An important step in delivering Navy’s future warfare effects was achieved in Sydney on 1 July with the establishment of a specific organisation to focus on information warfare.
The Information Warfare Force will bring together a number of existing groups with the aim to further develop Navy’s ability to operate in the fast-changing world of information transmission and technology.
The inaugural Commander Information Warfare, Commodore Braddon Wheeler has been responsible for developing the role of the Force.
”The establishment of the Royal Australian Navy’s Information Warfare Force aligns with the Australian Defence Force’s strategic aims and we will play a significant role in the maritime side of information warfare,” Commodore Wheeler said.
“It involves both drawing together current Navy information warfare units under one command and also introducing and accessing new capabilities for the Fleet.”
Navy’s assets are key contributors to meeting Australia’s regional and global strategic objectives.
“Information Warfare Force will be part of the crucial requirements of Navy warfighting strategy into the future,” Commodore Wheeler said.
“We will ensure the Fleet has access to all the information warfare capabilities it needs to undertake maritime operations.”
Enhanced protection of Navy’s own information and the development of new tools will provide modern, cutting-edge and highly capable techniques to fight and win at sea.
Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer said Navy’s decision to invest both capital and personnel was significant.
“Information and its management has always been a key enabler in warfare and with the proliferation of information technology into society it is now a key capability in its own right,” Rear Admiral Mayer said.
“This is a dynamic and evolving space and I expect there will be continuous development into the future.”
Some of the groups to become part of Information Warfare Force are the five Navy Imagery Units around the country.
Chief Petty Officer Imagery Specialist Phillip Hunt, Officer-in-Charge of Navy Imagery Unit – East said that being part of the new Force recognised the importance of imagery in Navy information operations.
“The old saying that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ has never been truer than it is today, with photographic and video imagery crucial to showcasing Navy’s capabilities, as well as to analysing and understanding the capabilities of our partners and adversaries,” he said.
“Along with my colleagues working throughout Australia, I am excited to be joining Navy’s newest Force Command at its foundation, and look forward to continuing to provide high-quality imagery in support of Navy’s information warfare efforts.”
Joining the Navy Imagery Units as part of the group is the Royal Australian Navy’s Tactical Data Link Organisation; the Maritime Data Correlation Centre; the Maritime Intelligence Support Centre; the Directorate of Maritime Command, Control, Communications and Computers and Electronic Warfare; and the Fleet Information and Communications Technology Support Teams.