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Lieutenant General Brown on Information Operations


Information operations and information warfare will likely play an increasing role in 21st Century warfare. What role do you envision for U.S. SOCOM in overall U.S. information operations?

Special operations forces are very aware of the significant role Information Operations (IO) plays in today’s and in future conflicts. In fact, USSOCOM made IO one of the command’s core tasks in 1996. USSOCOM units have successfully employed IO core capabilities in both OEF and OIF, and IO continues to be embedded throughout SOF operations. However, USSOCOM continues to play a very significant role in PSYOP. As you know, USSOCOM owns the preponderance of the Department’s PSYOP forces and capabilities, including the EC-130 Commando Solo radio and TV broadcast aircraft. Due to the high demand for PSYOP forces, USSOCOM is in the process of growing its PSYOP force structure by adding two active duty regional companies and four reserve component tactical companies. This year the command also proposed an Advanced Technologies Concept Demonstration (ACTD) aimed at improving PSYOP planning tools and long range dissemination into denied hostile areas. In addition, USSOCOM is creating a 70 person Joint PSYOP Support Element, to provide dedicated joint PSYOP planning expertise to the Geographic Combatant Commanders, Strategic Command, and the Secretary of Defense.

Under what circumstances would the Commander, U.S. SOCOM, conduct information operations as a supported combatant commander?

USSOCOM became the lead for the war on terrorism IO planning after September 11th, 2001. In this new capacity, USSOCOM leads collaborative planning, coordination, and when directed, execution of IO. USSOCOM envisions IO supporting surgical, limited duration, counterterrorism missions, as well as, long range planning to develop coordinated, trans-regional strategies against terrorists and their supporters. Due to Strategic Command’s new Unified Command Plan responsibilities in regard to global IO, USSOCOM is working very closely with Strategic Command to insure mutual IO and PSYOP support and continuity.

Lieutenant General Bryan D. Brown, USA, Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing, for appointment as Commander, United States Special Operations Command and appointment to the grade of general.