Army Colonel at AOC Event: Let’s Partner

The Capitol Club chapter of the Association of Old Crows hosted its annual holiday lunch last week at the Army-Navy Country Club. AOC was founded in 1965 as a way for electronic warfare and information operations professionals to connect and exchange ideas across government, industry and academia. Today, the organization has thousands of members in 65 chapters across the globe.

Col. Carlos Vega speaking to cyber and electronic warfare stakeholders (Photo credit: AOC)

The Capitol Club is the organization’s largest chapter, and at its event, Chapter President Jim Taber presented Raytheon vice president and WashingtonExec member, Jeff Snyder, with the EW Professional of the Year Award. As cybersecurity and EW grow closer and closer together, Taber said, Snyder’s perspective as a cyber professional have been invaluable.

Snyder is also the co-chair of WashingtonExec’s Cyber Council, which hosted its first event also on Friday. Arete Advisors Inc. Chief Cyber Strategist Jim Jaeger provided some lessons learned from past information security breaches.

The evolving relationship between EW and cyber was central to guest speaker U.S. Army Col. J. Carlos Vega’s presentation. Vega is from the Army Cyber Institute at West Point, the Army’s cyber “think tank.”EW is “a core function” of the cyber mission, he said. Whether a disruption is caused by a radio-frequency jammer or by malicious code doesn’t matter to soldiers on the ground. What makes the cyber domain different from land, sea and air is that it is not exclusive to the military. Cybersecurity is a national problem, Vega said, “and the military doesn’t have all, or even most, of the experts.” The private sector—i.e. industry—and academia, however, do.

“There are a lot of civilians in this room,” he said, “that know a lot more about EW than people in uniform. Cyber is dominated by the private industry. So we realized we have to partner.”

Members of the U.S. Navy, Air Force and Naval Research Laboratory were also in attendance. From the private sector, WashingtonExec members CACI, Lockheed Martin, Virse, and TDI were represented as well.

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