Secrecy News

DoD Network Operations Face a Contested Environment

All US military operations depend on the Department of Defense information network (DODIN). But the network is under increasing stress both internally and from external threats.

“DODIN operations are arguably the most important and most complex type of operation the Army performs on a daily basis,” according to a new Army doctrinal publication. “The network is the foundational capability for all other Army warfighting functions and capabilities.”

But the foundational character of the DoD information network also makes it a target.

“Because communications are a key command and control enabler, U.S. military communications and information networks present high value targets for enemies and adversaries.”

The new Army publication “establishes non-prescriptive ways to perform missions, functions, and tasks associated with Department of Defense information network operations in Army networks to enable and support the Army’s mission at all echelons.” See Techniques for Department of Defense Information Network Operations, ATP 6-02.71, April 30, 2019.

To a certain extent the Army vision of the DoD information network is aspirational and does not correspond to current reality.

The actual network infrastructure is “antiquated and is failing at high rates,” Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson told the House Armed Services Committee last year in response to questions for the record in a newly published hearing volume.