One of the objectives of the exercise is to train personnel to work in multidomain operations, which is one of the great differentials of the sixth edition of the Exercise
Air Force Agency, by Lieutenant Myrea Calazans
Picture the scene: in the midst of a war, with air and ground assets, the anti-aircraft artillery units of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB), located in the interior of Rio Grande do Sul, in Santana da Boa Vista, receive a cyber attack on their radars and command and control systems, causing a drop in their communications.
How do you maintain the ability to identify approaching enemy aircraft under electronic attack? How can secure communications between deployed teams and forward observers be maintained?
This was precisely one of the simulations carried out with the Anti-Aircraft Artillery Units in the “Shield” context of EXCON Shield-Tinia 2023, under the coordination of the Aerospace Operations Command (COMAE). One of the objectives of these simulations is to train personnel in multidomain operations, which is one of the great differentials of the sixth edition of the Exercise.
But how do we understand the concept of multidomain operations? As far as the Armed Forces are concerned, the purpose of these operations is to carry out actions in one domain in order to enhance or intensify operations in other domains, with the aim of creating converging effects from the air, land, sea, space and cyber domains. These effects create a broad and unique problem for the adversary to deal with.
“In 2023, EXCON Shield-Tinia is a milestone for the Brazilian Air Force, as it represents our efficiency in multidomain employment. We can compare ourselves with major nations in terms of security and defense. Imagine, for example, a scenario in which satellite images identify an enemy target. This will be used to survey the enemy’s terrain and defense, which could facilitate the safe launch of paratroopers and, simultaneously, it will also be possible to carry out a cyber attack on the enemy’s communications while our aircraft maintain air superiority. Therefore, I see that Exercise Shield-Tinia represents not only our current capabilities, but also our ongoing commitment to innovation and excellence in operations,” said one of the members of the Electronic Warfare Programming Cell of EXCON Shield-Tinia, Major Raoni Avilez Fiedler.
In this scenario, it is worth highlighting the role of cyberspace, as one of the five operational domains, which permeates the others, since movements in this area can create freedom of action for activities in other domains, just as activities in other domains also create effects in and through cyberspace. All with one central objective: to leverage the capabilities of various domains, achieve offensive and defensive effects and promote situational awareness among personnel, who start working with dilemmas that require complex, rapid and dynamic solutions.
One of the members of the EXCON Shield-Tinia Aerospace Cell, Major Antonio Pereira Damasceno Neto, highlights the importance of the aerospace domain in this year’s EXCON Shield-Tinia activities. “In this operation, we used more than 90 images taken at different times of the day and night, and in the most diverse weather conditions. This strengthens our capabilities to carry out search, surveillance and change detection activities continuously during an operation. The use of these capabilities reinforces the potential of satellite images as a source of intelligence from strategic to tactical planning,” he explained.
The influence of the cyber domain also extends to the use of aircraft that are operating in composite air missions (COMAO). In this regard, a Joint Cyber Defense Cell has been set up, whose purpose is to monitor the execution of activities, contribute to the cyber protection of EXCON Escudo-Tínia and include cyber warfare aspects in Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) missions.
“Our role in EXCON Shield-Tinia 2023 is to act in the cyber domain, to understand our space of interest and be able to integrate it with other domains, such as space, land and air,” said the member of the Joint Cyber Defense Cell of the Preparedness Command (COMPREP), Lieutenant Computer Engineer Bruna Hoffmann Medeiros Alves.
Complementing the subject, the member of the EXCON Escudo-Tínia Directorate’s Scenario Cell, Major Felipe De Barros Lima Duarte Pereira, points out the integration of the cyber and air domains. “When we integrate satellite and cyber capabilities to degrade the enemy’s capacity and increase that of our aircraft, we begin to have much more expressive results with the same means, to guarantee the sovereignty of the airspace,” he said.
The person responsible for coordinating the exercise and Head of the Control Cell for EXCON Shield-Tinia, Colonel Daniel Ferreira Manso, also highlights the importance of the FAB’s multidomain operations. “This exercise is a turning point for the Brazilian Air Force and marks the end of a year of intense planning and training. It also puts us on the same level as other Air Forces in terms of multidomain employment,” he concluded.
Photos: Sergeants Muller Marin and P. Silva / CECOMSAER *** Translated by DEFCONPress FYI Team ***