operations was driven by decades of global security
events, including “what the Russians are doing in
Crimea, their new concept for what they call hybrid war,
what the Chinese have been doing” and the actions of
other potential adversaries who are “using relatively eas-
ily obtainable technological tools to thwart sophisticat-
ed tools that we may have.”
Westphal, a former Marine armor officer, said the trend
began when the rapid defeat of Iraqi forces during Opera-
tion Desert Storm convinced potential adversaries that
“they could not take us on force on force” in conventional
warfare and turned to asymmetric tactics against U.S.
troops in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. Those offsetting
tactics became more sophisticated with the proliferation of
advanced technologies enabling cyber and EW attacks.
That led the Marines’ top generals, in an executive
off-site conference last year, to call for analysis of
“what do Marines need to have in a MAGTF to successfully operate on a battlefield in 2025,” Westphal
That assessment would include not just standard
MAGTFs, such as MEFs and Marine Expeditionary
Units, but the emerging use of enhanced company teams
conducting distributed operations that would need “
significantly greater capability than what they have now” to
function in the information environment, he said.
That means giving them not just the traditional conventional capabilities, “but the ability to sense the battlefield, to be able to reach back for vast amounts of information and analysis from stateside while deployed and to
be sure that it is assured, trustworthy” and available
when needed, Westphal said.
He said the Corps’ current definition of IW is: “The
integration and synchronization of ideas, capabilities,
functions and resources needed to support planning,
commander decision making and achieve a relative
advantage in the information environment, for a specific time duration and space, as part of a combined
“This includes capabilities for command and con-
trol, intelligence, cyberspace, communications, net-
works, electronic warfare, space, military deception,
operations security and military support operations,
also known as information ops.”
The Marine leaders approved the task force’s draft
concept, which has six key desired attributes, he said.
The first attribute is: Assured, adaptable, resilient
command and control ( C2), which Westphal said
means “the ability to consistently provide C2 in any
environment, against any adversary.” The task force
took a broader view of “adversary” to include bad
weather that inhibits mobility or violent sun spots that
WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG SEAPOWER / FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016
Marines from 2nd Marine Division work in a Combat Operations Center during a 2nd Marine Division Command Post Exercise
(CPX) at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Oct. 29. The purpose of the CPX was to test the division’s ability to set up a communications
network in any environment that would be used to allow the division commander to command and control his Marines.