Legislation calls for new joint information ops course for US troops

707th Communications Squadron client system technicians update software for computers that will be used on Air Force networks at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alexandre Montes)

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The House Armed Services Committee wants the Pentagon to provide members of the U.S. military a new course to better prepare them to conduct information operations.

The chairman’s mark of the fiscal 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), released Monday, includes a provision directing the secretary of defense to establish such a course for planning and conducting information operations in a joint environment.

This course must include: standard qualifications and procedures to enable joint and synchronized employment of information-related capabilities in the information environment; joint methods to implement information ops in a battlefield environment under ground force chain of command and a curriculum covering applicable assets; core operations concepts; and integration of effects with a focus on information-related effects.

The chairman’s mark is also asking for semiannual reports from the Department of Defense detailing the number of service members that attended the course and an assessment of its value for conducting joint operations in the information environment and the synchronized employment of information-related capabilities. It also requires notification of new military information support operations (MISO) programs prior to execution, and an annual report detailing all MISO programs.

Information ops have grown in importance in recent years as adversaries have used them to great effect below the threshold of armed conflict to subvert their foes and achieve their objectives.

The release of the chairman’s mark follows concerns expressed by a HASC subcommittee that wants the DOD to develop a joint lexicon for terms related to information operations, including “information environment,” “operations in the information environment” and “information-related capabilities.” The subcommittee, which included the provision in its mark of the policy bill earlier this month, is seeking to coerce the department to do so by withholding travel funds.

The full committee is slated to mark up the NDAA legislation Wednesday.

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HASC, information operations, military information support operations, NDAA
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