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CHIPS Articles: Navy Cryptology Vision and Guidance June 2016

Navy Cryptology Vision and Guidance June 2016
By Lt. Jason Knudson - April-June 2016
“The Navy and Marine Corps have a rich tradition of turning bold ideas into operational reality, and this ability, more than any piece of equipment or weapon system, is our inherent competitive advantage. As the rate of change in the global environment accelerates and the landscape of potential threats shifts more rapidly than ever before, we must adapt accordingly to maintain our advantage.”

- SECNAV Ray Mabus, Task Force Innovation Memo

“With Cryptology having a central leadership role in a time of rapid change, we need to rapidly adapt. We live in a world that is evolving more quickly than ever before... The threats to our nation are evolving, the technology we must leverage, exploit, and secure is evolving, and, yes, the way we approach these challenges, turning them into opportunities, requires us to evolve our thinking. The diversity of thought and action in our warfare community puts us at the forefront of achievable innovation. This is not a choice. We must evolve and innovate or we will fail the mission. Mission failure is not an option.”

– VADM Jan Tighe, Navy Cryptologic Community Leader, “Navy Cryptologists: Leaders Across the Spectrum”

On June 26th, the Navy’s Cryptologic Warfare Community released a new vision and guidance titled: “Navy Cryptologists: Leaders Across the Spectrum.” This vision directly incorporates insights discovered through Task Force Innovation and the sustaining groups, the Naval Innovation Advisory Council and Naval Innovation Network. The three focus areas of Task Force Innovation were:

• Adaptive Workforce. The DON culture, policies, and processes must evolve to attract, develop and retain the best talent, and create a risk-tolerant environment that allows them to anticipate and solve our most demanding problems.

• Information as an Asset. Information and information systems can present a critical risk; however, they also provide opportunity and enable innovation. We must rethink how we value and share information and ensure our processes allow us to move at the speed required to perform our mission in the information age.

• Emerging Operational Capabilities. The DON must provide emerging operational capabilities a clear and expedient path to the fleet. We must reduce barriers and promote a culture willing to accept new concepts such as adaptive force packages, unmanned/autonomous systems, non-lethal weapons, directed energy, and additive manufacturing.

Navy Cryptology is critically positioned at the merger of these three focus areas. According to the new Cryptologic Community, the three aspects of Navy Cryptology are: Signals Intelligence, Cyber, and Electronic Warfare. “Navy Cryptologists: Leaders Across the Spectrum” provides a clear roadmap to innovation that addresses an innovative workforce, using information as an asset, and actively removing barriers to implementing emerging operational capabilities.

Adaptive Workforce

“People are our capability, technology is our terrain, and innovation is our means of maneuver.” (NC:LATS p. 2)

The Navy’s Cryptologic Warfare Community was recently renamed from the Information Warfare Community when the Chief of Naval Operations redesignated the Information Dominance Corps as the Information Warfare Community. The Cryptologic Warfare Community includes: Cryptologic Warfare Officers (181X/681X/781X); Cyber Warfare Engineers (184X); Cyber Warrant Officers (784X); Cryptologic Technician Interpretive (CTI); Cryptologic Technician Maintenance (CTM); Cryptologic Technician Networks (CTN); Cryptologic Technician Collection (CTR); Cryptologic Technician Technical (CTT); and all Navy Civilians assigned to Navy commands directly supporting Navy Cryptology’s core mission areas.

The Cryptologic Warfare Community has set out a future focused vision for its members.

“Our teaming must imbue trust and purpose into our organization, creating opportunities for innovation and leadership at all levels.” (NC:LATS p. 7)

And is clear that it is dedicated to creating a risk tolerant organization under which innovation can thrive.

“At all levels, Cryptologists are expected to lean forward, communicate intent, demonstrate progress, The pursuit of mastery is a never ending quest — a quest that centers around not the accumulation of knowledge, but the application of wisdom. learn from our failures, and share successes, to evolve as leaders and shape the future of our community.” (NC:LATS p. 7)

Information as an Asset

“The emergence of Information as a Warfare area is by design.” (NC:LATS p.6)

As the Navy and Marine Corps develops its capabilities in an ever more connected world, Navy Cryptologists will be out front, defending our networks and shaping the electromagnetic and cyber battlespace to enable the speed and assure maneuver within the information battlespace.

The Navy Cryptologic Community is actively working to build new capabilities within this manmade battlespace and is on the front line of the battle to ensure information remains an asset to our Navy and Marine Corps, while restricting the ability of an adversary to use our own information systems and electromagnetic systems against us.

“We must continue to turn opportunity into operational advantage and provide a visible return on this tailored investment… We will have the courage to work across organizational constructs and remove barriers that inhibit our ability to conduct operations at the time and place of our choosing… we will continue to be leaders in cyberspace, providing network defense across the Fleet while remaining postured to deliver effects against adversaries when directed.” (NC:LATS p.6)

Emerging Operational Capabilities

“The shaping of our future is an all-hands responsibility.” (NC:LATS p. 7)

We often think of emerging operational capabilities as only things. The Cryptologic Community addresses emerging operational capabilities as a spectrum of things from physical things to process and policy, to building partnerships with the joint forces, other militaries, and civilian industry and academia. This all hands on board approach is designed to create a culture in which innovation can thrive. This is the kind of environment where advances in adaptive force packages, unmanned and autonomous systems, non-lethal weapons, and directed energy may emerge.

“The velocity and variance of change is astonishing… Maneuvering ahead of this change is our charge. Our evolution as a team is much more than a name change. We must deliberately shape the culture of our Cryptologic Community” (NC:LATS p. 2)

Read the executive summary and full vision and guidance.

Lt. Jason Knudson is the Fleet Innovation Officer for Commander SEVENTH Fleet and a Cryptologic Warfare Officer.

Join DON Innovation on or @DON_Innovation or visit the SECNAV/DON Innovation website at

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