Information Warfare - Center for Information Warfare and Innovation

Information Warfare - content

Information Warfare

Navy Information Warfare Community optimizes all available information-based sensors, resources, and capabilities for maintaining an operational advantage at sea.   It is a Main Battery of 21st Century Warfare.  

The goal of Navy Information Warfare is to deliver decision-quality information, enable freedom of maneuver in all warfighting domains, and integrate Navy fires, whether projected through the network or delivered kinetically, for hard-kill or soft-kill.



Nested Applications


Gain a deep understanding of the inner workings of adversaries, develop unmatched knowledge of the battlespace, provide our operating forces with sufficient over-match in wartime command and control, and project power through and across the network.



 Pioneer and employ innovative information warfare capabilities, professionals and systems to propel our 21st Century Naval and Joint Forces with decisive warfighting advantages across the full spectrum of military operations.  


Meaning - title



Nested Applications
One Definition - Content

One definition is “the operational advantage gained from fully integrating the Navy’s information functions, capabilities, and resources to optimize decision making and maximize warfighting effects.” 

 The Navy's Information Dominance Strategy is focused on providing:

  • Robust and agile command and control in all operating environments;
  • Superior knowledge of the current and predicted Battlespace; and
  • The ability to project power through both kinetic and non-kinetic means, which includes networks, cyber, and the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum.
One Definition - capabilities

There are three core information Warfare capabilities:    

  1. Assured Command and Control
  2. Battlespace Awareness
  3. Integrated Fires.
Meaning - Content

Assured Command and Control:  Having ability to communicate with and operate forces, using a variety of methods and pathways that are flexible, resilient, and well understood.   

  • This means on-the-spot workarounds if normal communications channels go down.
  •  It also means defense-in-depth for information integrity - having means to verify that the information displayed is accurate and has not been corrupted.

Battlespace Awareness:  What a commander or tactical unit needs to know about a contact or target area, and the air, land and water around it.

  • It is being aware of what information is out there, and what information you actually need, where to find it, and being able to get to it in a matter of seconds, across a spectrum of situations
  • Analytically, it is knowing where to find the dots, gathering the dots, sifting out the right dots, connecting the dots, and then delivering the "so what" to the operational commander or decision maker, to include an information-supported prediction of what is likely to happen next.

Integrated Fires:   Fusing, in a deliberate, systematic methodology, both kinetic and non-kinetic weapons to achieve desired effects.

  • Cyber capabilities, if employed as part of the full menu of options for projecting power, can deter or de-escalate a conflict by damaging an adversary's warfighting machinery or ability to make decisions. Cyber munitions can be used in lieu of, or in concert with bombs, missiles or other ordnance. 

The electromagnetic (EM) environment is so fundamental to naval operations, and so critical to U.S. national interests, that we must treat it on par with the traditional domains of land, sea, air, and space. Indeed, future conflicts will not be won simply by using the EM spectrum and cyberspace, they will be won within the EM spectrum and cyberspace.

Other components of Information Warfare are

Information Backbone:   Reliable networks and communication circuits, with Command and Control of Command and Control - and complete freedom of maneuver throughout Cyberspace.   If a network or communications path goes down, there are immediate options for an alternate.  

  •  It is systems - sensors for new data, databases for historical data, and computers and software applications that fuse that data into a concise and relevant visualization for knowledge of the operational environment, tailored by the user for the user's mission
  • It is breaking down stovepipes, and consolidating, linking, and integrating technologies, their functionalities and information sources to create a smaller, more capable and coherent menu of tools needed by the Fleet
  • It is making that menu of tools available on all appropriate networks or systems, with the same look and feel regardless of community or security domain, with lock-step, simultaneous version updates at every level

Information in Warfare:   Application of combat and operational sensor data, intelligence, knowledge of the environment and targeting information required to execute the full range of maritime missions.   

  • It is expert handling of knowledge flows, ensuring those who need to know, do, and can then take action appropriately
  • It is "getting the word out" efficiently, whether by e-mail, message traffic, websites, or other transmission channels - in ways that empower the users of the information, no matter what their bandwidth resources
  • It is the packaging and storing of information in a logically organized fashion, enabling intuitive access and institutional, vice tribal or individual, knowledge 
  • It is safeguarding of information, at the right levels, and with the right people, while managing flexible cross-domain solutions that  allow timely and automated fusion of lower-level information with higher-level information to "tell the story" quickly and accurately

Information as Warfare:   Direct employment of information as a weapon.

  • It is advanced electronic warfare, to inform and warn friendly forces, and deny adversary forces ability to threaten friendly forces
  • It is cyber capabilities, for achieving specific operational effects within the battlespace, integrated with more traditional capabilities.