Electronic Spectrum: 'We Need to Know What Normal Is', Says Navy CNO

Thursday, October 31, 2013
CNO Adm. Jonathan Greenert: Photo credit USN

Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert was the keynote speaker at a national electronic warfare convention held in D.C. hosted by The Association of Old Crows (AOC), a non-profit organization that promotes all aspects of electronic warfare within the Department of Defense and Industry. 

Excerpts follow:

Speaking to more than 500 military and civilian electronic warfare and information operations professionals, Greenert discussed how the Navy is focused on the electromagnetic spectrum and cyber warfare in the coming years. 

"We're using the electromagnetic spectrum as a domain and as a means, and we understand and grasp it," said Greenert. "We have to figure out how we can beat things electronically first. Why do we spend all this money kinetically if we can jam, spoof or do otherwise?"

Greenert outlined the Navy's approach to this emerging domain in a series of three steps; the first step being cultivating more awareness of the electromagnetic and cyber warfare environment.

"We've got to get a better awareness of our environment out there, we need to know what normal is," said Greenert. "We've brought all these networks in and we know when there is a change, but is the status quo the normal? The other is finding out what our electronic signature is on all our units."

Greenert also stressed that commands need to remain vigilant in their cyber hygiene. 

"Are you changing your passwords frequently, are you keeping thumb drives off your computers and are you doing the proper monitoring?" Greenert asked.

Closing his remarks and following question and answer session, Greenert reiterated his commitment to exploring the electromagnetic spectrum and cyber warfare. He emphasized that this was something he would be working on for the rest of his tenure. 

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