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Invictus Insights August 16, 2019

Cyber Warfare Visualization

By: Seth Wade

“The obvious thing for the cavalryman to do is to accept the fighting machine as a partner, and prepare to meet more fully the demands of future warfare”

-General George S. Patton

Running to the window of our Army issued apartment on Ft. Knox my wife exclaimed, “What is that noise?” She had never heard the “clickity clack”, or felt the sheer raw power, or seen the size of an Abrams tank up close.  A few soldiers passed by ground guiding an M1A2-SEP Abrams tank to the motor pool. She just watched in awe. I felt lucky my wife thought this was so cool (I was a Cavalry Scout after all). After this moment she could completely visualize the machine and its effect to the world around it, in this case how it moves on a narrow street.

21st century warfare is still very much kinetic in nature, however, the 5th domain of warfare, cyberspace, has dynamically shifted how we engage in combined arms warfare.  With the rise of reported nation state sponsored cyber attacks in the past few years, these operations are becoming just another domain of warfare – requiring target systems analysis, advance planning of desired effects and potential unintended consequences.  Imagine the effect it would create if a cyber attack took down power grids, water stations, and communications towers with cyber and electronic warfare capabilities. While important to visualize impact on digital assets, possibly more important in a combined arms effort is to visualize the cascading environmental effects on the battlefield. As a force we need to be able to simulate how downed power grids or communications create environmental effects such as traffic or population control in a crowded city. Cyberspace warfare requires integration into our training and operational platforms in order for the Department of Defense (DoD) to prepare for 21st century combined arms warfare.

Invictus, and several of our Agile Cyber Technology 2 (ACT2) teammates,  are committed to providing best in breed cyber modeling and simulation solutions to our Department of Defense and Intel customers. We have combined some of the best technologies from the gaming industry to bring next generation simulation capabilities with some of the top cyber warfare subject matter experts in the industry to bring the most realistic solution to government customers.  We have a number of efforts in progress to address the cyber effects visualization need across the DoD.  Organizations, such as the US Army, have leveraged Invictus’ ability to help operationalize a number of critical programs such as the Synthetic Training Environment (STE) and the Persistent Cyber Training Environment (PCTE). Certainly, as our continued collaboration grows in preparing the warfighter for the next conflict, we will be addressing our need to visualize cyber warfare effects on the battlefield.  Invictus and our mission partners are poised to create the necessary environment to accept cyber machines as a partner and prepare to meet more fully the demands of future warfare.