The Department of Defense’s (DoD) IT shop seeks to hire new deputy directors to improve electromagnetic spectrum management, a move that reflects Pentagon leaders’ dedication to the issue.

According to Kelly Fletcher, who is performing the duties of the CIO while John Sherman awaits confirmation by the Senate, this is new that spectrum is a key topic among senior leaders. “Of the things I pay close attention to, this is one of them,” she said while speaking at the Association of Old Crow’s annual symposium.

Fred Moorefield, the deputy CIO for Command, Control, and Communications, said spectrum management is crucial for the Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) concept and the implementation of 5G.

“JADC2 requires dynamic, resilient, adaptive communications,” Moorefield said. That can’t happen without stronger use of spectrum, he added.

The new deputy directors will oversee the lines of efforts identified in the DoD’s Electromagnetic Spectrum Superiority strategy, published in September. The DoD developed the spectrum strategy to claim dominance in building and to defend robust networks after two decades of warfare with low-tech adversaries.

DoD’s Electromagnetic Spectrum Superiority strategy seeks to align EMS resources, capabilities, and activities to support the department’s core national security objectives while remaining mindful of the importance of U.S. economic prosperity.

Additionally, the strategy addresses how DoD will develop superior EMS capabilities, evolve to an agile and fully integrated EMS infrastructure, pursue total force EMS readiness, secure enduring partnerships for EMS advantage, and establish effective EMS governance to support strategic and operational objectives.

DoD also announced a spectrum sharing experiment at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. The base will test how a 5G network can operate in the same space as airborne radar systems. According to a statement from DoD, these experiments illuminate the technology front on a very challenging spectrum sharing problem – how to share the limited spectrum between highly sensitive DoD assets and commercial networks.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.