DoD Ops in a C4ISR-Denied Environment, and More

06.06.14 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

The Department of Defense prepares and trains for military operations in environments in which communications and surveillance are denied or obstructed, a new report to Congress says.

Combatant commanders “spend many man-hours… developing frameworks and procedures for using alternative methods, diversifying communications paths and media, and pursuing the ability to use distributed operations in a denied environment.”

The issue was summarily addressed in a mandatory report to Congress on “Joint Strategy for Readiness and Training in a Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) Denied Environment.” The brief, unclassified report was transmitted to Congress in February 2014 and released under the Freedom of Information Act this week.

Somewhat relatedly, a declassified 1971 memorandum from the National Reconnaissance Office addressed the subject of “avoidance of coorbital intercept,” or anti-anti-satellite operations.

The subject was highly sensitive at the time. “Any action on our part which demonstrates the possibility that we possess the ability to evade a coorbital intercept… is potentially compromising of the great efficacy of U.S. satellite collection capability in this area.”

Unrelatedly, but notably, the Federal Judicial Center has published a compilation of “protective orders” that were issued by courts in national security criminal cases, including espionage trials and leak cases, over the past 15 years.  See National Security Prosecutions: Protective Orders, April 2014.