Military Embedded Systems

Electromagnetic-spectrum superiority will depend on agency and technology partnerships, says DoD official


December 03, 2021

Lisa Daigle

Assistant Managing Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Graphic illustration by Regina Ali, Department of Defense

58th AOC INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM AND CONVENTION, WASHINGTON, DC. The U.S. military must work with fellow government agencies, the commercial realm, and international groups to ensure electromagnetic-spectrum superiority over adversaries in all domains, said Kelly Fletcher, acting chief information officer at the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), in a speech on Wednesday at the annual Association of Old Crows conference. 

According to coverage of the speech and event by the DoD, Fletcher said that adversaries of the U.S. -- for example, Russia and China -- know how important electromagnetic spectrum technology is to the country's approach to warfare. She went on to say that the U.S. knows that it has vulnerabilities in that area, our adversaries know about them, and they're going to try to take advantage of them. 

Fletcher said that combating U.S. adversaries' spectrum aggressions and ensuring U.S. superiority in all things electromagnetic calls for what she termed a "whole-of-nation" approach, with actions including the DoD partnering with industry and academia, as well as with allies and partners; teaming with other government agencies, such as the Federal Communications Commission and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration; engaging with international bodies, such as the International Telecommunications Union and the World Radiocommunication Conference; collaborating with the commercial sector to enable a 5G network, including spectrum-sharing.

Additional steps she cited included the development of superior electromagnetic-spectrum capabilities by investing in research and development for systems that work in complex spectrum environments, interoperate with other platforms, and are easily upgraded; investment in robust electromagnetic battle-management capabilities to monitor, plan, and direct spectrum operations, including disruptive technologies; integration of spectrum into operations and plans, with robust testing; recruitment and training of a military and civilian work force that is skilled in electromagnetic-spectrum technologies; and an increase in total force readiness by ensuring all DoD personnel are at least somewhat familiar with the department's Electromagnetic Spectrum Superiority Strategy, which is unclassified and can be found online.

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