Russia-Ukraine War Shows The Risk of Phones In Combat, Top Marine Says

  • The consequences of communications failures are clearly evident in Russia’s conflict with Ukraine.
  • The war has highlighted the need for military leaders to manage electronic signatures of their troops.
  • According to the Marine Corps’ top general, this will require that younger troops learn new habits.

The use of technology on the battlefield, particularly during the Russia-Ukraine conflict, has prompted the US military to rethink its operations as it prepares for a future conflict with a technologically-advanced adversary, the US Marine Corps’ top general said this month.

Marines face a serious risk from electronic emissions. According to US Gen. David Berger, one of the most important is that your electronics may be giving away more information than you think. 

The US Marine Corps, under Berger, assumed command in July 2019 and has been developing capabilities to operate in dispersed ways. This could be compromised if Marines’ electronics permit rivals to track, listen to, or attack them.

“We must be distributed. You need to be able to move your unit around quite often. You have to learn all about — like some of us learned 30 years ago — camouflage, decoys, deception,” Berger said at a Defense Writers Group event on December 8. “What we didn’t worry about 30 years ago is that every time you press a key, you emit.”

Berger stated that cell phones and other devices are an integral part of daily life for young soldiers, sailors, Marines and Marines. However, managing their emissions will require some relearning of old habits.

Marine Corps recruits cell phones

Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego receives new Marine recruits in October.

US Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Jacob Hutchinson

“They don’t think about pressing a button. This is what they do every day. Now, we must undo 18 years worth of communication and tell them it’s not good. Berger stated that this will make you dead, so you should turn off your cell phone. “They’re like: ‘I won’t touch it. It just stays there. You don’t understand some parts of the cell phone.

Since 2014, the fighting between Russia & Ukraine has included cell phone attacks. Russian hackers have used malwareIn phone apps to track Ukrainian artillery and send propaganda to Ukrainian phones using simulatorsThat mimic cell towers.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, its phones have been a security risk. Russian troops have been eavesdropped upon by foreign governments and Ukrainians. using unsecured phonesto talk to one another and their families in Russia. Ukrainians are also reported to have reportedly been able to communicate with their families in Russia. trackedRussian generals made unsecured calls and used the information for attacks. 

In recent years, phones from US and allied troops in Europe were also being used. affected by hacking attempts and sinister callsRussia is believed to be the origin of the idea

Marine Corps cell phone

A Marine records a Drum and Bugle Corps performance on Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, March 2014.

US Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Patrick J. McMahon

Russian electronic warfare includes jamming and other interference. affected US operationsSyria and elsewhere, has grown to a greater extent concern for the US militaryThis has led to a focus on improving the quality of its electronic-warfare capabilitiesand to limit its exposure to the outside world.

In 2018, the Pentagon prohibited personnel from using geolocation functions on their phones.operational areas“After it was reported that troops were using fitness trackersThey were openly revealing their locations, and even the layout of their bases.

Securing communications and reducing electronic signatures is especially important for the Marines Corps as it develops concepts for operating small, mobile units within range of Chinese forces — and of Chinese intelligence-gathering platforms — in the Western Pacific Ocean.

Marines have tested new technologiesmeant to provide more secureCommunications between units and with other forces can be maintained, but the use of phones and other devices may still enable adversaries to track their movements and strike in wartime.

A Marine was killed by his unit during an exercise in California in 2019. taking a selfieThat revealed their location. “They were like, “OK, you guys have died,”” a Marine General said at the time.

Air Force airman radio B-1B bomber Diego Garcia

A US Air Force officer uses a Land Mobile Radio to land at Diego Garcia in October 2021 when a B-1B Bomber lands.

US Air Force/Staff Lieutenant. Hannah Malone

Berger stated this month that electronic signals are “absolutely becoming more and more ubiquitous”.

Berger stated that working in such an environment requires “electronic signature Management is huge”, and that the Corps is moving toward signals-intelligence operations being “pushed lower than some of our were used to.”

The US Air Force is developing its own concept for dispersed operations in the PacificAccording to Chief Master Sergeant. David Wolfe, senior enlisted pilot for the US Pacific Air Forces.

“The Chinese have a very strong intelligence network and they’re trying out to figure out our activities,” Wolfe said. Wolfe stated that we’re doing the exact same thing, so it’s a game between cat-and-mouse.” Wolfe told Insider a summit of senior enlisted leadersAugust, Washington DC

Wolfe stated, “We’re trying help our people understand how everything you say and do is subjected to surveillance by everyone.” “I mean, my smartphone’s in my pocket right at the moment. It’s possible that we could be recorded and not know it.

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