CHARLESTON, S.C. – Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic hosted the 2nd Annual DoD Symposium on Information Strategy and Political Warfare (SISPoW) on June 22-24 as part of the Phoenix Challenge 2022 Conference Series 2 (2022-2).
Operating under the theme “Assessing Information Advantage Across the Four Defense Priorities,” the second in a four-part series of conferences covered an array of topics to include doctrine for operations in the information environment (OIE), the Russia-Ukraine war, and emergent and essential digital technology.
“With rapid technological change being the norm, this conference illustrated an important cultural shift that is occurring in the information warfare domain,” said Capt. Nicole K. Nigro, NIWC Atlantic commanding officer. “By thinking jointly and globally, we understand the need to act as one united country in facing China, Russia and others, and I believe these few days at Phoenix Challenge 2022-2 had a profound and lasting impact on the work of our collective organizations.”
The four overarching priorities of the conference theme came from the 2022 National Defense Strategy (NDS), which states the following:
• Defending the homeland, paced to the growing multi-domain threat posed by China
• Deterring strategic attacks against the United States, allies and partners
• Deterring aggression, while being prepared to prevail in conflict when necessary — prioritizing the China challenge in the Indo-Pacific, then the Russia challenge in Europe
• Building a resilient Joint Force and defense ecosystem
The Phoenix Challenge series was launched earlier this year as a community of practice for 21st century leaders to track and adapt to what U.S. adversaries are conducting in the cyber, information and other environments.
“By opening the door to our allies and partners — folks with tremendous expertise from across government, industry, academia and public-private institutions — we are able to take a step back, think outside of the box and find solutions to the emerging problems we face,” Nigro said.
At Phoenix Challenge 2022-2, leaders assessed how OIE can, will and should be used to achieve NDS objectives related to information warfare strategies.
Developed by leaders from federally funded research and development centers, university affiliated research centers, national laboratories and senior-level Department of Defense (DoD) organizations, each panel discussion identified new gaps and issues during open discussions and assigned working groups to begin to tackle key objectives raised.
Actions identified —to include continued academic collaboration in developing a skilled and credentialed information operations (IO) workforce as well as creating a glossary of terms and common vernacular for discussing IO capabilities — will be reported during Phoenix Challenge 2022-3 later this year at the 11th Annual Pacific Information Operations & Electromagnetic Warfare Symposium being hosted by Indo-Pacific Command.
“A key objective of these events is promoting the exchange of information on core initiatives at an appropriate senior level,” said Erik Gardner, director of NIWC Atlantic’s Palmetto Tech Bridge and a key organizer of the event. “Phoenix Challenge 2022-2 helped advance government collaboration on efforts ranging from research and acquisition to operational planning, training and execution.”
Capt. Mark Anderson, assigned to Military Strategic Effects within the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy, was just one of many foreign defense professionals participating in Phoenix Challenge 2022-2.
“This symposium has presented the United Kingdom with a unique opportunity to work alongside leaders from the U.S. military, international partners, academia and industry to begin to resolve many of the challenges facing the international OIE community of interest,” Anderson said. “It has been an extremely worthwhile conference, and the United Kingdom very much looks forward to supporting Phoenix Challenge 2022-3.”
With strong NIWC Atlantic support, Phoenix Challenge 2022-2 was organized by Dr. Ryan Maness and Rebecca Lorentz of the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) and Austin Branch of the Advanced Research Laboratory for Intelligence and Security (ARLIS) at the University of Maryland.
“As the research arm of the series,” Maness said, “we wanted to start conversations about how to assess and measure the effectiveness of OIE and discuss shortfalls and gaps that exist. This will hopefully lead to salient and collaborative research projects that help our warfighters better understand the current environment.”
In addition to NPS and ARLIS, the three-day event was sponsored by the Principal Information Operations Advisor of the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense (USD) for Policy, the Office of the USD for Intelligence and Security, DoD Information Strategy Research Center, and the Information Professionals Association.
Peter C. Reddy, NIWC Atlantic executive director, said national security is so often dependent on the latest advances in technology, which is why events like Phoenix Challenge are important connection points between practitioners from the U.S. services and combatant commands and allies and technologists with the intent to accelerate technology for innovative applications supporting OIE.
“The leaders and partners at this conference represented an expanding community and growing innovation ecosystem rapidly developing globally to address the dynamic information environment we currently face,” Reddy said. “By hosting warfighter-focused technical exchanges like Phoenix Challenge, we can achieve and maintain the information advantage our nation needs in the current strategic competition environment.”
For more information on upcoming Phoenix Challenge events, please visit https://www.fbcinc.com/e/AOCPacific/
About NIWC Atlantic
As a part of Naval Information Warfare Systems Command, NIWC Atlantic provides systems engineering and acquisition to deliver information warfare capabilities to the naval, joint and national warfighter through the acquisition, development, integration, production, test, deployment, and sustainment of interoperable command, control, communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, cyber and information technology capabilities.
|Date Posted:||06.30.2022 16:56|
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