STAVANGER, Norway - NATO Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) hosted its inaugural cyber seminar from September 20 to 22, 2022.
The theme of the seminar was “Operationalizing Cyberspace: Lessons and Experiences from Operations and Exercises” with a focus on NATO, national, and multinational operationalization of cyberspace as an operational domain.
The seminar was designed to also highlight the implications of shifting the cyber approach from “information assurance” to “mission assurance”, underscoring the importance of enhancing understanding of the cyber risk to mission, rather than thinking of it as a domain in isolation.
Asked about the next steps in operationalizing cyberspace, which NATO recognized as a domain in 2016, Commodore Matthew Bowen, one of the co-chairs and keynote speakers of the seminar, said: “Given the importance of cyberspace to the conduct of operations across all domains of warfare, it is important that NATO, and its like-minded partners, develop the processes to collectively leverage cyberspace to mitigate risks to our forces, and generate military advantage as a means of collective defence against threats.”
The seminar and syndicate work facilitated an exchange of perspectives and development, and also sparked discussions about advances and the ways of collaborative approaches amongst a wide variety of stakeholders to include practitioners, researchers and experts from NATO, nations and academia.
Why Cyber Matters
The JWC’s cyber seminar was co-chaired by Commodore Knut Rief Armo, the Special Advisor to Commander JWC, and Commodore Matthew Bowen, the Vice J5 (Strategy, Plans and Policy) of the U.S. Cyber Command, who also serves as the Project Director of the Multinational Integrated Cyber Fusion Center under the auspices of the Multinational Capability Development Campaign (MCDC).
MCDC is a U.S.-led multinational capability development framework coordinated by the U.S. Joint Staff J7, designed to collaboratively develop and assess concepts and capabilities to address the challenges associated with conducting joint, multinational and coalition operations.
The seminar brought together representatives from various NATO commands, government and civilian organizations, and partner nations, including Japan.
The two syndicates of the seminar were dedicated to multinational approaches and NATO approaches, respectively.
In his welcoming remarks, Commodore Armo noted the importance of sharing perspectives and approaches of integrating cyber as a warfare domain.
He said: “The operationalization of the cyberspace domain is an important, but complex and challenging subject for all of us. In fact, this week we are also involved in scripting for one of our major operational level exercises, STEADFAST JACKAL 2022, to train and evaluate elements of the NATO Command and Force Structures – and cyber remains a very important role in such scenarios and exercise play to meet the training audience training objectives.”
Commodore Armo continued: “Take this opportunity to engage, share your ideas, experiences and perspectives. We must work as a team and succeed as a team; that is, after all, what partnership is all about.”
Peter Hutson, the JWC’s lead planner of the Cyber Seminar, expounded on the importance of the event and progressing in the operationalization of the domain in a coherent and collaborative manner.
The upcoming issue of the JWC’s The Three Swords magazine will feature articles on operationalizing cyberspace and the cyber risk to mission.
Commodore Knut Rief Armo, the Special Advisor to Commander JWC
Commodore Matthew Bowen, the Vice J5 (Strategy, Plans and Policy) of the U.S. Cyber Command
Peter Hutson, the JWC’s lead planner of the Cyber Seminar
The Cyber Seminar participants at the Joint Warfare Centre