Land Information Warfare Activity

by Staff Sergeant Richard A. Sizer

Operations in the 21st century will be heavily based on knowledge derived from relevant information and intelligence (RII) collected, processed, analyzed and disseminated over a complex global automated system of systems. The evolving military information environment will fundamentally change the way we, the Army, conduct operations in peace and in conflict. IO includes all measures, both offensive and defensive, taken to achieve information dominance. The Army will integrate IO into every aspect of Army XXI.

General Dennis J. Reimer Chief of Staff, Army

To meet this military challenge and to institutionalize the integration of information operations (IO) throughout the force, the Army established the Land Information Warfare Activity (LIWA) on 8 May 1995, as part of the U.S. Army Modernization Plan. LIWA provides today's Army commanders an immediate operational capability that may be called upon to integrate the elements of IO and information warfare (IW) into exercises, operational plans, and orders.
Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) recently distributed the new Army doctrine, FM 100-6, Information Operations. It calls for continuous military operations within the military information infrastructure (MII) that enable, enhance, and protect the friendly force's ability to collect, process, and act on information to achieve an advantage across the full range of military operations. IO includes interacting with the global information infrastructure by exploiting or degrading an adversary's information and decisionmaking capabilities. It also includes acquiring, using, protecting, managing, exploiting, and denying information and information systems. These activities take place within a battlespace established by the MII.
IW has emerged as an essential joint war fighting mission area. The explosive proliferation of information-based technologies significantly impacts warfighting across all phases, the range of military operations, and all levels of war.

The LIWA Mission

The mission of the LIWA is to provide IO and IW support to land component and separate Army commands, both active and reserve, and to facilitate planning and execution of IO. The LIWA is tasked to provide the following types of support to the Army commander:

LIWA Organization and Challenges

The LIWA is specifically organized and equipped to provide tailored IO support to the LCCs (see Figure 1). The LIWA provides commanders with technical expertise and equipment that are not resident on the command's general and special staff, and provides responsive technical interfaces with other commands, Service components, and IW centers. When deployed, the LIWA FST becomes an integral part of the command's IO staff that synchronize and execute IO as part of the overall operation. To facilitate special technical support, the FST has a robust reach-back capability that supports the warfighter. Employing both military and commercial communication capabilities, the FST is electronically tethered to the LIWA Support Center. The Support Center functions as the focal point for the LIWA staff and coordinates intelligence, operations, administrative support, and command functions.
The biggest challenge LIWA faces is in providing information assurance and it requires a most diverse effort. It includes expanding the recently established Army Computer Emergency Response Team (ACERT) Coordination Center, mission support operations, and vulnerability anal- ysis of the current and future Army command, control, communications, computers, intelligence (C4I) systems and networks. Support to Army XXI is a significant part of this information assurance and command and control (C2) protect effort. In C2 support of the Army digitization offices and the HQDA Director of Operations, Readiness and Mobilization, the LIWA is tasked to coordinate and oversee the multidisciplined counterintelligence and operational security (MDCI/OPSEC) assess- ment and force characterization of the new digitized force, Army XXI. This MDCI/OPSEC assessment will focus on essential elements of friendly information of the military automated information systems. The LIWA will also coordinate and oversee all-source collection and analysis efforts of the digitized force to determine the friendly signature profile, and assess system vulnerabilities which may be open to hostile exploitation and attack. Data collection for this overarching effort will be coordinated during both unit training activity at Fort Hood and during its AWE at the National Training Center in early 1997.
Our reliance on technology creates dependency and vulnerability throughout our basing and information support networks. This generates requirements for defensive IW capabilities. However, the same technologies also create vulnerabilities for our adversaries we can exploit using offensive IW capabilities. When fully developed and integrated, IW offers enormous potential to support our warfighters.

LIWA's Operational Support Priorities

To assist the LIWA staff in focusing on Army priorities, the Vice Chief of Staff for the Army has provided the following guidance and operational support priorities:
LIWA tasking for operational support must be submitted through operations channels to the DA Staff, DAMO-ODI, (703) 697-1119, or DSN 227-1119.

Conclusion

A comprehensive IW approach is essential to ensure warfighters have the tools to exploit vulnerabilities while ensuring full access to timely, accurate, and relevant information wherever and whenever needed. The Army Staff, in conjunction with HQ TRADOC, has developed an IO vision and strategy for the Army that address our most urgent needs. Victory Through Information Dominance!
Staff Sergeant Sizer is currently NCOIC for the Intelligence Support Division, LIWA. His assignments include service with the 2d Combat Aviation Brigade, 2d Infantry Division in Korea, and with the Center for Army Tactics at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Staff Sergeant Sizer has an associate of arts degree in Supervisory Leadership from Hawaii Pacific University. Readers can reach him at (703) 706-2266, DSN 235-2266/96 and via E-mail at [email protected] army.mil.