New cyber test range trains soldiers for simultaneous cyber and combat operations


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American soldiers are being trained for Cyber wars.

A unique mix of training technologies sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) is preparing front-line soldiers to conduct cyber and combat operations simultaneously, as Marines demonstrated during a recent amphibious exercise off the coast of Virginia.

According to HomeLand Security News Wire, during last month’s Bold Alligator exercise, Marines used ONR’s Tactical Cyber Range to emulate adversary communications hidden in a noisy, dense electromagnetic spectrum —as much a battleground in today’s digital world as any piece of land.

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According to an ONR report, Marines from II Marine Expeditionary Force (II MEF) employed ONR’s combination of networking, communications, sensors, unmanned systems, and augmented reality technology during an urban combat scenario, allowing them to coordinate cyber and electronic warfare actions in support of larger military operations.

Navy and Marine Corps leaders have stressed the need for improved cyber capabilities in the pursuit of information dominance. The Marine Corps Information Enterprise Strategy specifically calls for the development technologies to train cyber personnel in realistic operational environments.

Bold Alligator is a joint, bi-annual exercise to demonstrate new technologies and capabilities for use in contested environments. Marines were struck with the cyber range’s ability to authentically replicate the complexity of enemy communications.