have that long life cycle.
Today, technology can change within a
budget cycle. The correct
technological solution for today's requirement may require a new approach
24 months from now. While we
are actively implementing acquisition reform initiatives and streamlining
our processes, adjusting to the need for such rapid procurement and
fielding of systems is truly a challenge we all must face.
Spectrum management continues to be
one of the most challenging and least understood issues with which we are
confronted. The global
economic benefits derived from the sale of the frequency spectrum are
placing major restrictions on the use of what were heretofore exclusive
military frequency bands.
These restrictions have significant
readiness impacts. In some
areas of the world, including the United States, we are not permitted to
train on the equipment we will use in combat.
In other cases, we cannot develop adequate solutions to our command
and control requirements because there is no clear set of internationally
approved frequencies for a specific capability.
Yet in other instances, the use of the frequency spectrum is
uncontrolled and consequently we are confronted with serious radio
frequency interference problems.
For years now we have loathed the
“stovepiped” systems we developed.
They were excessively costly, manpower-intensive and inefficient.
We are rapidly moving away from this approach.
While I certainly don’t endorse going back to stovepipes, we need
a thorough understanding of the consequences of going to a network-centric
world where all our IT services and command and control systems, including
secure voice, video and data, ride over a single path to the
warfighter or the desktop. While
this may be efficient from a business perspective, it doesn't always make
sense from a warfighting perspective.
We must be careful not to confuse efficiency with effectiveness,
nor can we afford the single points of failure inherent in many commercial
A clear distinction needs to be made
between business and warfighting. While
some principles apply to both, they are different in key areas.
As you all recognize, warfighting is not clean nor neat; and one
need only look at recent events in Grozny for evidence of this.
We must acknowledge that our potential
foes are learned and thinking adversaries -- not some benign, static
entity. In a warfighting
context, for most of the leaps we have taken in command and control
systems technology, there is a small, relatively inexpensive, yet
effective countermeasure to that technology. Our potential adversaries
recognize this -- it is the asymmetric threat with which we must be
For example, a multi-million dollar
wireless network could be rendered irrelevant by the use of a very
inexpensive, hard to detect expendable radio frequency jammer. Disruption of the electromagnetic spectrum and network attack
are a major Information Superiority concern for Marines.
Computer network attack has the
potential to be the poor regime's asymmetric counter for our Information
Superiority thrust. It requires very little in the way of resources; can
be launched from virtually anywhere in the world; and has the potential to
mask the originator. It is
recognized globally as a force multiplier.
Over two years ago as the Director for Command, Control and
Communications for the U.S. Pacific Command, I hosted a conference of
several Pacific Rim nations to discuss areas of mutual interest.
The one topic that was on every
nation's agenda was that of Information Operations. Even the least developed nations had interest in this item
and were highly conversant on the topic.
They had studied the topic extensively through the Internet, and
while many nations didn't have the depth and breadth of computer
expertise, they all had a cadre of experts.
This area of warfare and study is quickly expanding and is
receiving serious foreign military thought as evidenced by the article Unrestricted Warfare written
by two People's Liberation Army (PLA) colonels in the People's Daily.
The article highlights how real
Information Warfare is -- and how seriously many nations are taking it.
The authors advocate planning for Internet insurgency, manipulating
a stock market crash, a computer virus attack, destabilizing exchange
rates, and spreading rumors on the Internet as part of unrestricted
– MEETING THE CHALLENGE
We have just successfully overcome
perhaps the most significant challenge we have faced since the dawn of the
information age. The Y2K
Challenge taught us many lessons, as well as taught us more about our
systems than we previously knew. How
we develop and deploy systems and the extent of the commander's dependence
on IT has never been as clearly defined as it is today -- thanks to our
Y2K experience. The fact that
we transited the millennium rollover without a single operational impact
attests to the degree that we learned our lessons and applied the proper
tool to our benefit. Our
challenge now is to focus this same attention to the issues I have just
addressed to achieve our goals in attaining and sustaining Information
Superiority to support Operational Maneuver from the Sea.
Your support has allowed us to provide
a very effective command and control capability.
I am convinced that today we have Information Superiority over any
challenger and are focused on the Information Assurance elements that will
maintain this lead. But with technology changing rapidly, we cannot become
complacent. As technology
changes, we must change as well.
Given the combination of dynamic
changes in technology, the increased complexity of the systems we are
fielding, and the loss of technically skilled Marines, it is clear that we
are facing a significant challenge.
We must address this challenge, and it
is my belief that our Fiscal Year 2001 budget submission is on target. We
can use your continued help with our investments in both tactical systems
and base infrastructure. This
will allow us to develop the capability needed to provide Information
Superiority to “America's 911 Force.”